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Professional Education Spring Update

In our latest professional education update, find out how Stephanie Stewart, MSN, RN-BC, created a free exercise program for people with PD and what recent Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Scholars are doing to help people live better with Parkinson's.

Scholar Highlight: Stephanie Stewart, MSN, RN-BC, Assistant Professor, Missouri Western State University, MO

In May 2018, Stephanie Stewart attended The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at the University of Toledo. The training and experiences she received, convinced Stephanie that she had to find a way to improve the quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. After returning to Missouri, Stewart sought out others interested in making a difference and found two women who shared her passion and drive. Dr. Maureen Raffensperger (physical therapist), and Tara Patterson (martial arts and boxing instructor) worked together with Stephanie to create a free exercise program for people with Parkinson’s in St. Joseph, MO. In December 2018, Live with PD! was born and began offering three boxing classes and one BIG exercise (based on LSVT Big) per week. Later that month, Live with PD! joined the Freudenthal Family (a home health entity) and became the Freudenthal Center for Parkinson’s Disease.

As of February 1, 2019, 20 people with Parkinson’s began exercising at the Center. An average of eight men and women attend boxing classes during the day while four attend the BIG classes in the evening. Recognizing the popularity of boxing, the Center began offering two more boxing classes at night. Additionally, the Center will begin offering a Singing for PD class in March after receiving training from Dr. Elizabeth Stegemoller at Iowa State University. The center plans to begin offering even more PD-tailored classes, such as cycling, dancing, yoga for exercise plus caregiver support, education programs, social services support and a navigator program led by Stephanie in Summer 2019. The goal is to provide all these resources for free and to help as many people as possible live better with PD!

The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at the Parkinson’s Foundation thanks Stephanie for her creativity, interest and enthusiasm for setting up these programs for people with Parkinson’s. 

Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Scholars Heading to the World Parkinson’s Congress

Fifteen Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Scholars will be headed to the World Parkinson’s Congress in Kyoto, Japan in June 2019, along with many host site nurse coordinators and their staff. Scholar presentations will include living well with PD, impact of missed/omitted medications in PD, experiences of caregivers, interdisciplinary student learning about PD, nurse navigation in PD and more. We will share photos and reports from Kyoto this summer.

Recent presentations and projects by Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Scholars

Laura Brennan, MS, RN (Safra scholar 2018) has designed an interactive session for new nursing graduates at the Elmhurst Hospital Nurse Residency training, Elmhurst, IL. Each residency group (new hires) will complete the program, which occurs up to two times per year. Laura also presented on PD to her nursing department colleagues during a lunch and learn at Elmhurst College, IL, and her Nursing 309 class. 

Diane Ellis, MSN, RN, (Safra scholar 2009) presented on the importance of Parkinson’s nursing care and medications during the recent “Caring for Vulnerable Populations: Improving Care” symposium at Villanova, PA, on February 21, 2019. Many nurses who attended shared that despite being a nurse and teaching other nurses for many years, they had no knowledge of Parkinson’s care and the importance of giving medications on time. Many also shared personal stories of friends or relatives that could benefit from understanding the risks to their well-being during hospitalization and care transitions. Diane will also present at the upcoming Quality and Safety in Nursing Education International Forum (QSEN) , May 29-31, Cleveland, OH, “An Intraprofessional Mock Code: Nurse Anesthesia and Baccalaureate Nursing Students- Parkinson’s Patient Missed/Delayed/Omitted Medication Unfolding Case Study Simulation.”

Pictured: Professor Ellis (front, right) with her team at Villanova University, PA.
Laura and Diane’s work, like other Edmond J. Safra Nurse Scholars, brings PD nursing care knowledge to the nursing student classroom and beyond, reaching new audiences.

Upcoming Programs for Nurses

On May 7, 2019, at 1 p.m. EST Nursing Solutions, a webinar series will feature “Transitions in Parkinson’s Disease Care” by Diane Ellis, MSN, RN, Melissa O’Connor, PhD, RN and Shelley Hickey, MSN, RN, all of Villanova University, PA. Transitions from home to hospital, hospital to rehab or another care facility and even to home again pose complications for many with Parkinson’s. Learn about the essential features of transitional care and how nurses can advocate for and improve these transitions of care for those with PD. 

APPLY NOW: Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Programs at the Parkinson’s Foundation

Apply for the 2019 and 2020 upcoming Nurse Faculty Programs. The program has applied to 50 nursing contact hours. Visit for full details and to apply today.

Apply Now

June 11-12: Struthers’ Parkinson Center, MN
July 16-17: University of Pennsylvania, PA
July 11-12: University of Toledo, OH
Sept 9-10: Swedish Neuroscience Center, Seattle, WA
Sept 16-17: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Feb 24-27: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
May 18-19: Boston University, MA
Oct 22-23: Muhammad Ali Center, Phoenix, AZ

Note: More dates and locations to be announced soon for 2020.

Expert Care Experience
Fri, 03/22/2019
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