Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Home, Keep Moving
PD-Connect® is Live Streaming Virtual Classes on Zoom.
Due to the shelter in place, we will be offering all of our classes as online Zoom classes instead. Please stay safe and healthy.
Welcome To PD-Connect
PD-Connect® is a nonprofit organization that serves Parkinson’s pioneers in the San Francisco Bay Area through customized group exercise, neurologically and research-based movement programs.
PD-Connect is an ever-widening community for those who share the PD journey: Spouses, family members, friends and caregivers are encouraged to become involved and draw upon the positive energy that is demonstrated through program participants.
PD-Connect provides donation-based classes for all those living with Parkinson’s disease.
What Is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder that affects the cells in the brain. Symptoms vary greatly from person to person. Symptoms can include slowness of movement, stiffness, tremor, or balance and gait problems. For many patients of PD, frequent bouts of cognitive imbalance are common. And let’s not forget, there is no cure for PD at this time.
What We Value
We are guided by these core values that give us purpose & direction in all that we do:
Kindness and Compassion
We strive to be gentle with ourselves and others, knowing that everyone is doing the very best they can.
Sense of Belonging
PD-Connect fosters relationships and community. It strives to create an atmosphere of inclusion for all who join with us.
Each day presents a gift of life and the opportunity for adventure.
We value the special contribution every individual brings to our community.
PD-Connect honors the goodness and uniqueness in every participant.
We strive to unlock the reservoir of happiness and hope that lies within each of us!
Exercise is medicine, but all exercise is NOT created equal
Research-based and an integration of meaningful movements as seen through the eyes of a physical therapist specializing in Parkinson’s. PD-Connect classes draw from a variety of Parkinson’s-specific protocols, including OhioHealth’s Delay The Disease™ (The #1 Parkinson’s Exercise Program), PWR!Moves®, NeuroMotorTraining (Karl Sterling), Brian Grant Foundation Boot Camp, Dance for PD®, ParkinsonWise, YogaReach Mindful Movement for Parkinson’s Disease, and adapted movements from martial arts and sports. The focus of each class centers around the principles of cardiovascular health, cognitive well-being, and core-strengthening, all tailored to address the predominant symptoms of PD. The goal of each class is to improve functional mobility, neuroplasticity, balance, strength, voice, cognition, posture, confidence, reduction of freezing, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!
New Classes & Programs
First BIG Step Program
First BIG Step Program
For newly diagnosed people with Parkinson’s disease, it’s essential to “get off on the right foot.” Our aim is to deliver in underserved areas a PD-focused exercise program featuring a motivational, dynamic, and educational experience.
More Classes & Programs
High-Intensity Exercise Class: All Levels Class (Join us on Zoom)
The research shows that high-intensity exercise is linked with better outcomes for Parkinson’s disease. Introducing a high-intensity, highly-focused group exercise class specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s disease. This class has grown in popularity thanks to a one-year National Parkinson’s Foundation grant earned in 2017. Classes are tailored towards newly-diagnosed, or high-functioning people with Parkinson’s (those who are able to walk, run, and jump without assistance or supervision). Classes are taught with modifications for those who prefer to remain seated, or for those with other factors limiting their standing ability. Simultaneous instruction in standing and sitting makes this class appropriate for all levels.
Support Group Speaker Series(Join us on Zoom)
FIRST MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH Come learn and listen from guest speakers from around the world. Hear inspiring and informative talks about research, personal experience, and ways to live your best with PD.
Care Partner Support Group (Join us on Zoom and LIMITED SPACE In-Person in San Francisco)
2ND MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH. Join other care partners and share amongst yourselves. This is led by and for care partners only- friends, family members, colleagues, health team members are all welcome.
MO Better Mondays- Stretching and Posture (Join us on Zoom)
Stretching and good posture are essential to maintain optimal function. Join us for a class of dynamic stretches that will specifically address the joints and muscles affected most by Parkinson’s. Led by physical therapist Maureen (Mo).
