About Us


NPF South Dakota was started in order to grow programs and services in the entire state of South Dakota.

Our Mission

The National Parkinson Foundation South Dakota
is dedicated to improving quality of life for people
touched by Parkinson’s disease.”

History of the South Dakota Chapter of the

National Parkinson Foundation

Over the years, the Parkinson’s organization in South Dakota has sported a variety of names–originally, the Parkinson Association of South Dakota (PASD) and currently,  National Parkinson Foundation South Dakota Chapter (NPF/SD).  Historically, it has also been affiliated with a couple of national organizations, choosing, in the end, the one felt to offer the support needed to meet major goals:  education provision, awareness elevation, and  support group development.  In June of 2011, after 15 years as a chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF), the organization signed a new affiliation agreement with this national organization with a renewed commitment to improving the lives of those affected by Parkinson’s disease through community building, advocacy, increasing public awareness and fundraising. 

Though much has changed over the years and will continue to change in keeping with needs and developments, this service organization has always been, and remains, strongly rooted in a tradition of caring.  In the early 1980’s, a handful of people, sharing only a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease met together to support one another and to share information.  They recognized the need to develop a strong support network and the value of sharing information.  The vision and determination of this small group has multiplied and is now an invaluable source of state-wide support, education and advocacy.  From these few visionaries, supported by Sioux Valley Hospital (now Sanford Medical Center), meeting in a closet-size office has grown the vibrant, independent support organization of today, NPF South Dakota Chapter.  It offers services state-wide, has an office of its own, an executive director and a volunteer Board of Directors.     



Board Presidents

Willis Wibbin–1984-1986

Marilyn Schultz–1986-

Bernice Christoperson–

Elaine Spader–2004-2009

Mary Freeman–2009-2013


Friend Award–honors an individual or individuals who selflessly and unrelentingly expend time and effort to assist NPF/SD with its educational and supportive endeavors. 

                        Recipients:  2006–George Niimi

                                             2008–Jerome Freeman, MD and Jo Landis, RN

                                             2010–Norma Chesshir

                                             2011–Elaine, Duane and David Spader

                                             2012–Redetta Jensen and Bernice Christopherson

                                             2013—Pat Sundheim

                                             2014–Mary Freeman

                                             2015–Wendell & Delores Cook & Carol Nielsen

MOVING DAY Walk for Parkinson’s–a nationwide fundraising program for             NPF-affiliated chapters with several key objectives:  empowering people with             Parkinson’s disease and their families; raising significant unrestricted funds; and             elevating public awareness of Parkinson’s disease and programs and services provided by NPF and its Chapters

NPF–National Parkinson Foundation, founded in 1957; mission is to improve the             quality of care for people with Parkinson’s disease through research, education and             outreach.  NPF has funded more than $164 million in care, research and support             services.

NPFSD–National Parkinson Foundation South Dakota Chapter

Newstrom-Niimi, Phyllis–nurse who facilitated the formation of a Parkinson’ssupport group at Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls; one of the three original incorporators of PASD

NPFSD Newsletter–quarterly newsletter containing informative, useful and             supportive articles of interest to the Parkinson’s community

Parkinson Awareness Month Conference–educational conference sponsored by NPFSD annually during April, National Parkinson Awareness Month, providing the opportunity to hear nationally known speakers providing the latest information relating to Parkinson’s disease, diagnosis and treatment

PASD–Parkinson Association of South Dakota; former name of the current South Dakota Parkinson’s organization, NPFSD

 Schultz, Marilyn–second PASD president; one of the three original incorporatorsof PASD

Sioux Valley Hospital (now Sanford Medical Center)–donated physical space and      supportive services to the fledgling Parkinson’s association for many years

Struthers Parkinson Center–regional National Parkinson Foundation Center of         Excellence providing NPFSD with educational resources and support

Walkathon–fundraiser for PASD; first walk in 1986 with 5 participants and no funds raised; is now called MOVING DAY Walk for Parkinson’s with over a hundred participants and more than $29,000.00 raised

Wibbin, Willis–one of the members of the original group who gathered for support at Sioux Valley Hospital in the early 1980’s; first President of PASD, 1984-  1986; one of the three original incorporators of PASD