The National Parkinson Foundation Minnesota has been active across greater Minnesota, helping to create Parkinson Friendly Communities in Fargo, N.D., Alexandria and Willmar, and this year expanded its efforts in St. Cloud and Mankato.
Through a generous grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation, NPFM has been working towards creating awareness about PD in a state that ranks third in the nation in Parkinson’s patients per capita.
Here’s a look at what NPFM has been up to in each community, in addition to a look forward.
Fargo: NPFM hosted guest speaker Liz Ogren, founder of Pedal and Roll, for a community biking and informational session. Training events for medical staff were also hosted.
Alexandria: TULIPS training for caregiving staff was provided; hosted a Nordic walking event, including training for staff; provided Nordic walking poles for the community to use indoors and outdoors to help stay active.
Willmar: Training for physical and speech therapists in the LSVT BIG and LOUD programs; an adaptive walking path was constructed to help people learn to navigate different walking surfaces and complete household tasks; NPFM paired with Liz Ogren for a two-day event, highlighted by a “Prospering with Parkinson’s” discussion on day one followed by a Pedal and Roll event on day two, allowing individuals to utilize adaptive bikes and Nordic walking poles.
St. Cloud: NPFM has been received well in the community. Several guest speakers have been lined up, and individuals in the community are currently working with NPFM to have PD-specific exercise training brought to the area.
Mankato: NPFM has made its first steps in the community, including providing guest speaker Susan Gangsei for National Caregivers Month in November.