2023 Healthy Parkinson’s Communities™ Leadership Conference

Presented by:
Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson's

Wednesday, September 13 - Friday, September 15
Minneapolis, MN

Coming together can transform us.
That’s what the Leadership Conference is all about. This event will bring together our Ambassadors, Community Action Committee (CAC) leaders and members, community grant recipients, and community partners for two transformational days filled with conversation, inspiring speakers, and sessions aimed at building capacity and community.

Registration is closed.
Please email communities@davisphinneyfoundation.org if you have questions or need help with your registration.

Explore the Event

This event website is your go-to resource for up-to-date information about attending, the agenda, what to do in Minneapolis, and much more. Learn more by clicking the buttons below, and don’t forget to bookmark this page, as more details will be coming soon.

Event Information

Welcome to Minneapolis: Kickoff Happy Hour
Wednesday, September 13, 2023 
4 – 7 pm CDT 

Weisman Art Museum
University of Minnesota
333 E River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55455 

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Join us for this informal gathering to kick off our event. Heavy appetizers and drinks will be served. Swing by before dinner or stay for the evening. We’ll provide fun ways to get to know fellow attendees and other informal activities, but there’s no formal program, so join when and for as long as you like. 

Parking Information:Parking is available under the museum. University rates for parking ramps are $3 an hour and have a $13 daily maximum. 

Note: There will not be a virtual participation component for this part of the event. 

2023 Healthy Parkinson’s Communities™ Leadership Conference Event
Thursday, September 14, and Friday, September 15, 2023 
9 am – 3 pm CDT 

McNamara Alumni Center 
University of Minnesota
1926 University Ave. SE 
Minneapolis, MN 55455 

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Thursday and Friday, we’ll get to work. We plan for each day to end by around 3 pm CDT to allow for casual connections, exploration of Minneapolis, and (importantly) time for rest in the evenings. Lunch and snacks will be provided on both days 

Parking Information: This University of Minnesota office building and special event venue is located on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus, across from Williams Arena and Huntington Bank Stadium. An adjacent 500-car ramp is connected by a tunnel to the Alumni Center. The ramp entrance is on University Ave. Parking is $3.00 per hour with a daily maximum of $13.00. For additional information about directions and parking, visit the McNamara website

Note: We will provide a virtual participation opportunity on both days. 

The conference will begin promptly at 9 am CDT (7 am PDT, 8 am MDT, 10 am EDT) with virtual check-in beginning 30 minutes prior to the start time. Please join us early to ensure you are connected and ready. We’ll open the chat and be there to answer questions and have fun before programming begins.

Your two virtual facilitators — Susana and Jenna —will be available to support you online; and Dani will be on-site in Minneapolis, MNAll virtual conference participants will have the option to be seen and heard on screen so we can interact more closely. During presentations, we will mute and use the chat to communicate; however, during discussions, brainstorming, and other collaborative opportunities, we will go off mute and talk with one another. Download a digital version of the program book here.

If you get disconnected at any time, simply click this same link to rejoin. The event will use the same link for both days.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 823 6516 1858

Passcode: 294492


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Meeting ID: 823 6516 1858

Passcode: 294492

Find your local number: https://dpf-org.zoom.us/u/kztaVLvp4

We are excited for every person to be with us at this event! However, we do understand that unforeseen circumstances arise. If you need to cancel your in-person attendance for whatever reason, we will work with you to figure out what funds are available to be returned to the Foundation and the best process for doing so.

If you should test positive for COVID-19 at any point before or during the event, we ask that you let Foundation staff member (and your point of contact for travel grants) Kayla Ferguson know that you have tested positive, do not return to the event, and adhere to CDC guidance for quarantine and isolation. You may use your travel grant (up to $1,000) to cover any additional costs associated with adjusting your travel schedule, but the Davis Phinney Foundation will not be able to cover costs that exceed $1,000.

If you have questions, please contact the Community Engagement team at communities@dpf.org 


Click the button below to download the digital program book. All times listed are central time. If you plan to participate virtually, we’ll be adding Zoom information to this webpage soon and will email you information to access the virtual meeting.

2023 Healthy Parkinson’s Communities Leadership Conference  

Event focuses/themes: 

  • Innovative ways to promote living well with Parkinson’s and healthy lifestyles overall  
  • New ideas to increase community outreach and engagement 
  • Peer skillsharing 


Participants will walk away with…. 

  • New ideas to inspire their work 
  • New skills that align with what they do as Ambassadors, CAC leaders, etc.
  • New connections with peers who they can rely on to help them problem solve and learn all year round. 



