Parkinson Disease Programming

The Emerald Market has been focusing on building a partnership with the Heartland PD Foundation in an effort to enhance and grow our facility programs. Initially we met with the Foundation’s Community Program Manager, Kim Nitz, to inquire if they had any unmet needs and to discuss how we could possibly meet those needs. Her first response was sponsorship of their fundraising and awareness events like The Moving Day PD Walk and secondly providing meals after their weekly exercise class to both participants and their caregivers.

As a Market, we became a Bronze Sponsor — as shared in a previous FlagPOST. Beginning in May, the Healthcare Resort of Kansas City, Riverbend PARC, the Healthcare Resort of Leawood, and the Healthcare Resort of Olathe started providing lunch for 25 participants and their caregivers on a monthly basis. The focus was more on building relationships rather than heavily marketing our programs/facilities per the request of the Foundation.

We had great dialog at the initial meet-and-greet lunch and were able to provide educational pieces based on their feedback at the subsequent lunches. We discussed safe transfer training techniques, how to cope with “freezing” during transfers, car transfers, balance deficits and balance exercises. The initial four months were such a success that the Foundation has invited us to continue to hold lunch and learns until the end of the year. I strongly believe our partnership has been so successful because the participants see and feel our sincere compassion for the PD community.

As a Market, our goal is to establish and offer a PD Support Group by the first of the year in the northern part of the city at the Healthcare Resort of Kansas City and the southern part of the city at the Healthcare Resort of Olathe. We are diligently working to increase our relationships with Movement Disorder Physicians and vendors to have as possible guest speakers at our support groups.

I look forward to sharing the next chapter in our PD program development successes after the first of the year.

By Madeana Galler, Therapy Resource – Emerald Market, Kansas