Countryside YMCA Receives Grant from the Motz Group for Live Large with Parkinson’s Program 

[Lebanon, OH]    April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month and Countryside YMCA in Lebanon, Ohio recently received a $1K grant from the Motz Group to help fund the Live Large with Parkinson’s Program offered at the Y.

Every year the Motz Group selects several local businesses to gift with grants to support worthwhile programs in the community. “We are so appreciative that the Motz Group has provided us with this grant to help grow our program for those with Parkinson’s disease. Being able to meet needs in the community is at the heart of the Y’s mission and financial support from community businesses allows us to continue this work,” said Matt Bruns, Chief Development Officer at the Y.

"The grant from the Motz Group will be used to help cover the expenses of running our Live Large with Parkinson's Program and also to promote the program,” he added.

Countryside YMCA works in conjunction with Atrium Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy to offer the Live Large with Parkinson’s Class every Tuesday and Thursday at 11 a.m. at Countryside YMCA | Lebanon. This class is beneficial to those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, neurological complications or balance issues.

Exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone, but for people living with Parkinson’s Disease, exercise is vital to maintaining balance, mobility and activities of daily living. As a leading community-based non-profit focused on the health of the community, the Y wanted to provide evidence based programming specifically for people living with Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes several symptoms including tremors, slowing of movement, stiffness of limbs, gait problems and balance problems.  Though much remains unknown about the disease, approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD each year, according the Parkinson’s Foundation.  Currently, Parkinson’s has no cure.

“We are committed to delaying the progression of Parkinson’s Disease for all fitness levels and this program will provide a continuum of care for people with Parkinson’s, starting with a recommended ability screening,” said Debbie Parshall, Live Large with Parkinson’s instructor and Director of the Countryside YMCA Otterbein Life Enrichment Center.  After the ability screening, clients will be directed to the exercise class best suited for them.

Parshall, who has training from the Parkinson’s Wellness Recover, GZ Zobels for Parkinson’s and Delay the Disease, will do the ability screening and based on the results, she will place the client into one of our two current phases. A few examples of ability screening include:

  • Can you get out of chair without help?
  • Do you walk without a cane?
  • Have you had any falls over the past month?

Based on the results, the person may be referred to Atrium Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy for formal physical therapy offered in Phase I or they may be placed directly into Phase 2 programming which are the classes that take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“We have been serving people with Parkinson’s for over 20 years. There is much evidence to support that people with PD can slow the progression of the disease by participating in an exercise-based program once discharged from physical therapy. We have always encouraged people with PD to participate in such a program but, until last year, there hasn’t been a group wellness program offered right here in Lebanon,” said Lisa Duncan, PT, ATC at Atrium Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy. 

A client placed in Phase 2 will be enrolled in a basic to intermediate level group class which includes stretching, balance, core, seated and standing exercises, brain and voice exercises with a mild heart rate elevation, and the goal of retraining the brain and decreasing the symptoms of PD.

Participants in the program will have increased self-confidence, decreased risk of falls, and minimized fatigue. The goal of the program is to give participants a happier lifestyle with reduced rigidity and improved mobility, and to delay the disease as long as possible.

Participating in class also offers the benefit of meeting up with others, creating friendships and providing emotional support from others who are also living with similar neurological issues.

Come out and give the class a try, a healthier future may only be steps away.  Please call Debbie Parshall with any questions, 513-696-8590.


About Countryside YMCA  

Since 1978, Countryside YMCA has embodied the Christian principles that welcome everyone in an environment where people of all ages can achieve a balance of spirit, mind and body. Located on a beautiful 126-acre property, Countryside YMCA is one of the world’s largest YMCAs offering eight pools, five gymnasiums, two indoor tracks, a rock climbing wall, a 13,000 square ft. cardio/ weight room, the Arts Center, Stolle Center for active seniors, the Motion Zone for active youth, a wide range of exercise, sports, and creative expression classes, disc golf, summer day camp for kids, and scenic trails. To learn more, please visit