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2017-12-15 digital edition
TODAY in the Jewish World:

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved. 


December 15, 2017  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Parkinson Wellness Initiative classes ongoing at Glazer Family JCC and Cohn campus

The Parkinson’s Wellness Initiative was launched three years ago by the National Parkinson’s Foundation, as a partnership between the Tampa JCCs and the University of South Florida Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, and now classes are being offered at both the Bryan Glazer Family JCC and at the Maureen & Douglas Cohn Jewish Community Campus.

The classes are ongoing and offer not only exercise but support, comraderie and fun.

A Parkinson’s Wellness membership at the Jewish Community Centers is included with registration. Fitness classes are $20 per month, or $100 for six months to participate in all classes.

The Wellness Initiative is designed to offer hope, build community and expand opportunities to improve the quality of life for individuals living with Parkinson’s disease and for their families. It improves the lives of people impacted by Parkinson’s through exercise, support, education and social activities.

The program is fueled by the commitment of the Tampa JCCs to serve the entire community with an emphasis on inclusion.

All classes, groups and events are designed specifically for people affected by Parkinson’s and are taught by experienced, Parkinson’s-trained staff.

Exercise classes include Tai Chi, stretch and strengthen, water and movement, Nia, and cycling. A patient support group and a caregiver support group, both of which are led by a professional social worker, are also available.

The Parkinson’s Wellness Initiative has made a measurably positive impact in the lives of its participants.

“I’ve been a student a little over a year now. My wife is in the support group that meets at the same time. I’ve developed better balance and my walking has improved Our instructor is very adamant about walking,” said Wayne Highsmith, who takes the Tai Chi class. “My wife has benefitted greatly from the support group. She thinks the world of Mindy.”

“They come in their power chairs, walkers and with canes to our class, down the steps carefully at first,” said Barbara Yarbrough, water and movement fitness instructor.

After clinging to the pool walls and then sharing what their disabilities are, in time they no longer grasp the pool wall but “walk, stride and side step along, with strengthening exercises, with enthusiasm across the pool,” she said.

Yarborough said some tell her, “I haven’t walked in years” or “I love this class, I feel free.”

To learn more about the program, contact Pnina Levermore at (813) 291-2253 ( or Crista Ellis at (813) 396-0765 (

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