NPF South Dakota was started in order to grow programs and services in the entire state of South Dakota.
“The National Parkinson Foundation South Dakota
is dedicated to improving quality of life for people
touched by Parkinson’s disease.”
The History of NPFSD
by Elaine Spader and Phyllis Newstrom (2006)
Nearly twenty-two years ago there was a book-lined and unusual, artifact-strewn room off the lobby of Sioux Valley Hospital (now Sanford USD Medical Center). It was to become the Center for Elder Health and Enrichment, staffed with two RN’s who had neurological and geriatric interests. This interesting room soon became a visiting hub for patients and their families, mostly those with chronic disabilities and with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The Parkinsonians visited most frequently, discussing symptoms and the possibility of organizing and creating a support group.
Willis Wibben arrived there nearly daily, laden with new ideas and hopes for bringing Parkinsonians together. He served as the spokesman to the hospital administration and also organized the quasi-support group of five by offering to fill the roles of president and treasurer. He also allowed his home to become a PD information center by holding support group gatherings and using his home telephone number as a source for any communication.
The Struthers Parkinson’s Center, well-known in Minneapolis, graciously extended support with finances and personnel during the early stages. That outstanding relationship has spanned the years, and has become stronger as the support group grew, and PASD continues to use their services.
In 1986 Reverend Marvin and Marilyn Schultz joined the small, struggling group, and Marilyn enthusiastically took over as president. Willis stayed on as treasurer as others dedicated themselves to positions as they were needed. It was about this time that the first Walkathon was held. It was small – only five walkers – and mostly to create awareness. No funds were raised, but all five walkers readily agreed that awareness at that time was more important than funds. Membership dues were $10, and they were voluntary. It was amazing that the small group was able to make so many things happen with no operating funds!
The group began looking into national organizations and researching the possibilities and benefits of joining one. About 1991 the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) began courting the group to encourage affiliation with them. The Minnesota Association had already joined, and late that same year South Dakota followed. About 1996, the Sanford support group disengaged from the APDA affiliation because of some internal issues within their organization. It was then decided to incorporate. Sanford USD Medical Center was very helpful with guidance and financial aid in establishing this status.
In 1996, the Parkinson’s Association of South Dakota (PASD) was incorporated as a non-profit organization in the State of South Dakota. During the summer of 1996, PASD diligently reviewed a variety of national organizations with which to affiliate. In the end, following the lead of Minnesota, PASD sought membership with the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF).
PASD continues a close relationship with NPF which supports the organization with current and encouraging information, education, and guidance to many channels through PD research. Together, PASD and NPF rely on each other to make things happen in the world of Parkinson disease.
For more information about PD, please call the National Parkinson Foundation Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) or e-mail email@example.com.