Section: Clara Maass Medical Center News

Clara Maass Medical Center Offers New Parkinson’s Disease Support Workshops in 2017


Belleville, NJ—A diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease can mean a loss of mobility, control and sometimes even freedom. Clara Maass Medical Center aims to grant those suffering from Parkinson’s – a chronic and progressive movement disorder that involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain – a sense of empowerment and control over their lives with “Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease,” a new monthly support group and workshop series starting in 2017.

“Clara Maass Medical Center is a place where healing takes place. This Medical Center is a hub of activities and resources that empower and inspire families,” said Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Clara Maass Medical Center. “Our patients and our neighbors can count on us for support. The Parkinson’s Disease Support Group is part of our mission to care for our patients and our community.”

The peer support group will help participants build relationships and share ideas about exercise, nutrition, medication management, medical resources and how to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, which affects as many as one million Americans annually.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer this new program to support and inform our patients living with Parkinson’s Disease and their loved ones,” says Lea Rodriguez, M.A.S., R.N., Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services. “‘Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease’ will live up to its name, since we will be able to offer patients the very latest information about treating Parkinson’s while providing them with a safe environment in which to share their stories.”

The social aspect of the group is also important in preventing depression, a common challenge for people living with the disease. According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, at least 40 percent of people with Parkinson’s experience clinical depression at some point during the disease. “Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease” participants will be encouraged to talk openly and honestly about their feelings and to support each other as they battle the effects of Parkinson’s.

The free support group and workshop will meet on the second Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. All meetings will be held in the Cancer Center Conference Room at Clara Maass Medical Center. Refreshments will be served.

Registration for the group is preferred, but walk-ins and caregivers are welcome. For more information or to register, contact Fabiana Alvarez, RN or Dhyana Velez, RN at 973-450-2631 or email

Categories: Press Releases,Wellness