PNMD general support group meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month from 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2100 Tice Valley Blvd, Walnut Creek, CA 94595. General questions may be directed to Abraham Raja at (925) 304-2064, or Lance Gershen at (925) 932-1028.

FEEDBACK- Please give us your feedback from the meetings and the presentations. It helps determine content for future of PNMD events. Click on this link here-   Feedback

Except as otherwise noted, each meeting will follow the agenda below:

9:00 to 10:15 a.m. – Three concurrent meetings.  No RSVP’s needed. All are welcome, and there is no charge:

  1. Men with Parkinson’s Disease Only: For men newly diagnosed or who’ve had PD for years:  time to share, laugh, and learn from each other.  Meeting location is the Fireside Room at Grace Church.  Contact person is Derek Ransley, 925-944-0162,
  1. Women with Parkinson’s Disease Only: For women newly diagnosed or who’ve had PD for years:  time to share, laugh, and learn from each other.  Meeting location is the Library at Grace Church.  Contact person is Rosemary Way, 925-476-5661,
  1. Caregivers Only: Caregivers discuss issues relating to their roles. Meeting location is the Sanctuary at Grace Church.  Contact person is Jan Alioto, 925-890-8937,

10:15 to 10:45 – Assemble in the Oak Room for refreshments, welcoming new members, and announcements. The general meeting is moderated by Bill Clinch.  The PNMD Library with books, flyers, and videos is open at this time.

10:45 to 11:45 – Guest speaker.

11:45 to noon – Q&A and wrap-up.

Upcoming Guest Speakers:

April 13, 2019 – Tri-Valley Support Group, Pleasanton

Presentation:  Agility Neuro Physical Therapy
Speaker:  Dr. Priti Chitale, PT, DPT

Dr. Chitale works with her patients on exercises and activities to retrain/relearn movements of daily life such as getting in and out of bed, getting in and out a car, standing, ability to use arms while standing, walking.

Presentation:  Rock Steady Boxing
Presenter:  Lori Santo

Lori trained as certified Rock Steady Boxing Coach.  Today she commits her time to RSB East Bay training and coaching students from the Parkinson’s community. Rock Steady Boxing empowers people with Parkinson’s to fight back.

April 20, 2019 – General Meeting
Michael J. Fox Foundation
 for Parkinson’s Research

Speakers:  Mary McQuillen, Advancement Officer
                    Jennifer Riedel, Associate Director
Presentation:  Overview of MJFF’s Mission and Updates

Topics will include:

  • an update on promising Parkinson’s disease research
  • the latest legislation that impacts the lives of people with Parkinson’s
  • priority areas for Parkinson’s policy work
  • information on how to get involved with clinical research through Fox Trial Finder and Fox Insight

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today. Since inception in 2000, 88 cents of every dollar spent by MJFF has gone straight to grants and initiatives to speed a cure for Parkinson’s. To date, the Foundation has funded more than $800 million in research to bring an end to Parkinson’s disease. For more information, visit

May 18, 2019 – General Meeting

Presentation:  Physical Therapy and Exercise for PD
Speaker:  Brianna Munson, PT

The presentation will VERY briefly cover the pathophysiology of PD and then dive into the research focusing on what interventions are most effective (and least) at improving Parkinson’s symptoms.  The main lens will be from a physical therapy and exercise perspective.  The different components of balance will also be discussed, including how to improve balance to decrease fall risk.

Brianna Munson graduated from UCSF with a doctorate in Physical Therapy and works part-time at Lafayette Physical Therapy, as well as with private clients in their homes.  She specializes in helping those with neurological diagnoses, including gait and balance impairments.  She works often with individuals with Parkinson’s.

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