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Welcome to the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association

Welcome to the website for the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association. Our mission is to "Ease the Burden, To Find A Cure" for the people with Parkinson's Disease and their caregivers in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Our goal is to provide education, support and socialization. Along with educational information found on our website will hold many event, both educational and social during the year and there is something for everyone. Please feel free to call: 401-736-1046 with any questions that maybe of concern to you. You may email us at:

Our mailing address is:

American Parkinson Disease Association- Rhode Island Chapter

PO Box 41659

Providence, Rhode Island 02940

Friends & Family Support Group is canceled for Saturday

Due to tomorrows predicted snow storm,  we are cancelling our Friends & Family Support Group for this Saturday. Sorry for any inconvenience but want to make sure everyone stays safe!  We look forward to seeing you in February! For more info....

2014 Rhode Island "Matching Grant Challenge"

A great opportunity has been presented to RI APDA that will help further our mission to "ease the burden" and we are asking for your help!

We are pleased to announce that an anonymous donor has issued a fundraising challenge to the Rhode Island Chapter APDA. The challenge is for RI APDA to raise $40,000 in 2014 and if achieved, the anonymous donor will contribute another $20,000 for a total campaign amount of $60,000!  This money will remain in Rhode Island and will be earmarked for Patient Care Services. Any donation received during 2014 will be Challenge Grant eligible, I know together we can, with your help, achieve the goal.  No gift is too small.


Bob Preston's " 2014 OPTIMISM CAN TAKE YOU ANYWHERE!" campaign


Raising funds for "Patient Care Services in RI"!

I enjoyed a very successful 33 year career in the insurance industry building a large insurance organization before retiring in 2011, at age 53, the very top of my career, due to the effects of Parkinson's Disease.

The irony:  While retiring early was positively NOT my first choice, I have since discovered that at the same time my day job was ending, I was unwittingly discovering my new life's calling, Supporting PD patients and Funding A Cure!  To learn more....

Winter Support Group Schedule Changes

Wishing all our members a Happy Winter!

There will be no meeting in December for the Cranton & Newport Groups!

During the winter months some support groups change their monthly scheduled meeting times. Please check with the support group leader to confirm that your meetings will take place. A complete list of support group contacts can be found on this website by clicking the Support Group tab at the top of this page.  For additional information you may call Mary Ellen at 736-1046.

January 30th -Knock Out Parkinson's at Pancho O'Malleys

Mark your calendars for January 30th for a fun night at Pancho O'Malley's to support  RI APDA and Rock Steady Boxing NE! Meet Rich Gingras, New England Light Heavyweight Champion! 

To Register/Donate follow this link:

For more information about this event please check out the attached flyer.... 

February 7th - NEW Young Onset "Optimism Club" Support Group Meets in Pawtucket

Please consider join us on Saturday, February 7th for our next Young Onset Parkinson's Support Group, serving northern RI and SE Massachusetts. We will meet at Fight2fitness Gym 65 Blackstone Ave in Pawtucket. This group will meet the first Saturday each month at 11:00 AM and will be facilitated by Rich Gingras from Rock Steady Boxing New England.  For more information about this group please contact Rich at 508-316-6520. 

February 10th -Atria Lincoln Place "Lunch & Learn" with Dr Norman Gordon

On Tuesday, February 10th at 12:00PM, the Atria Lincoln Place Support Group and Teva Neuroscience will host a lunch & lecture, "Living Well with Parkinson's Disease". Our guest speaker will be Dr Norman Gordon, a neurologist from East Providence.  Seating is limited and RSVP's are required. Please RSVP to Mary Ellen at 401-736-1046. For more information about this group please contact support group leader, Maria at 401-334-1686 ext 18. Valet Parking will be available upon request.

February 10th- Chapter Board Meeting

The next  meeting of the APDA Rhode Island Chapter will be on on Tuesday, February 10th at 6:30PM. We meet the second Tuesday each month at Kent Hospital in the Westmoreland Conference Room on the first floor. This meeting is open to the public and all are welcome.


February 14th- Deep Brain Stimulation Support Group

The Deep Brain Stimulation Support Group will meet on Saturday, February 14th at 10 am at Kent Hospital in the Doctors Auditorium. This will be a general discussion meeting with both those who have had DBS and those who would like to learn more about it. Kim Givens from Medtronic will be in attendance!

New Study to Evaluate Speech and Swallowing Before and After DBS!

There is a new research study recruiting participants to evaluate speech and swallowing both before and after Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery.  The study will be conducted at the University of Rhode Island Speech and Hearing Centers two locations. You may chose the URI Campus in Kingston or their Independence Square location in Pawtucket. For more information please review their flyer....

