Community Outreach Program- Norfolk Update

December 3, 2020

The Community Outreach Program was created in response to the need for more meaningful outreach and engagement with communities outside of the Omaha metro area. The purpose of the program is to actively engage with communities in a way that promotes community-building, expands programming based on local needs, and empowers local leaders to create lasting change. Centered around creating meaningful relationships, the Community Outreach Program focuses on strengthening each community by connecting people with Parkinson’s to each other, to local resources and leaders, and to the statewide and national Parkinson’s network.

Over the summer, the pilot program was rolled out in Norfolk, NE. Norfolk was chosen because of its similarities to Omaha such as well-attended exercise classes, a support group, PD-specific therapy, and it serves the surrounding communities. It was also chosen because it is a relatively short distance from Omaha and an in-person event was planned before Covid-19.

At the start of the program, a community needs assessment was conducted to take an inventory of specialized Parkinson’s services and gain feedback from providers serving the Norfolk area. In September, the first Norfolk Leaders Discussion was held via Zoom to share the results of the assessment, share best practices and current statuses, our Community Advocacy Model and to connect the community leaders to each other & to resources.

We were joined by several local professionals including physical therapists, occupational therapists, and exercise professionals from Faith Regional Health Services, the Norfolk Family YMCA, Family Physical Therapy and Fountain Point Medical Community who are committed to strengthening the Norfolk PD community. The group had an open and engaging conversation about the current services provided, great ideas for future programs, and identified the next steps to take.

As part of the Community Outreach Program, the Norfolk community received $500 in grant funding to support a Parkinson’s wellness program. The group will be using the funding to start a new evening support group at the Norfolk Family YMCA! They will begin meeting in January, immediately follow the Rock Steady Boxing class. Please contact Tina Collison at the Norfolk Family YMCA at 402-371-9770 or for more information.

We are grateful for the outcome of the pilot program in Norfolk, and for the dedicated providers who made it a success. It is so exciting to see communities grow and expand Parkinson’s services, making them more accessible across the state. We are looking forward to help strengthen more Parkinson’s communities in 2021!

Parkinson’s Disease Support Group- Starting in January!
Norfolk Family YMCA
301 Benjamin Ave
Norfolk, NE 68701
Stay tuned for day and time info
Tina Collison