MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center receives community grant to support Parkinson’s Wellness Program

MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center is the recipient of a community grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation to support its Parkinson’s Wellness Program — part of the MemorialCare Rehabilitation Institute.

The Parkinson’s Wellness Program is specifically tailored to meet the needs of those affected by Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers. It’s guided by evidence-based practices and is provided under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist with specialized training in Parkinson’s and neurological rehabilitation.

By the time of diagnosis, people with Parkinson’s have already greatly reduced their overall level of physical activity, yet only 12 to 15 percent of these individuals are ever referred to fitness programs or medical therapies.

“This grant funds initiatives that reach patients newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease by providing services for our diverse community that may otherwise not be available without this grant,” says Mary Margaret Montgomery, MPT, clinical operations director, MemorialCare Rehabilitation Institute, Long Beach Medical Center. “The funding allows our care team to provide expert care to our patients and families as they navigate their symptoms.”

The Parkinson’s Wellness Program includes moderate to high level exercise interventions and is designed to teach participants how to use high-effort movement activation, and provide strategies for better posture and balance, and everyday function. Speech interventions also are
incorporated and designed to improve vocal clarity and build breath support for more audible speech and help build confidence in communication abilities.

“We are proud to continue to provide community grants and expand programs and resources that focus on diverse and underserved populations within the Parkinson’s Disease community,” said John L. Lehr, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation. “With COVID-19 impacting the world and the Parkinson’s community as a whole, this is a vital year for the Parkinson’s Foundation to provide funding for grant recipients who remain committed and undeterred in their commitment to make life better for people with
Parkinson’s.”

Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the MemorialCare Rehabilitation Institute at Long Beach Medical Center offers physical therapy, speech therapy and language therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation and cancer rehabilitation, in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. Rehabilitation patients have access to three gyms, a hydrotherapy pool and the latest in rehabilitation equipment. The MemorialCare Rehabilitation Institute also provides Transitional Rehabilitation Services (TRS) — a post-acute home and community treatment program to help patients reacclimate to home — the only-hospital sponsored program of its kind in the Los Angeles area specializing in brain and spinal cord injury.

In 2020 the Parkinson’s Foundation awarded more than $1.5 million in community grants, ranging from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000 per grant application. Since 2011, the Parkinson’s Foundation has funded more than 436 community-based programs that help address unmet needs for people with Parkinson’s Disease.

About MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center
MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center has been providing the community with compassionate, quality health care for more than 100 years. While leading in specialized care, research and education, Long Beach Medical Center uses the most advanced health care technologies – it is the only hospital in L.A. County with the innovative ExactechGPS® and ExcelsiusGPS® surgical systems. Long Beach Medical Center is ranked no. 7 in the Los Angeles Metro Area by U.S. News & World Report and has earned Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence. With leading centers for cancer, heart, rehabilitation, orthopedics, neurology and trauma, physicians and surrounding hospitals continually refer to its accredited programs. For more information, visit memorialcare.org/LongBeach.

About the Parkinson’s Foundation
The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson’s community. For more information, visit www.parkinson.org or call (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).

About Parkinson’s Disease
Affecting nearly one million Americans and 10 million worldwide, Parkinson’s Disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the United States. It is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression), as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety). There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

This article was released by MemorialCare Health System.