Thursday, September 14th  

9-9:15 am - Welcome: Kayla Ferguson & Sara Linn 

9:15-10 am - Keynote: Wayne Gilbert

10-10:25 am - Movement Break: Doug Pickard

10:25-11:10 am – Deep Dive: Support Group Panel

Panelists: Karen Frank, Carolyn Utesch, Doug Pickard, Stan Livingston

Moderator: Everett

11:10-11:30 am – Mindfulness Moment  

11:30 am – 12:30 pm - Lunch Break 

12:30-12:45 pm - Movement Break: Mayra Torres

12:45-1:30 pm – Skillshare breakouts  

  • Session 1: “How to Create and Foster a Unique Needs-Based Support Group
    • Facilitators: Karen Frank & Carolyn Utesch 
  • Session 2: “How Come Grandpa Doesn't Smile Anymore?” 
    • Facilitators: Patti & Dan Burnett 
  • Session 3: “Using Mindset for Consistent Outcomes
    • Facilitator: Brett Miller 

1:30-1:45 pm – Coffee/snack/transition 

1:45-2:30 pm – Skillshare breakouts

  • Session 1: “Overcoming Challenges to Create Victories; Lessons Learned in Facilitating a Parkinson’s Support Group" 
    • Facilitators: Doug Pickard & Stan Livingston 
  • Session 2: “Speaking to the World About Parkinson’s - Sharing Your Life With Others 
    • Facilitator: Jim Allen 
  • Session 3: “How to Set Up Your Davis Phinney Foundation Table”
    • Facilitators: Michelle Lane, Kimerly Coshow, Susan Sapir-Fields 

2:30-3 pm – Reflection/Networking + closing 



Friday, September 15th   

9-9:15am - Welcome: Everett Graves-Swinney

9:15-10 am - A Deep Dive into Fundraising with Team DPF

Panelists: Michelle Lane, Kimerly Coshow, Susan Sapir-Fields, Rebecca Reifel, Lauren Kehn

Moderator: Kayla Ferguson

10-10:15 am - Movement Break: Barb Matheny

10:15-11 am – Deep Dive: How to Engage Your Community with New Davis Phinney Foundation Programs

Panelists: Kayla Ferguson, Devon Fulford 

Moderator: Sara Linn

11-11:15 am - Mindfulness Moment

11:15am - 12:30pm - Lunch Break

12:30-1:15 pm – Skillshare breakouts

  • Session 1: “Employment Law and Parkinson’s -- Wisdom, Law, and Practicality in the World of Parkinson’s 
    • Facilitator: Jim Allen 
  • Session 2: “Death Café” 
    • Facilitator: Amy Carlson 
  • Session 3: “Free Time”

1:15-1:30 – Coffee/Snack Break 

1:30-2:15 – Skillshare breakouts

  • Session 1: “How to Share Your Parkinson’s Management Techniques” 
    • Facilitator: Tom Cosentino 
  • Session 2: “Growing a Local Parkinson’s Organization”
    • Facilitator: Rick Buck 
  • Session 3: “Care Partner Workshop” 
    • Facilitators: Devon Fulford & Polly Dawkins 

2:15-3 pm – Closing: Polly Dawkins 

Travel and Accommodations

Attendees of the Leadership Conference are responsible for booking and managing their own travel and accommodations. However, the Davis Phinney Foundation is providing travel grants to all Ambassadors, CAC leaders/members, and community grant recipients invited to attend.

Travel grant applications will remain open through August 1, 2023. 
Please contact your program manager if you have questions about these grants. 

We have reserved room blocks at the two hotels listed below. You may find that you can find a better price using a senior discount or other approaches, so we encourage you to check before you book.


Graduate Minneapolis(Note: This is where Foundation staff will stay.) 
615 Washington Ave SE  
Minneapolis, MN 55414  

Distance from McNamara Center: 0.5 miles (3 min car ride, 6 min walk) 
Hotel Parking: Parking rates vary by season. We will provide updated information as we have it, or you can call the hotel to inquire.

Click to book at the Graduate Minneapolis or call (612) 379-8888. 


Hilton Garden Inn Minneapolis – University Area
511 SE Huron Blvd 
Minneapolis, MN 55414 

Group rate: $159/night 

Distance from McNamara Center: 0.35 miles (3 min car ride, 9 min walk) 
Hotel Parking: Covered self-parking fee is $30/day. 

Click to book at the Hilton Garden Inn or call 800-445-8667 and reference the “Parkinson's Conference Block” or five-letter code: PRKLC. 

The closest airport to the event is Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP). Attendees are encouraged to select ground transportation that suits them best for travel to and from the airport and to utilize travel grant funds to cover their selection. For detailed information about ground transportation options, visit the MSP website. 

We are grateful to the Rosina K. Sapir Ambassador Fund and Louisiana Walks for Parkinson’s for supporting the Leadership Conference travel grants. 

Things To Do

In the spirit of Healthy Parkinson’s Communities, we want to embrace the uniqueness of the location of this event. In addition to selecting local venues for event programming, we are also intentionally ending our days in the afternoon to allow you time in the evenings to gather in smaller groups or explore on your own.

Stay in Touch

 Have questions about the event schedule, travel grants, planning your participation, or something else?
Contact your program manager or email us at communities@dpf.org.

Everett Graves-Swinney Headshot

Everett Graves-Swinney
Ambassador Leadership Program Associate

Sara Linn Headshot

Sara Linn
Ambassador Leadership Program Manager


Kayla Ferguson
Grants Program Manager


Susana Carlos
Program Associate - Healthy Parkinson's Communities™ Network

Claudia Martinez

Claudia Martinez
Hispanic Community Engagement Manager

Thank You to Our Leadership Conference Sponsors

Thank You to Our Ambassador Program Sponsors

Sponsor the Leadership Conference

We invite sponsors of this event to join us as participants, learners, and contributors. If you are interested in supporting this important gathering of Parkinson’s community leaders (and joining in the event yourself!) please contact Jorie Parwani at jparwani@dpf.org.

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