Powerful things are happening in Grand Island! Ashlyn Cramer
is a physical therapist at the Grand Island Balance, Mobility, and Aquatic Therapy
Center in Grand Island, Nebraska. After several local residents expressed a
need for a Rock Steady Boxing class in Grand Island, Parkinson’s Nebraska helped
Ashlyn participate in the Rock Steady Boxing Coaches Training Camp in June of
We were lucky enough to catch up with Ashlyn and see how her
training has impacted the Grand Island Parkinson’s community. She describes the
program as an opportunity to “incorporate
strength, agility, balance, fine motor control, cognition, community and fun
into one program targeted at “Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s” and the daily
impairments people struggle with when living with this disease”. As a physical
therapist, she has enjoyed sharing this program with her patients who are ready
to be discharged to a home-based or community program.
The first class in Grand Island began in
November of 2018 with 5 boxers. Within the last three months, the class has
grown to 15 boxers. The class has boxers, or fighters as Ashlyn calls them, with varied impairments and
severities of symptoms. The trainers are sure to incorporate a lot of fun while
targeting each individual’s functional barriers to daily life. Many of the
fighters have reported “strength and stability gains along with improved
energy, increased mood/sense of support within the group, and even improved
capability for completing fine motor tasks like buttoning shirts, writing, and
managing small objects”.
Not only does Ashlyn share this program with her class, she uses it to spread awareness throughout the entire Grand Island community. She says has “attended support group meetings, shared this opportunity with local physicians/neurologists, and have even been able to spread public awareness about the disease and the benefits of this class through local news/media sources”. Check out article from NebraskaTV below.
The Rock Steady Boxing classes are led by Ashlyn and Kasady, a PT Tech, and meet at the Downtown YMCA in Grand Island, Nebraska on the following days:
& Thursday: 10:00 am- 11:00 am
& Friday: 11:00 am- 12:00 pm
Contact the Grand Island Balance, Mobility, and Aquatic Therapy Center at 308-398-2170 for questions about the class or to set up an initial evaluation for a one-time fee of $75 (which includes education on the program, initial assessment, and boxing wraps/gloves).
Once an evaluation is completed, boxers can attend class as many times a week as they’d like with a YMCA membership. Membership pricing options can be discussed with Grand Island YMCA at 308-395-9622.
January 2020 Grant Recipients
January 2, 2020
Parkinson’s Nebraska is on a mission to
be the primary source of Parkinson’s disease education, support, and services
in Nebraska. One way we support the Parkinson’s community is by providing financial
support to programs that are making a difference in the lives of people with
Parkinson’s and their families. We are proud to announce our latest round of
Kris teaches the Functional Movement for Seniors class at Messiah Lutheran Church in Lincoln, NE. She attended the Delay the Disease training this past July because she wanted to provide more specialized services to the people with PD in her class. She was awarded a grant to provide medicine balls, which she can use to introduce new exercises and improve the quality of the class!
If you are in Lincoln, stop by Kris’ Functional Movement for Seniors class:
Functional Movement for Seniors Messiah Lutheran Church 1800 S 84th St. Lincoln, NE 68506 Fridays 11:00-11:45 am Cost: $30/ 6- week session or $10 drop- in Kris Costello 402-416-3600 firstname.lastname@example.org
Grand Island YMCA Rock Steady Boxing Class
The Grand Island YMCA, with the Grand Island Balance Mobility ands Aquatic Center, provides a Rock Steady Boxing class to the Grand Island community, and it keeps growing! We are thrilled to present the Grand Island YMCA with a training grant for another professional to become a certified Rock Steady Boxing coach!
