CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Acting Chairperson Kathy Osbun.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Kathy Osbun read the minutes from the meeting of May 18, 2011. Those minutes were approved as read.
Kathy reported that she received information from Sofi Milani, a certified yoga teacher in Sonoma, regarding setting up a yoga/dance class for people with Parkinson’s, or, if such a class already exists, to be put in touch with the current teachers. Kathy said she responded to Ms. Milani’s Email and would also contact local yoga instructor Pam Fields, who works with people with Parkinson’s.
RESIGNATION: With regret, the board accepted the resignation of Patricia Staudacher as chairperson of PSGSC and voted unanimously to honor her as a Chairperson Emeritus and as a continuing board member. Pat, who has been Chairperson/Facilitator for three years has stepped down because “My current health makes it difficult to effectively serve in this capacity. I will be willing to continue to serve on the Board and help in any ways that I can.” A letter of appreciation is to be sent to Pat.
CHAIRPERSON ELECTED: The board voted unanimously to elect Kathy Osbun as chair of the board of directors. Kathy, in addition to serving as Acting Chairperson, has also continued to maintain her role as Vice Chair/Program Chair during Pat’s leave of absence from January through June of 2011,
TREASURER’S REPORT: Treasurer Sandy Grant reported that income from the “donation jar” passed around at general meetings resulted in collections of $133 in May and $188 in June. “We are covering the cost of the rent,” Sandy noted. “We’re doing better than what we had budgeted for.” In lieu of a speaker’s fee for the June meeting, $100 was donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which provided the speaker.
NON-PROFIT STATUS: The PSGSC is recognized by the IRS as a federal non-profit organization, but to be compliant with California law, we are required to apply for non-profit status with the State. Suzanne deKozan obtained a Nolo Press book with instructions and forms, but “then I got to the CD” that came with the book and found it “in fact not so simple.” Because of the time lag between the federal filing five years ago and the filing with the State now, there exists an ambiguity about tax liability.
The choice before the board was paying a consulting firm $1,000 plus a $300 filing fee versus paying an attorney with expertise in non-profits $2,000 plus a $300 filing fee. Because of the legal ramifications and tax liability concerns, a motion was made by Barbara Stiling and seconded by Sandy Grant to go with an attorney with the firm of Spaulding, McCullough and Tansil. All board members voted in favor of the decision, with the exception of Bud Suiter and Mike LeMole, both of whom abstained.
“We have spent tons of hours on this—we need to do something now,” said Kathy Osbun. To which Barbara Stiling added, “It’s important that it get done right.”
On the motion of Davis Brown, seconded by Joe Hootman, the board also voted to authorize Sandy Grant to sign necessary paperwork with the law firm. Bud Suiter abstained from that vote.
FINANCIAL REPORTS, ACCESS: A decision on whether to provide financial statements in a binder available to members at meetings, or to publish them on the PSGSC web site was tabled pending a check of rules and regulations. Currently, the financial statements .are provided in a folder at meetings.
In a related matter, Davis Brown moved, and Sandy Grant seconded, a motion that passed for Sandy to maintain a master file of PSGSC financial records, a formality, since Sandy does that now. Mike LeMole abstained.
MEDICATIONS PROTOCAL: On a motion of Suzanne deKozan, seconded by Barbara Stiling, the board voted unanimously to support a draft letter to be sent to top-level staff of all of Sonoma County’s hospitals—and eventually Northern California facilities--addressing the issue of special needs, particularly with regard to medications, when people with Parkinson’s are admitted to hospitals. The motion included authorizing Davis Brown to sign the letter and for him to set up meetings with hospital executives.
“I’ve been impressed at what Suzanne has done so far,” said Davis about his collaboration with Suzanne on the letter and “very comprehensive” material attached to the letter. The goal is to create a list of hospitals “which have made a commitment to address the special needs of Parkinson’s patients requiring hospital care.
The letter and accompanying information speak to the issue of timing of medications, drugs that make Parkinson’s symptoms worse, impact of anesthesia on PD, special concerns of patients with Deep Brain Stimulation implants, and problems with certain antipsychotic drugs. The hospitals “have a lot to gain by serving us well,” said Suzanne.
“I’m glad that this is being addressed,” said Barbara Stiling. “My presence is imperative,” when she takes her husband, Don, to a hospital. “You can’t just drop them off and hope they will be taken care of.” It helps also, said Kathy Osbun, that the PD patient wear a bracelet or necklace that serves as “a trigger” to hospital personnel that they are dealing with someone with PD.
BREAKOUT GROUPS DIVIDED BY GENDER: An experiment dividing meeting breakout groups by gender “went very well,” according to Suzanne deKozan. On the one hand, some women are reluctant to express themselves in a coed group. On the other hand, some of the men in breakout groups have a lot of valuable information to share, said Suzanne. One of the outgrowths of the experiment was a high level of interest in women forming an all-female support group to meet independently. Kathy Osbun suggested that at the next general meeting the people in breakout groups meet in a coed environment and perhaps have the all-women group meet on some kind of rotating basis.
PRACTICAL PLOYS: Joe Hootman, editor of Practical Ploys, said he is working on Version 4 of the publication, to include a piece by Kaiser Care Manager Nancy Thomas, on her master’s thesis about PD medications. Suzanne deKozan rated Hootman’s book as “excellent.”
FUND RAISER: Kathy Osbun set a tentative date of Wednesday, Aug. 17, for a fund raiser at Mary’s Pizza across from Howarth Park. Twenty percent of dinner proceeds would go to the PSGSC.
TRI-FOLD BROCHURE: Doug Schwartz said he would explore the possibilities of a graphic artist friend redoing and updating the support group’s informational brochure.
ADJOURNMENT: The board meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m. by Kathy Osbun. The above minutes are subject to approval at the next board meeting on Wednesday, July 20, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. at Emeritus (formerly Brighton Gardens), 300 Fountain Grove Parkway, Santa Rosa.