Winter Tips from the National Parkinson Foundation

Excellent information offered by the National Parkinson Foundation:

Winter often brings unexpected weather and for many, the shorter days can lead to vitamin D deficiency, increasing chances of developing seasonal depression. The good news is that NPF’s Ohio Chapter has gathered these tips to help people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their caregivers ensure that PD-related needs are accounted for this winter.

Falls Prevention

Parkinson’s can affect mobility, memory and thinking skills. People with PD may experience tripping or “freezing” episodes that can lead to falls. Add snow and ice to the equation and winter can be an especially dangerous time. To stay safe this winter:

  • Wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles.
  • Take off shoes as soon as you return home. Snow and ice attach to soles and as they melt lead to slippery conditions inside.
  • Shovel the path to your door, garage and mailbox to clear them of leaves, snow or ice. If possible, ask someone to shovel for you.
  • Be realistic and ask for help walking outside when you need it. Don’t let pride lead to a fall!
  • Use salt before or immediately after a storm to melt icy sidewalks and steps. If you don’t have salt, cover the ice with something gritty or non-slippery (like sand or cat litter).
  • Replace a worn cane tip to make walking easier.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go in winter weather. Taking your time reduces your risk of falling, especially if you use an assistive walking device.

Seasonal Depression

With depression as a common PD symptom, people with Parkinson’s should be conscious of their increased susceptibility to seasonal depression, which can be brought on by the cold and grey or the potential isolation of the winter months. Keep reading this and more at the National Parkinson Foundation website!

Workplace Prevention

Congratulations everyone for finishing up with courses for the semester!  We did not have a meeting November/December due to the busy nature of everyones schedules.  However, here is a small introduction of information and resources for you in regards to workplace prevention.  Some of the podcasts are really great so if you can find time (I especially recommend the Dr. Jarod Carter podcast on the practical implementation of prevention services).  Please reach out to us if you have any follow up questions/comments/etc.  Happy holidays!

In 2014 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that of all injury and illness cases, work-related musculoskeletal disorders comprised 32%.  350,000 cases happened at the workplace. The average time lost away from work was approximately 13 days. OSHA cost calculator estimates costs of some injuries resulting in indirect costs of 1.1-4.5x the direct cost depending on the direct cost amount.  Smaller direct cost figures have the higher multiplier values for indirect cost.   

Opportunities and Hurdles:

Workplace injury prevention represents an opportunity for therapists to interact with employers and provide prevention services.  The Duffy-Rath System is one such example that has been in place for over 20 years.  Other examples include performance of Functional Capacity Evaluation, ergonomic assessments, return to work programs, etc.  The sky’s the limit.  The issue is whether insurance will cover these?  It depends.  In the below podcasts some of these issues are discussed in more depth with some services being cash-based.  Considering the cost after an injury occurs, financially it makes more sense for employers to pay for prevention services.  As providers we need to present that information.

Insurance Breakdown:  Workers Compensation vs. Medical Insurance?

Recent changes in healthcare have brought forth the scenario of mandatory medical insurance for employees by employers. This issue is constantly addressed and in flux. In regards to workers compensation insurance this is less complicated, employers are mandated to hold a policy for their employees. Employees injured at work go through a process that allows them to be treated outside of their individual medical insurance policies. There is a process that must be followed that HR navigates employees through. Knowing more about requirements and the process allows us to better manage and guide patients.

Want to know more?







Neurological & Geriatric Journal Club

The DPT Neuro-Geri SIG held a journal club meeting on Thursday, 12/1/16. We were honored to be joined by our esteemed faculty members, Dr. Leonard White, and Dr. Jeff Hoder, who helped provide context to the case study we selected from PTJ entitled: “Long Term Exercise Training for an Individual with Mixed Corticobasal Degeneration and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Features: 10 Year Case Report Follow-Up”.

Read the case report here:


November Is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Just 11 years later, the former President of the United States was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s himself and lived with the disease for a decade before passing away in 2004. Mrs. Reagan, who rarely left his side for more than an hour or two at a time, called her last 10 years with her husband “the long goodbye.”


Give to Guatemala Shoe Drive!

Come join the Global Health SIG at the GSPC football tailgates for some food and fun.Global Health SIG will be collecting shoes for donation during the last two season games tailgates on Saturday November 5 at 12PM against Virginia Tech and Thursday November 10 at 4PM against UNC.  More information can be found on the attached flyer or contact Hina Javed at




Dr. Jody Feld, PT, DPT, MPT, NCS, C/NDT


International location: St. Elizabeth Parrish, Jamaica

Reason for international trip (Conference, lecturer, Service/volunteer, other):

Volunteer and leader for four Global Health Service Learning Experiences – “Stroke Camp”

Brief description of international experience:

The Jamaica “Stroke Camp” involves providing 7 to 10 days of intensive task-specific rehabilitation services to individuals post stroke in the community who have limited access to services. Dr. Feld has participated in a total of four of these service trips. The experience includes the provision of 1-week of rehabilitation services including assessment, treatment planning, and intervention (clinic, home, and community). Cultural immersion experiences include living in the local community, eating local foods prepared by community members, learning about the farming community, and seeing first hand how some of the common foods and handcrafted merchandise are made (e.g., coffee, cassava bread, coconuts, jewelry, etc.).


First Diversity SIG Meeting – Recap


img_5311The FIRST DIVERSITY SIG meeting was a success!

We had a fantastic showing from the Class of 2018 and the Class of 2019!  Bravo!

With approximately 25 students and staff in attendance the questions, engagement, and learning were astounding.


Meeting Overview:

We discussed why we need diversity. The prevalence of diversity within the (more…)

Inaugural Diversity Outreach Sessions

By Jasmine

presentation_diversity-sigDiversity SIG has had a busy week of Outreach! During the last week of September, we shared various aspects of our profession with approximately 50 students who are interested in a career in medicine at both Hillside High School and UNC-Greensboro!


Overall, students seemed surprised and excited by the broad scope of practice,modalities, patient populations, and settings in which physical therapists work. After all, who wouldn’t love masking a physical therapy session as “play time” (more…)

National Parkinson Foundation Moving Day NC Triangle


Volunteers Needed

Full Event Details:  (Click here)

We are in need of volunteers for Moving Day® NC Triangle on October 29, 2016. A number of opportunities are available and we could certainly use your help! We are currently recruiting volunteers to help with Food and Beverage, Kids Zone, Walk Route, Movement Pavilion etc. Times will vary depending on area assigned.  Last year, many local physical therapy students, including Duke DPT, came out to volunteer.  To register please visit: Click Here12764802_1057763170911527_4207138361061948900_o

The National Parkinson Foundation’s fourth annual Moving Day® NC Triangle fundraising walk, is scheduled to return to Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, Nc, on Saturday, October 29, 2016.


The infamous APTA Membership: what gives?

As we continue to have our inboxes flooded with wonderful opportunities around Duke DPT and Duke University as a whole, there are a few emails that should be kept on our radar. Which emails? APTA membership emails. It’s that time of year where Duke DPT students are asked to join the APTA or renew their memberships.