PRESENT: Patricia Staudacher, Kathy Osbun, George Irizary, Douglas Schwartz, Aletha Christianson, Arlene Irizary, Bud Suiter, Davis Brown and Joe Hootman.
The regular meeting of the Parkinson’s Support Group of Sonoma County (PSGSC) was called to order at 10:10 a.m. by Chairperson Pat Staudacher. The minutes of the last meeting, Sept. 15, 2010, were accepted as mailed.
Patricia Staudacher said a Form 4506A has been submitted to the IRS requesting copies of the group’s original application for non-profit status for the group’s records. As of this writing, the approximate 35-page document has been delivered to Patricia.
A motion by Kathy Osbun, seconded by Arlene Irizary, was unanimously approved for Treasurer Sandy Grant to purchase a roll of postage stamps for Treasurer-related mailings.
Referred to the Treasurer was a question by Davis Brown of why the first page of the new financial report is called “Profit and Loss” if we are a non-profit.
PROGRAMS: Program Coordinator Kathy Osbun said the speaker for the November 6, 2010, meeting would be Susan Wiegman, a physical therapist at Memorial Hospital. Ms. Wiegman will discuss the roles of physical, occupational and speech therapists; fall/risk assessment and equipment; home evaluations; the “Big & Loud” voice/movement strategy; and information about Memorial’s Parkinson’s exercise class.
Kathy said she would send out a reminder that the conference and resource fair sponsored by the Parkinson Association of Northern California (PANC) is set for Nov. 13 at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park.
Also announced by Kathy is an offer by the Swain Center of Santa Rosa to provide free of charge three scholarships for the acclaimed Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) program. A complimentary speech and swallowing screening is required to confirm eligibility for the drawing. Additional information will be available in the monthly support group meeting announcement, and flyers will be available at the monthly meeting.
To be included in Kathy’s monthly meeting announcement will be an invitation for volunteers to serve as “members-at-large” on the board of directors to replace long-serving board of director members who have resigned.
For the Dec. 11, 2010, PSGSC Holiday Party, the Trad Jass Jammers Dixieland Band will again provide entertainment. The Holiday Party will be on the SECOND SATURDAY in December. Everyone is asked to bring finger food to share.
OFFICE/STORAGE SPACE: Patricia Staudacher reported that contact will be made with Ted Williamson, liaison person with Christ Church United Methodist regarding storage space for PSGSC library materials, sound equipment and files. She also inquired about possible office space and was told that the church’s going rate was $1.00 per square foot, or $350 per month for the minimum space. Mentioned as a possible use of office space would be a volunteer-staffed location where people with Parkinson’s could go for information, referral and support.
SOUND SYSTEM: Bud Suiter said that on the advice of a sound technician, he is now placing the amplifier and speaker equipment in the back of the room, facing the speaker. He said he expects no problems with the lapel microphone to be used at the Nov. 6 meeting.
BOARD MEMBERS: Patricia Staudacher reported on her attendance at a Volunteer
Center workshop focused on recruiting board members. She said it was recommended that there be a job description for each board member and that individual board members have specific skill sets, such as law, accounting, medicine or business. There was some discussion of whether the existing PSGSC by-laws provided sufficient description of duties, and how the traditional board model might apply to the PSGSC. “We’re unique.” said Kathy Osbun. No formal action was taken, but Kathy said she would put the word out in the monthly meeting announcement that new board members are needed.
PRACTICAL PLOYS: Joe Hootman reported on the status of “Practical Ploys for Parkinsons Patients: Tools and Techniques to Help Manage the Disease,” which he is editing. On the motion of Davis Brown, seconded by Bud Suiter, it was agreed to authorize the printing of 20 copies at an estimated $4.00 per copy for review of the book by board members and others. Davis Brown said Joe deserved a compliment for “a great job” on the publication.
Joe also mentioned that Kaiser neurology care manager Nancy Thomas is doing her Master’s Degree thesis on the administering of Parkinson’s meds when patients are in the hospital for conditions other than Parkinson’s, an ongoing concern for people with the disease. Arlene Irizary noted that recent speaker Dr. Allan Bernstein, a neurologist, talked about that issue, and Bud Suiter offered to make a DVD of that presentation from the video recording made by Mike LeMole.
SCHOLARSHIPS: Arlene Irizary reported that PSGSC scholarships were given to 17 people at a cost of $159.00 for the PANC conference and resource fair. PANC membership is required to attend the conference, but memberships are pro-rated for the remaining three months of 2010. For a Supporting Level membership, the fee is $9.00, and admission for two to the conference is an additional $30.00. If attendees opt for the Associate Level membership, the fee is $12.00, but admission for two to the conference is free.
While on the subject of scholarships, Arlene Irizary expressed concern that some members, either because they are in the so-called “donut hole” of insurance coverage or because of low income, are unable to afford expensive Parkinson’s meds. Pat Staudacher said a three-month supply of one prescription can cost as much as $1,000 or more. No action taken.
On another topic, Davis Brown said the Parkinson’s Action Network annual conference is coming up early next year and that the PSGSC in the past has helped delegates for up to $500 for expenses. Patricia Staudacher suggested that board members think about the matter for discussion at a future meeting. Arlene Irizary asked about the possibility of viewing the conference locally at a junior college or Veterans Administration room equipped to webcast the event, as was done last year.
BUDGET MEETING: It was decided to ask Treasurer Sandy Grant if she was available to attend a Volunteer Center workshop on non-profit budgets and whether she would be willing to chair a PSGSC budget committee meeting. (It turns out that Sandy had already planned to attend the workshop, and is willing to chair the committee meeting.)
MOVEMENT DISORDERS CLINIC: Regarding the establishment of a movement disorders clinic in Sonoma County, Davis Brown, who has been spearheading the proposal, said there may be “new developments” in the offing and he would report on the new information at the next board meeting. Patricia Staudacher requested a written report.
MEETING LOCATION: It was reported that Brighton Gardens, where the board meets, will be under new ownership November 1. George Irizary was asked to contact Brighton Gardens regarding use of the meeting room through next year. Aletha Christianson, who resides at Brighton Gardens, was recognized by Davis Brown for her contributions to board meetings.
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m. The above minutes are subject to approval at the next board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 17, 2010, at Brighton Gardens, 300 Fountain Grove Parkway, Santa Rosa.
Respectfully submitted, George Irizary, Board Secretary