People with Parkinson’s & Caregivers Support Groups

When most people receive the diagnosis “You have beginning stages of Parkinson’s…,” reactions can be denial, fear, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, and “What do I do now?”

Doctors, as competent and wonderful as they may be, are trained to inform patients from the clinical perspective. While that is necessary in order to begin this unexpected (and unwelcome!) change in one’s life, what is really needed now that the newly-diagnosed person with Parkinson’s has been medically informed is:

1. Education about the future with Parkinson’s disease, and

2. A plan for living well with it.

The place to begin is getting information, doing personal research, sharing the news with family and close friends, and finding support and a “road map” for this new journey. Support groups are composed of other people who are going down the same road and have an understanding that no one else could really have. They offer helpful advice, suggestions and ideas for coping with difficult situations – because they have experienced many of the same things. However, the most significant thing the support groups can provide is a safe place where difficult discussions can take place in confidence and where understanding, acceptance and encouragement are present, always available and only a phone call or text message away.

4th Saturday Support Groups for People with Parkinson’s Disease and their Family, Caregivers, and Friends

The Parkinson’s Outreach Association provides activities, unique exercise programs, educational seminars, and helpful and educational literature that answer questions including: “What is Parkinson’s, why do I have it, what do I do now, what are treatments, what is the prognosis, what doctors do I need, etc.?” In addition, we offer a support group for people with Parkinson’s, and a separate support group for caregivers. The meetings take place simultaneously, but in separate rooms on the fourth Saturday of each month (except November and December) from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Parkinson’s Outreach Association office (285 Pinewood Drive, Tallahassee, Florida 32303). Both groups provide the opportunity to discuss concerns, ask questions, encourage each other and enjoy the socialization in a comfortable and confidential environment.

2nd Thursday Support Group Meeting (Health and Wellness)

The 2nd Thursday Support Group, sponsored by Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, invites speakers from various professions to present the latest information on Parkinson’s-specific areas of interest, as well as topics of significant importance to our Parkinson’s constituency. The group meets at the Parkinson’s Outreach Association’s office in Tallahassee on the second Thursday of each month from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.  For more information on the TMH Parkinson’s Support Group, please call 850-431-5002.  For a list of our speakers, past and upcoming, please see below.

We invite and encourage anyone on this journey, including people with Parkinson’s as well as their caregivers and families, to call our office and find out how, when and where to get connected with an amazing group of people who will be more than happy to welcome you into our Parkinson’s family. Together, we can learn and search for ways to live well with Parkinson’s – you are not alone!

Contact us at (850) 364-0230 or for more information.


2nd Thursday – Upcoming Speakers

December 12 – HOLIDAY PARTY at the office!!  In lieu of our regularly scheduled 2nd Thursday speaker, please join us for an evening of sweet treats with friends as we come together for holiday cheer to celebrate a year of peace, hope, love, health and happiness!  The party starts at 4:30 PM and lasts until the lights are out!

2nd Thursday – Past Speakers


Nov. 14 – Dr. Sheila Baez-Torres, Neurologist – Movement Problems in Parkinson’s Disease and the Use of GOCOVRI® (extended release amantadine)

Oct. 10 – Geno Santopadre, President, Parkinson’s Outreach Association, and Marketing Director, Home Instead Senior Care – Home Health Help and Parkinson’s Disease

Sept. 12 – Dr. Julie Schwartzbard, MD – INBRIJA™ (levodopa inhalation powder)
and Helaine Gregory – Medicare, Part D & Branded Drugs

August 8 – Dr. Teresa Hunter, Physical Therapist – LSVT Big and Loud®

July 11 – Dr. Tara Kimbason – What are the Needs of the Parkinson’s Community?