Go and see Ashlyn and the other Rock Steady Boxing coaches at the Grand Island YMCA:
Rock Steady Boxing Grand Island YMCA 221 E. South Front St. Grand Island, NE 68801 Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 am – 11:00 am Monday and Friday 11:00 am- 12:00 pm $75 initial evaluation Contact Grand Island YMCA for membership options Ashlyn Cramer: 308-398-2170; email@example.com Grand Island YMCA: 308-398-9622
Craig Bontrager and Jefferson Community Health
Craig Bontrager, director of the Burkley Fitness Center at the Jefferson Community Health & Life, is passionate about increasing Parkinson’s services to Fairbury. Fairbury has a Parkinson’s support group and large number of people with Parkinson’s in the area. Parkinson’s Nebraska is proud to award Craig with a training grant to become a Rock Steady Boxing certified coach and Jefferson Community Health and Life with a grant to pay for the affiliate fee to get the class started! We are thrilled to work with Craig to meet a need and bring services to the Fairbury community.
Classes coming in Fall 2020!
Jody Augustyn at the Sherman County Senior Center
Jody teaches a Strength and Balance yoga class at the Sherman Senior Center in Loup City, NE. She attended the Delay the Disease training to be able to provide more specialized services to the large PD population in the area, and she is dedicated to improving lives. Parkinson’s Nebraska is proud to award Jody with an ongoing class sponsorship, making it our first sponsored class outside of the Omaha metro!
Join Jody at the first specialized exercise class for people with Parkinson’s in Loup City:
Strength and Balance Sherman County Senior Center 617 O St. Loup City, NE 68853 Mondays and Wednesdays 10:00- 10:30 am Cost: Contact Jody for cost information Jody Augustyn 402-525-5249 firstname.lastname@example.org
We are so grateful to have these professionals and organizations
on our journey to fight Parkinson’s!
January 2, 2020
Thank you for a great year!
Our biggest highlight of the year was the Delay the Disease training in July. Since July, the training has impacted:
55 professionals certified
23 specialized exercise classes
13 therapy providers
18 communities across Nebraska
a new support group in Beatrice
Other ways we have impacted the community:
We have sponsored over 450 Parkinson’s exercise class in the Omaha metro area
We gave 9 educational presentations in Omaha and rural communities across Nebraska, educating and spreading awareness to over 230 people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers.
We participated in 12 community events
We engaged with over 2,000 Nebraskans
We hosted 12 support groups, connecting the community and providing resources
Some other things we have been
working on to increase our ability to serve the community:
Regularly updated website
Online Resource Directory with the most current listing of Parkinson’s resources in Nebraska
Online Community Calendar where people can search for services by city
Growing monthly newsletter to engage with people across the state
Please join us as we build on our momentum and continuing to expand services, engage with the Parkinson’s community, and foster our new statewide relationships in the upcoming year.
Genesis Rehab Services: Vitality to You Program
July 31, 2019
definition, is “the state of being strong, active, and full of energy”. Genesis
Rehab Services (GRS) offers a unique program that embodies the essence of this definition.
Vitality to You is an outpatient therapy services that brings occupational,
physical, and speech therapy services directly to the client, in their home or
community. GRS offers this program in the Omaha Metro and in various cities
throughout the state.
Not only can they
provide therapy services in the home or their clinic, but they can also
complete therapy sessions in non-traditional environments, focusing on
community integration. Common locations include, but are not limited to,
grocery stores, the gym, church work areas, family member’s homes, camp sites,
restaurants, sporting events, accessing public transportation, and
indoor/outdoor leisure tasks. Their team of professional, knowledgeable, and compassionate
therapists assists clients in developing the skills needed to be safe and
successful at home and to confidently return the tasks they want and need to do
in the community.
Vitality to You
in Omaha is the only Vitality program based out of a skilled nursing facility.
If a skilled need is required, the Vitality therapists can develop a plan of
care at the facility, then transition to the Vitality program after discharge.
The team is able to follow clients through the entire continuum of care.
How to get
Obtain an order for occupational, physical, or
speech therapy services from your primary doctor or neurologist. The Vitality
team can assist wit retrieving orders and determining which services would be
the most beneficial.
Verify insurance coverage.
