Parkinson Resource Center at La Tech expands outreach

Source: KNOE
Source: KNOE(KNOE)
Published: Feb. 6, 2020 at 11:24 PM CST
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The Parkinson Resource Center (PRC) at Louisiana Tech started as an extension of the Edmond J. Safra program with the Parkinson Foundation. Now, it has taken on a life of its own.

The program is centered around improving the quality of life of people living with Parkinson’s Disease. It offers educational resources and group fitness classes to PD patients. The program has collaborated with Rock Steady Boxing, a non-contact fitness organization for PD patients.

Just this week, PRC launched a Dance for PD program that will give people living with Parkinson’s disease the opportunity to express themselves through dance. The first class was offered on Wednesday.

With the help of students, the PRC program is expanding. The Student Scholars program gives nursing students the opportunity to get hands-on experience, making a difference in the lives of patients.

Lauren Tompkins, a sophomore nursing student, is a part of this year’s Student Scholar program. Through this program, she said she became more informed about what Parkinson’s disease is, and wanted to become more involved. She said nursing itself is a path she chose because she wanted to help people.

"It really brought to my attention, hey, I like caring for people and I like helping people so I went with that and I stuck with it," Tompkins said.

Dr. Donna Hood helped bring this program to life. In collaboration with people all over campus such as speech pathologists and nurses. Hood says the program helps her make a difference in the lives of Parkinson’s patients.

"The Parkinson's Foundation has been a great partner with us, but to be able to connect them and put them in the hands of folks locally, that's what we see as one of our big missions,” Dr. Hood said.

Dr. Hood says she is excited to see the PRC continue to grow and connect with more resources in the area.