Parkinson’s Dance Project (Join us on Zoom)
Our dance classes, accompanied by live music, integrate movement from multiple dance forms to stimulate our minds and bodies. We begin in chairs and eventually move to the center floor to focus on balance and spatial awareness. Our class focuses on developing artistry and grace while addressing such PD-specific concerns as balance, flexibility, coordination, gait, and strength. This class is appropriate for anyone with PD, no matter how advanced. We aim to create an enjoyable social environment that emphasizes dancing for dancing’s sake while having fun!
No dance experience required!
Our PDP classes are modeled after the Dance for PD program developed by the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group. The Marin Dance Theater facilitates this wonderful movement program. Classes are co-taught by Torri Campbell and Brigid Hoag, who have both received advanced training in Dance for PD.
The Wednesday Dialogue (Join us on Zoom)
We love being a COMMUNITY! So join us for an open forum where people with Parkinson’s can have a frank dialogue. Share your local resources, learn about how others are managing their symptoms, or express the trials and triumphs of your journey with PD. Meetings are every other Wednesday.
Tai Chi for PD (ON HOLD DURING COVID)
Tai Chi is the practice of moving slowly, accurately, and fluidly together in a group. Special attention is focused on developing and maintaining the quality of movement of the group as a whole. The practice improves balance, strength, and self-awareness. In some participants, the mindful aspect of this practice improves a sense of well-being as well as the ability to do unexpected, quick, spontaneous movements such as when recovering from a stumble or when catching a fumbled object. Tai Chi has been heavily researched and is cited as helping balance and falls in elderly. This class is taught by Sandy Smith who teaches Tai Chi throughout Marin County.
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An A-list of Parkinson’s information.
Movement Disorders Specialists
University of California, San Francisco Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Clinic (Parnassus)
University of California, San Francisco Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation Center (Mt. Zion)
California Pacific Medical Center
Veteran’s Administration, San Francisco
As an introvert, group activities must be really good to win my loyalty. PD-Connect is really good. It’s friendly but not pushy, low-key yet challenging. It has become an indispensable part of my own ‘wellness despite Parkinson’s’ program. I highly recommend it.
I feel very fortunate to have PD-Connect as part of my overall wellness team. Classes constantly offer different exercises and challenges, so it’s never boring or overly repetitive. Classes are helpful to me as I remind myself about following Lisa’s advice and instruction. I am trying to stay away from meds for as long as possible and, I believe the exercises are helpful.
I never thought I would be happy going to group exercise classes. That changed when I started going to PD-Connect’s Delay the Disease classes. Now I am grateful for the benefits of increased well-being that comes after every class. I wish we had classes every day. That’s how happy they make me.
I am going on 9 years since my diagnosis of Parkinson’s and I am dedicated to my exercise programs. In 2017, I was introduced to PD-Connect. The hour and 15 minute class can be challenging without it being overwhelming. I enjoy the group of people who attend the class. A Parkinson’s diagnosis often makes one become reclusive, cutting ties with family and friends. But I feel genuine camaraderie in this class. And if that isn’t enough, I’ve been able to reduce my need for meds.
PD-Connect has been invaluable to me. The exercises we are given are very challenging, but the most amazing thing to me is: even I can do them! I believe my confidence and belief in myself have grown, and that Parkinson’s disease is being delayed because of this class. I encourage anyone with PD to come and experience the transformation.
No gift is too small or too big to make a difference
In 2017, PD-Connect was one of only 14 nationwide recipients of a grant from the National Parkinson’s Foundation to expand its High-Intensity Exercise Classes. It also formed an inaugural team (formerly Team NeuroBlasters) and earned 2nd place in the Friends and Family Team category for raising the most funds for the National Parkinson’s Foundation MOVING DAY.
Starting in 2018, MarinLink has partnered with PD-Connect to serve as its fiscal sponsor, signaling its non-profit status as well as its intention to grow. In order to keep offering free classes for people with Parkinson’s through PD-Connect, all donations are welcome.
We are a non-profit organization. All donations are 501(c)(3) Tax-deductible.
If you would like to mail your donation, please send a check payable to:
PD-Connect P.O. Box 398, Corte Madera, CA 94976
Note: Larger one-time gifts, please pay by check, if possible.