Get started with therapy services.
to You program information, referrals, skilled nursing care, or assistance
obtaining physician’s orders, please contact:
Molly Ganow Senior Director of Rehabilitation 2525 S. 135th Ave Omaha, NE Phone: 402-350-4232 Fax: 402-333-3356 email@example.com
information regarding the Parkinson’s specialty program in the Omaha area,
You can assist in returning to independence at home or in the community. Take
control over Parkinson’s disease, and live life to the fullest!
Delay the Disease training improves Parkinson’s services in Nebraska
July 19, 2019
Parkinson’s Nebraska welcomed 55 professionals from across Nebraska to the Midwest Delay the Disease training in Grand Island, Neb., on July 18-19. The training provided attendees with the knowledge and tools to design and implement a community-based, Parkinson’s- specific exercise class. Because of the Parkinson’s Nebraska commitment to making training accessible, all attendees were provided with the cost of registration, lodging, a mileage stipend, and meals throughout the training.
Russell, RN, BSN, CNOR and David Zid, BA, ACE, APG, the co-founders of the
Delay the Disease program and training instructors, led an informative and
interactive workshop. The training began with Jackie sharing the science and
evidence- based benefits of exercise. David led the rest of the training,
teaching exercises that target Parkinson’s symptoms and how to design a
Parkinson’s exercise class. Together, they brought a dynamic energy that made
the training fun and inspiring!
Parkinson’s Nebraska provided the attendees
with a dinner and presentation hosted at the Ramada by Wyndham Midtown Grand Island.
John Bertoni, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the University of Nebraska Medical
Center Department of Neurological Sciences, and director of the Parkinson’s
disease program at Nebraska Medicine, UNMC’s clinical partners, was
the guest speaker at the training. He presented on the role of Exercise in
Parkinson’s Disease Management and conducted a lively Question and Answer
session. The group appreciated Dr. Bertoni’s experience, and humor, in the
the second day of the training, there was a demo class for the attendees to practice
their new skills with real participants. More than 20 people with Parkinson’s
and their caregivers traveled from Omaha, Lincoln, and Grand Island to
participate in the training’s Demo Class. After the class, they enjoyed a lunch
provided by Parkinson’s Nebraska and get to meet the training attendees. It was
a great opportunity to celebrate and strengthen the Parkinson’s community and
network with others across the state.
The immense impact this training has
made on the Nebraska community is made possible through a partnership with the
Parkinson’s Foundation. The foundation awarded Parkinson’s Nebraska a community
grant to help training costs. Because of the grant, Parkinson’s Nebraska was
able to provide the training to more professionals and further increase the
number of exercise classes throughout Nebraska.
As a result of the Delay the Disease training there will be 21 new Parkinson’s exercise classes across Nebraska. Parkinson’s Nebraska has recognized a lack of services in rural communities and is proud that over 15 classes will serve under-served areas. This is just the beginning of Parkinson’s Nebraska’s commitment to the making services across the entire state.
To learn more about how Parkinson’s Nebraska is serving the Parkinson’s community, visit www.Parkinsonsnebraska.org.
Columbus Community Hospital’s Rehabilitative Services boasts impressive Parkinson’s program
July 3, 2019
At Parkinson’s Nebraska, we have been focused on expanding our
reach into the rural communities across Nebraska. In June, Amber was able to travel
to Columbus, NE to visit with the Columbus Area Parkinson’s Support Group to share
information about Parkinson’s Disease and how we are helping improve lives.
Thank you to Michell
Ruskamp, M.S., CCC-SLP, assistant director of CCH’s Rehabilitative Services, for
inviting Parkinson’s Nebraska to talk to the group!