Dance for our Aging Population- 8 week pilot begins in February

Dance for our Aging Population - DAP now meets at Brown University, Ashamu Dance Studio 77 Waterman St Providence, RI. These classes are under the direction of Rachal Balaban, Regional Coordinator for Dance for PD assisted by Brown University students. They meet on Thursdays from 11:00  to 12:15 PM. The class is open to our aging population and designed for people with movement challenges. No experience required, Caregivers are welcome. Classes are free! For more information....

The 16th Annual Race Walk & Roll for Parkinson Disease - September 13, 2014


Donations keep rolling in!! 

As of November 1st..... $75,446.36 !!!!!

Thank you all for your continued generosity and support!!

Our 16th Annual Race, Walk & Roll for Parkinson's Disease was very successful! Over 1000 people in attendance and 55 teams registered. Our RI APDA families and friends raised  $70,699.26 with additional donations still coming in!!!! We will update the team totals and post pictures during this week!

Special thank you to our presenting sponsor Care New England and all our sponsors, teams  families, friends and especially our hard working volunteers! We could not do this with out you!

To see our Race results click here:


Rock Steady Boxing at Fight2Fitness Gym in Pawtucket!

Rock Steady Boxing New England (RSBNE) provides an effective form of physical exercise for people who are living with Parkinson's. RSBNE is an affiliate of Rock Steady Boxing, a non-profit gym in Indianapolis founded in 2006 by former Marion County (Indiana) prosecutor Scott C. Newman who was diagnosed with Parkinon's at age 40.  This new exercise program is now available in Rhode Island at Fight2FitnessGym, 65 Blackstone Ave. Pawtucket, RI. To find out more check them out online at: or call 401-728-2039. Click through to see their flyer. 

Don McCarthy- This years LifeTime Achievement Award Recipient

On September 13th the Rhode Island Chapter presented Don with our "Lifetime Achievement Award" for a lifetime of service to our country and his active participation in our chapter!

On June 6th we remembered those who hit the beaches of Normandy and saved the world our thoughts are with our friend Don McCarthy.  Don returned to that beach this past summer to remember friends lost and heroes born. This article written by George Morse for AAA tells some of Don's thoughts as he planned for this memorable trip back to that beach, to that moment in history. All Don's friends at RI APDA wish him safe passage on his journey and we thank him for...his service and our FREEDOM!

Current Research Opportunities

Many members of RI APDA have participated or are currently participating in research studies at varies sites. We will now maintain a list of ongoing research studies that are available for those who are interested. As researchers make us aware of new studies they will be added to our website. For questions about participation.....

New studies at URI!

PD Exercise Instructors- Your help is needed!

In the next few weeks, the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Connecticut will be sending out a research survey that focuses on gathering information on both a statewide and national level on the structure and intensity of Parkinson's exercise classes available to individuals with Parkinson's in each state. The end goal of our research is to provide an effective representation for each state of the exercise classes available for Parkinson's patients. Therefore, if there are any Parkinson's exercise class instructors who would like to lend assistance in providing more information about their classes in a short survey that will be sent out it would be greatly appreciated. Our goal is to capture the input and feedback from as many Parkinson's exercise class instructors in each state as possible to ensure that each state and region of the United States is equally and effectively represented in the research publication that will result from this research study.

For more information about the study please contact Tim Isselee at the University of Connecticut:

Brown Research Study Seeks Participants

Researchers at Brown University are seeking participants to help them learn and better understand how Parkinson's disease affects the brain during motor skill learning. For more information about this study please click through to review their flyer!

Breaking News

This new section on our website will keep you up to date on the latest articles found on the internet regarding Parkinson's disease. Just follow through to the next page and click on the links provided to be taken to articles of interest....

VA to Extend Benefits for Tramatic Brain Injury for those who also have Parkinson's

WASHINGTON – Some Veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who are diagnosed with any of five other ailments will have an easier path to receive additional disability pay under new regulations developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.The new regulation, which takes effect 30 days from today, impacts some Veterans living with TBI who also have Parkinson's disease, certain types of dementia, depression, unprovoked seizures or certain diseases of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. To read the full press release.......

Making the Connection Between Brain and Behavior, Second Edition

Dr Joseph Friedman's new book is now available!

"Making the Connection Between Brain and Behavior, Second Edition"

The only complete and up-to-date book addressing the most common behavioral symptoms of Parkinson's Disease (PD), including depression, anxiety, hallucinations, disrupted sleep, and compulsive behavior. For more information....

Join RI APDA Chapter facebook group

   Yes!! Rhode Island APDA has it's own group on Facebook. Use this social networking site to meet others in RI and across the country who have or care about someone with Parkinson's disease.!/groups/119816945170/

Yoga Classes at the Kent Y for Individuals with Movement & Balance Disorders


The New and Improved Kent Y now has New & Improved Classes for People with Movement & Balance Disorders. Kent YMCA has Yoga classes with you in mind. For more information....