Parkinson’s Foundation awards grant to Tech Parkinson Resource Center

Aug 1, 2022 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Faculty/Staff, General News, Students

The Parkinson’s Foundation recently announced the recipients of more than $2 million in community grants for Parkinson’s disease (PD) programs across the U.S., including $12,000 for Louisiana Tech’s Music & Movement program in the University’s Parkinson’s Resource Center (PRC).

The Foundation invests in community programs that make an impact in local communities and help people live better with PD by providing support for unmet health, wellness, and educational needs.

“The Parkinson’s Foundation Community Grant will allow us to continue to offer our Music & Movement program on Tech’s campus at no charge to participants,” Dr. Donna Hood, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Professor in Nursing, said. “Our program is built on the work of the international Dance for PD® program. Music & Movement is led by Gretchen Jones and Leaia Alsup, who trained in New York with the Dance for PD® model. We see a wonderful sense of community within our class as we combine music from all genres with stretching and movements that stimulate physical and cognitive abilities.

“Parkinson’s disease brings challenges,” she said, “but this class is one of several amazing opportunities offered through Louisiana Tech to provide evidence-based programs to the Parkinson’s community across north Louisiana.”

Founded in 2018, Tech’s PRC is co-directed by Hood and Department of Nursing and Assistant Professor Denise Pyles, who is completing the Parkinson’s Foundation Visiting Nurse Scholar program and works not only with Music & Movement but also with the PRC nursing student scholars.

“Because of the PRC, our future nurses, physicians, physical therapists, audiologists, and dietitians have the opportunity to participate along with their faculty for hands-on learning,” Hood said. “We are building future champions from Louisiana Tech who will be working with the Parkinson’s community across this nation.”

“Investing in community-based organizations allows the Foundation to direct resources to meaningful PD programs and services locally,” John L. Lehr, Parkinson’s Foundation President and CEO, said. “The community grants program has grown considerably over the last few years, allowing the Foundation to reach even more people with PD and to have a lasting impact on their lives.”

Of the $2 million awarded, community grants range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $25,000 per recipient. The 2022 grant cycle focuses on programs that educate and deliver exercise specifically designed for people with PD, reach those who are newly diagnosed, and address the intersection of mental health and PD. The programs funded by the Foundation will benefit people with PD in 42 states.

Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $9.4 million in 716 community-based programs. To see the full list of the 2022 community grant recipients, visit