American Parkinson Disease Association and Havas Health Plus

Parkinson’s disease plays havoc with people’s nervous systems in many ways, often damaging patients’ sex lives. But sexual wellness is rarely discussed in the Parkinson’s community. Instead, providers focus more on managing the symptoms. That includes knowing when medications are working well, when the patient feels “on” and when they are not. The tremors and rigidity that can increase during those “off” times can create distance and loneliness in intimate relationships.

Couples dealing with Parkinson’s are likelier to split up than peers with other chronic conditions such as heart disease, lung disease or cancer. Sex is a factor, with 79% of men and 83% of women with Parkinson’s experiencing difficulty maintaining a healthy sexual relationship. 

Drawing from in-depth interviews with the community, the team created ParkinSex. Like a Kama Sutra for Parkinson’s, the film aims to deepen intimacy with ideas that work during both “on” and “off” times. And it also comes with a book, available in hardcover and as a downloadable PDF.

Featuring members of the Parkinson’s community and clinical sexologist Dr. Sheila Silver, it addresses the physical and emotional needs of people with Parkinson’s and their partners.

And the campaign acknowledges the healing power of sex, which is critical to health and well-being. Sex releases dopa-mine, which lights up the brain’s pleasure centers, connecting partners physically and emotionally. 

ParkinSex launched on Valentine’s Day, with social media posts teasing the news that the APDA was making Parkinson’s sexy. This change in narrative created a buzz in the community, and by February 15, ParkinSex sold out. Hundreds joined the queue for the next printing. And thousands engaged online or by visiting the APDA website. 


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Revive
Who Cares: A Nurse’s Fight for Equity

Shift, a digital platform for frontline nurses, sought ways to teach about health disparities and the social determinants of health. With a budget of $118,000, it created a powerful film about a psychiatric nurse practitioner in Fargo, North Dakota, highlighting her struggles to extend compassion to the many vulnerable populations in her community. It reached 3.7 million people on Facebook alone and has been adopted into nursing curricula.