Board Member - Cathi Thomas, MS, RN

Position: Advisor


Why do you volunteer for the APDA MA Chapter?

As Nurse Coordinator of the APDA Center at BUMC, I know first hand what can be accomplished with an active, visible, and productive Chapter. Massachusetts has greatly benefited from the hard work and generosity of the volunteers who work tirelessly to increase awareness, provide education and support, and raise important funds to expand research and patient/family care programs. I have personally and professionally benefited from a close working relationship with Chapter members who provide great insight into what it is like to have Parkinson’s or have a loved one with Parkinson’s. Our board members also have impressive expertise in healthcare, finance, management, public relations, and the arts. Chapter members have been invaluable in supporting all aspects of the APDA Center.

When did you first join the board ?

I am a founding member of the MA Chapter. In 1986 we held our first Massachusetts Walkathon from the APDA Information & Referral Center. The Chapter was established three months later. At this time there were six PD support groups across the state. There are now over 40. The Chapter has supported research, the development of wellness programs, over 200 educational programs and courses for patients, families, healthcare professionals, a newsletter, web site and many awareness projects.

What do you want to see APDA MA Chapter accomplish over the next year?

We have made progress in developing programs aimed at increasing activity and improving mobility. There are many non-motor problems associated with Parkinson’s that significantly impact quality of life. I would like to expand programs that address these problems. Some examples include programs that enhance communication, support individuals in their work environment and at home, and as always assist family caregivers.