After the meeting, Michell gave a tour of the Columbus Wellness
Center. The impressive facility is home to both the CCH’s Rehabilitative
Services and the Columbus Family YMCA. The partnership provides many benefits
to patients, including the Transition Program. After progressing out of
therapy, the therapists provide patients with fitness advice and help them
transition into a regular exercise routine at the Columbus Family YMCA. This
unique program promotes healthy living by encouraging patients to continue
exercising after the completion of therapy. This is especially valuable for
people with Parkinson’s because of the immense benefits exercise provides in
The CCH’s Rehabilitative Services also boasts a comprehensive
Parkinson’s Wellness Program designed to help people with PD delay the effects
of the disease while improving their quality of life and independence. There
are many therapy, exercise, and community services available within the
Parkinson’s Wellness Program including:
LSVT-BIG®: An intensive physical training for individuals with PD
Parkinson Wellness Recovery – PWR!®: A therapy approach focused on
early intervention, enrichment, education, and empowerment
LSVT-LOUD®: An intensive speech therapy to improve the speech and
swallow functions for people with PD
SPEAK OUT!®: An intensive speech therapy to improve the speech and swallow
functions for people with PD
The CCH LOUD Crowd®: A weekly maintenance voice exercise group designed to help
PD patients carry over the skills they learned in voice therapy, so they are
able to keep their voices and swallow function strong long after therapy has
ended. Participants must be a former SPEAK OUT!® or LSVT-LOUD® patient.
Occupational therapy: Therapy that focuses on the Activities of Daily Living
for people with PD.
Rock Steady Boxing: A noncontact, boxing-based fitness curriculum designed to
help people with Parkinson’s improve quality of life through lessened symptoms
and a happier, healthier life. The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from
1:15-2:15 pm at the Columbus Wellness Center.
The Columbus Area Parkinson Disease Support Group: The monthly support group invites
speakers to present on information selected by the group. The group meets the
second Thursday of every month from 2:30-4:00 pm at the Columbus Wellness
The PD Resource Library: The PD Resource Library in Rehabilitative Services includes
information from many Parkinson’s resources such as Speak Out!® workbooks,
LSVT-LOUD® and BIG® Homework Helper DVDs and digital sound level meters for The
CCH LOUD Crowd® participants.
The CCH’s Rehabilitative Services will
also be hosting the first Parkinson’s symposium to take place in Columbus, NE in
April 2020. It will include a variety of speakers sharing PD education on a variety
of topics throughout the one-day event. Stay tuned for more information!
more information about the Columbus Community Hospital’s Rehabilitative
Services and the Parkinson’s Wellness Program call the Columbus Wellness Center
at 402-556-3333 or visit https://www.columbushosp.org/our_services/rehabilitative_services/parkinson_wellness_program.aspx.
Dance for PD class helps Lincoln Parkinson’s community
June 3, 2019
Dance for PD is a movement class that empowers people with PD and their caregivers to explore movement and music in enjoyable, stimulating and creative ways to keep and regain mobility.
Why Dance for PD®?
Dance develops flexibility and instills
Dance is first and foremost a stimulating mental
activity that connects mind to body.
Dance breaks isolation.
Dance invokes imagery in the service of graceful
Dance focuses attention on eyes, ears and touch
as tools to assist in movement and balance.
Dance increases awareness of where all parts of
the body are in space.
Dance tells stories.
Dance sparks creativity.
The basis of dance is rhythm.
The essence of dance is joy
About Ruth Davidson Hahn
Ruth Davidson Hahn is professional dancer formerly with the Mark Morris Dance Group. She has been specially trained in the Dance for PD® method.
“Ruth treats each person in the class — the Parkinson’s clients and their accompanying caregivers — as capable of meaningful expression through movement. By practicing real dance warmup moves, the members of her class get an insight into what modern dance is about, from the viewpoint of a professional modern dancer. As an instructor trained in the Dance for Parkinson’s approach, Ruth has a unique way of making her class feel like a choreographed team, while paying close attention to the challenges facing each individual member. ‘There is no bad dancing,’ she says, as she shows you how to get better.” David Fowler, Dance for Parkinson’s Caregiver
Words from one couple who attend Dance for Parkinson’s; “By the end of class each time I was walking on my own and without my walker just as if I weren’t suffering from this terrible malady. Dance for Parkinson’s has to be the best thing for people like me. I was sorry when the class was over. Thanks to Ruth for all her help.” Carolyn Johnsen, Dance for Parkinson’s Participant
Parkinson’s Nebraska is proud to sponsor the Ruth Davidson Hahn & Company Dance for PD class in Lincoln, NE. Please join us for the next 6-week session beginning on Wednesday, June 26th.
