The sixth annual Living Well With Parkinson's Disease was held at Antiochian Village August 12-14. Throughout the weekend’s retreat, 91 attendees participated in programs and activities which focused of self-management strategies for improving and maintaining physical and mental health and social capital.
This year’s retreat theme emphasized the “Treatment Triangle” wherein individuals were encouraged to address their health through the integration of managing physical symptoms (“UP”), the emotional/mental impact of PD on themselves (“IN”), and the impact of PD in their relationship with others (“OUT”). The idea behind this philosophy is the interconnectedness of the physical, inner-personal and inter-personal aspects of managing Parkinson's disease. Each aspect affects the other either positively and negatively. All of our speakers did a wonderful job of not only presenting information on their areas of expertise but also by illustrating the synergistic health outcome in addressing the disease in such a holistic manner.
Our speakers this year were exceptional and they even spent much of the break and personal times working with individuals. This year’s retreat featured:
Paul Short, PhD, “The Parkinson's Coach”, is a neuropsychologist specializing in work with individuals and families touched by Parkinson's disease. Dr. Short writes a regular blog for the American Parkinson's Disease Association (APDA) and also on his website, Living Well With Parkinson's (www.yourparkinsonsfamily.com). In his private practice, he translates his understanding of neurocognitive processes into management strategies targeting quality of life, relationship coaching, and other challenges unique to Parkinson's. He earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Texas A&M University and completed fellowships with the Maryland Veteran's Administration and the University of Maryland Medical School's Department of Neurology. Dr. Short serves on the Maryland Psychological Association's diversity committee and is a member of the International Neuropsychological Society, the American Psychological Association and an associate member of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychologists.
Deborah Grice Conway, PhD, has more than 20 years of clinical experience as a psychotherapist, treating depression, anxiety disorders, and stress-related health conditions. Her work is based on a holistic perspective that incorporates the mind, body, and spirit, and focuses on the client's strengths. Treatment specialties include cardiac coherence biofeedback, EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medical hypnosis. In addition to her work at UPMC Shadyside, Center for Integrated Medicine, Dr. Conway is also a professor of psychology at the Community College of Allegheny County has a private psychotherapy practice and acts as a psychological consultant for the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.
Mary Spremulli, MS, CCC-SLP, resides in SW Florida, where she holds a speech- language pathology and nursing license. She is founder of: Voice Aerobics, LLC, a private practice, and is the author of: Voice Aerobics DVD™, Voice Aerobics Grand Slam ™, and Voice Aerobics™ Songbirds CD, voice and exercise programs. The Voice Aerobics™ family of products blends the art and science of voice therapy into fun programs designed to be used independently by patients, and which may maximize function and reduce speech and voice symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. Ms. Spremulli has worked in the health care field for over 25 years, and has lectured nationally and internationally on health related topics. Ms. Spremulli has published in the area of Clinical Ethics and Patients Education, and her blog has recently been selected as one of the top 49 blogs about Parkinson's disease by healthcare Technicians.org.
Read more at her blog: http://voiceaerobicsdvd.blogspot.com/
Roxann Diez Gross, PhD, Research Manager at The Children’s Institute and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders at the University of Pittsburgh, is a leading expert, researcher, and lecturer on tracheostomy-dependent patients. Through her research, Dr. Gross determined the high incidence of dysphagia and risk of aspiration pneumonia among Parkinson's disease patients is partially attributable to impaired coordination of breathing and swallowing. Dr. Gross found the majority of participants with Parkinson’s breathed differently while swallowing than those without Parkinson’s. After teaching patients how to re-coordinate breathing and swallowing patterns, she’s stopped or significantly reduced the risk of aspiration in patients with Parkinson's disease.
As in past years, the response from the participants was outstanding and overwhelmingly in favor of continuing to present this unique weekend. In fact, even our speakers recognize the Living Well With Parkinson's Disease retreat as an exceptional event and one that should be replicated in other areas. Read Mary’s and Paul’s blogs by clicking on the links below.
The Parkinson's Coach™