I returned Sunday from Denver where I participated in the national rollout of the most exciting self-help program for PD that I have ever experienced. Tampa Bay is one of eight metro areas chosen to pilot a national training program like no other. It provides Parkies the knowledge and tools to become masters of their treatment in order bend their PD trajectory in the right direction.
Tampa joins Richmond, Detroit, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Boulder and Philadelphia in piloting this national program. One Parkie evaluator called it “life changing.” (I enthusiastically agree it will accomplish that for most enrollees.) The presenting organization is the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.
The program is Self-Efficacy Training customized for PD. Between 26 and 36 newly diagnosed Parkies and their helpmates will meet once every month in two and one-half-hour sessions. They will start in September 2016 and finish in June 2017. Participants will acquire the disciplines and skills necessary to take charge of their condition, becoming captains of their treatment teams.
This contrasts with the all-too-common wandering in the PD jungle of confusion and ignorance dealt many new Parkies today. I will co-lead our program with Sherry Harlan, an experienced and dedicated USF health administrator.
For me, this program is a high point in my work to help Parkies escape the passivity and despondency that grips many newly diagnosed Parkies.
I also learned today that Hillsborough is getting its first Rock Steady Boxing program. It is owned and directed by an experienced therapist I trust. It will open soon in the Westshore area near downtown Tampa. The only existing Tampa Bay program is in Pinellas County just east of Indian Rocks Beach, a very long haul from most of Hillsborough County. I will transfer my Rock Steady training, halving the 94-mile roundtrip. It will need recruits beyond me. Interested Parkies should email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.