Where: Nebraska Ballet Theatre & School
2620 O St. (map)
When: Wednesdays, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
June 26th – July 31st
Price: $30 for a 6-week session (Anything over $30 is a tax-deductible
Caregivers, spouses or partners free, drop-ins welcome.
Functional aging is a concept that is based on the idea that measurements other than chronological ago can be used to measure someone’s position in the aging process. The Functional Aging Institute (FAI) is a training platform for personal trainers specializing in fitness for older adults. Each year since 2015, it hosts the Functional Aging Summit- the world’s premier fitness, training, and aging event.
Jacey Gengenbach, the instructor for
the Parkinson’s Nebraska- sponsored exercise lass called Strength and Balance, attended
the Summit in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, she was asked to be a speaker at the
Summit. Her presentation was on Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease and she shared
What Parkinson’s Disease
The benefits of
Do’s and don’ts
A training demo
One of her favorites parts of being at
the Summit is being surrounded by fitness and aging experts, learning from
others, and sharing her experiences and knowledge. “The knowledge and passion at this event is truly
amazing… The Summit literally helps you get better at everything.”
clients Jacey works with at Fitness and Beyond also benefit from the Summit because
she is bringing back the latest and greatest in exercise and wellness for
active aging adults. She says that the Summit “helps [professionals] get better
at everything.” Just like that is the goal of the Summit, Jacey’s goal is to
have her clients moving better, feeling better, and doing the things they love
as long as possible.
Additionally, Jacey has co-authored a
book with Functional Aging Institute co-founder, Dan Ritchie titled Active Aging: Functional Fitness to renew
Your Strength, Balance, and Energy for the Best Years Yet. The book
explores functional fitness and how it can “equip you to live life at full strength”.
Parkinson’s Nebraska is proud to have
Jacey as a partner and are grateful for the knowledge and expertise she
provides to the Parkinson’s community. Parkinson’s Nebraska sponsors the
Strength and Balance class at Fitness and Beyond (1032 S. 74th
Plaza, Omaha, NE). Stop by and check it out!
Nate Hall from Style Fitness and Nutrition in Omaha, Nebraska
is an inspiring example of the passion people have for helping the Parkinson’s
community. His journey with Parkinson’s began with his father’s diagnosis.
After his father began to experience symptoms, he was inspired to develop a program
that challenged patients to use their minds and control their body to help slow
the side effects of Parkinson’s.
The class has grown steadily since it began. He expects 10
people in his next class. His class provides more than physical benefits. It
provides comradery and support that you can only get from people going through
the same experience. On February 28th, WOWT did the following story
on Nate’s Maintaining Movements with Parkinson’s Disease class.
Parkinson’s Nebraska is proud to support Nate and the Maintaining Movements for Parkinson’s class. Earlier this week, Parkinson’s Nebraska approved a $563.20 grant for Nate’s class to go towards new equipment including versa tubes, sparring gloves, and an agility ladder. We look forward to partnering with Nate to help create a bigger impact in the Parkinson’s community. Below is more information on the Maintaining Movements for Parkinson’s class:
Maintaining Movements with Nate Style Fitness and Nutrition 15117 Industrial Rd. Every other Friday @ 5 p.m.– next class: 3/8/19 Cost: FREE Contact Name: Nate Hall Phone: 402-719-7853 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: stylefitnessomaha.com
The next class will be held at Style Fitness and Nutrition on Friday, March 8th at 5:00 pm. The class is currently offered every other Friday, but Nate is working with Parkinson’s Nebraska to expand the number of classes offered. Contact Nate at 402-719-7853 or email@example.com.
Role of Environmental Factors in Parkinson’s Development Investigated in Review Study
February 4, 2019
The hallmark presence of Lewy bodies in the pathway related to sense of smell and in the gut years before a Parkinson’s diagnosis, as well as the potential cumulative impact of different triggers, may help researchers understand the environmental factors that contribute to the development of the disease, according to a review study.