June 13 – Dr. Lance Kim, Lori Cheronis – Management of Off Episodes (Apokyn)

May 9 – Pam Mezzina, LCSW – Resiliency Tips for Coping with Chronic Illness

April 11 – Lori Cate, PT – Benefits of Physical Therapy and Preventing Falls

March 14 – Nicolette Castagna, MPH – Mindfulness, Meditation, and Relaxation

February 14 – Lola Brognano, LCSW – The Art of Caring for Yourself and Others

January 10 – John Howland, Boston Scientific – Deep Brain Stimulation (“DBS”)



December 13, 2018 – Meredith Burchfield, Surterra – Medical Marijuana

November 8 – Kim Galban, Lighthouse of the Big Bend – Vision Loss

October 11 – Bethany Campbell – Surterra – Medical Marijuana (cancelled due to Hurricane Michael)

September 13 – Melanie Lachman, LCSW, Tallahassee Senior Center – Social Isolation and the New UPSLIDE Program

August 9 – Dr. Frank Watson, D.C. – Parkinson’s Disease and Chiropractic Care

July 12 – Adrianne Gurley, MS, OTR/L – LSVT Big® Exercise Therapy

June 14 – Dr. Alexandria Calderone – Optimal Health with Parkinson’s Disease

May 10 – Ria Unzalu, RN – Parkinson’s and the Management of OFF Episodes (Apokyn)

April 12 – Katlynn Alumbaugh, PharmD – Medication and Parkinson’s Disease

March 8 – Nicolette Constagna – Life After Diagnosis

February 8 – Kristi Riggio, Medtronic – Deep Brain Stimulation (“DBS”)

January 11 – Marghi McClearn, Marghi’s Joy – Ageless Grace® Brain Body Fitness



December 14 – Judy Shipman, LCSW – Coping with the Holidays

November 9 – Susan Maas, Marketing Manager – Mulligan Park Retirement Living

October 12 – Dr. Kurt Gray, PT/DPT, FAMU – Physical Therapy and Parkinson’s Disease

August 10 – Ashley Gardner, PT, Center Pointe Rehab Hospital – LSVT Loud and Big®

July 13 – Brett Holbert, RN, US WorldMeds – Apokyn Awareness for PD Patients and Caregivers

June 8 – Yolanda Hue, Life Transition Specialist – Tapestry Senior Living of Tallahassee

May 11 – Brittany Mohney, MSW, MTBC – Music Therapy Can Improve Quality of Life

April 13 – Teresa Hunter, DPT – Gadgets and Physical Therapy Research Update

March 9 – Brooke Hartenstein, Research Coordinator – Parkinson’s Research Updates



December – no mtg

November – no mtg

October 13 – Kurt Gray, PT/DPT – Parkinson’s Welless Recovery

September 8 – Princess Pittman – Lifeline

August 11 – DeAnne Bruner, RD, LDN, LNHA – The Role of Nutrition in the Care of Parkinson’s

July 14 – Stacy Miller – Benefits of Massage Therapy

June 9 – Holly Bernardo, LMFT, Ability 1st – Caring for Caregivers

May 12 – Marghi McClearn, Marghi’s Joy – Ageless Grace®: A Fitness and Wellness Program

April 14 – Carla Clymo – Benefits of Art Therapy for People with Parkinson’s Disease

March 10 – Fyzical Therapy and Balance Center of Tallahassee

February 11 – Brian Moran, RN – Hopewell InHome Senior Care

January 14 – Mike Floyd, Abbvie – Parkinson’s Medications



June 11 – Soheyla Mahdavian, PharmD – Parkinson’s Disease and Medications

March 12 – Marghi McClearn, Marghi’s Joy – Ageless Grace®

February 12 – Jaclyn Williams, MSW, PhD – Loneliness, Older Adults, and the Use of Technology

2nd Thursday Support Group

December 12 – HOLIDAY PARTY at the office!!  In lieu of our regularly scheduled 2nd Thursday speaker, please join us for an evening of sweet treats with friends as we come together with holiday cheer to celebrate a year of peace, hope, love, health and happiness!  The party starts at 4:30 PM and lasts until the lights are out!

4th Saturday Support Groups

The December 28th meeting is canceled to give everyone extra time with their family and friends to celebrate the holidays.  Our meetings will resume on Saturday, January 25th at 10: a.m.

Regular schedule (except December): 4th Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.


Parkinson’s Outreach Association
285 Pinewood Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32303
(850) 364-0230