Retired therapist celebrates 30 years of program to help Parkinson’s patients

Physical Therapist Bob Kann works with parkinsons patients at Vancrest in Urbana. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

caption arrowCaption
Physical Therapist Bob Kann works with parkinsons patients at Vancrest in Urbana. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

A retired physical therapist who has treated area Parkinson’s patients for several years is celebrating the 30th anniversary of a program he developed designed to help local patients with Parkinson’s disease remain independent.

Bob Kann developed his P.A.R.K. program in 1988, and said he is also issuing the fifth edition to his book the P.A.R.K. Manuel which explains the program.

The P.A.R.K. program, which stands for Parkinsons Activity and Rehabilitation Klinic, is designed to teach exercises that help give patients the skills they need to remain independent, he said. Kann has worked with Vancrest facilities in Urbana and Delphos to administer the program.

MORE: Mercy Health says new freestanding clinic will offer better access

The program teaches area patients basic skills such as how to get in and out of a car, how to walk or climb stairs, and how to get in and out of bed. Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects movement. It typically causes stiffness and slower movement, and progressively worsens over time.

Kann said the latest edition of his book includes a section on a program called SARI, or Simultaneous Automatic Response Integration. That technique develops muscle memory through repetition to help patients perform basic tasks. The first edition of his book was published in 1993, he said.

MORE HEALTH CARE NEWS: Mercy Health-Springfield to build medical campus in Enon

To enroll in the program, patients must be referred from a physician and evaluated by a physical therapist. Once enrolled, however, the program is free. Classes are once a week and last about an hour.

Kann said his program also received a grant this year from the Parkinson’s Foundation of Ohio. The grant will cover some of the costs for new equipment and help cover printing costs for the latest edition of his book, he said.

About the Author