Parkinson's Foundation Grant Helps to Keep People With Parkinson's Healthy


Don Duval and Pat and Sharon Okopny enjoy exercising outdoors as part of the Parkinson’s Walking Program

Ascension Genesys Health Club and University of Michigan-Flint Physical Therapy will continue to expand exercise class offerings for People with Parkinson’s (PWP) Disease thanks to a community grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation. The Equitable Exercise for People With Parkinson’s (E2PWP) program has received a second year of funding to advance evidence-based exercise classes that address challenges that PWP encounter by providing classes that are geographically accessible, meet the needs of those with advanced Parkinson’s Disease, and are offered at minimal or no cost. The grant will also make possible education for care partners aimed at supporting their role at managing life with Parknson’s with their partner.

Regular physical activity is thought to be critical in maintaining optimal health and improved quality of life for PWP. Taught by Physical Therapist instructors from Ascension Genesys and UM-Flint Physical Therapy, PWP can enjoy a variety of exercise classes including PWR! Moves to strengthen motor and cognitive skills, Rock Steady Boxing, cycling, yoga, aquatics and a walking group. Currently, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, classes are offered virtually or in an outdoor setting to maintain social distancing requirements to keep participants safe and healthy.

“Even within this  pandemic environment we have worked creatively with our UM-Flint and Michigan Parkinson’s Foundation partners to meet the exercise needs of our participants to maintain a healthy lifestyle”, said Jackie Coplean, Programs Director, Ascension Genesys Health Club.

Angee Ludwa, Physical Therapist, Ascension Genesys also notes, “Because people cannot leave their homes as they normally would, now more than ever it is important to offer Parkinson’s exercise classes virtually so PWP  can maintain their physical health - mobility, range of motion, and flexibility; as well as continue important social connections and friendships.”

For program enrollment information, please contact Ascension Genesys Health Club Programs Manager, Jackie Colpean at (810) 606-7518 or

This program is supported by a community grant from the Parkinson’s foundation.