JF&CS is pleased to introduce Anne Muskopf, the new Charlotte & Richard Okonow Parkinson’s Family Support Program Director. In this role, Anne oversees all of the Parkinson’s programs at JF&CS, which include the Tremble Clefs choral group; the therapeutic movement and dance group; a quarterly education, networking and support group; and the care partner support groups.

Anne is excited to join the JF&CS team, sharing that she is thrilled to “work at an agency that tries to say ‘yes’ to people; an organization that meets the needs of its participants where they’re at.” Prior to working at JF&CS, Anne spent more than a decade as a home care occupational therapist for the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston.

Anne’s interest in Parkinson’s was sparked in graduate school at the Washington University School of Medicine, where she led an exercise group for people with Parkinson’s and worked with a professor to develop a wellness program for people living with the disease. As Anne explained, she developed a special interest in Parkinson’s when learning about the therapeutic technique of using intent to manage symptoms, such as making a conscious effort to speak louder and take bigger steps.

Anne was drawn to the Okonow Parkinson’s Family Support Program Director position at JF&CS because, unlike other Parkinson’s organizations that focus primarily on research, our agency is dedicated to helping participants with their day-to-day lives. According to Anne, programs like our choral group and dance group are incredibly beneficial to people living with Parkinson’s because “music lights up so many parts of the brain; it’s therapeutic for movement, coordination and balance.” Anne is certified in LSVT BIG, which is a regimented protocol that helps retrain people with Parkinson’s to move better.

In addition to therapeutic benefits, the Parkinson’s programs at JF&CS provide a much-needed community for people living with this challenging disease. As a home care occupational therapist, Anne saw firsthand how Parkinson’s can leave people feeling isolated and depressed. In contrast, the people who participate in our Parkinson’s programs enjoy a sense of belonging and connection with others.

Anne said, “I’m so impressed with the dedication of our participants. I know from my time in home care that it’s not easy to get out of the house when you have Parkinson’s, and it’s really impressive to make that effort. It speaks to the quality of our programs.”

When she is not at work, Anne enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, ages 5 and 10. Anne is also an avid baker, who specializes in sourdough bread. She even mills her own flour at home!

Now more than two months into her new job, Anne is really enjoying connecting with JF&CS participants. A highlight of her day is chatting with callers on our information, referrals and consultation phone line. “People are very appreciative,” said Anne. “They are so happy just to talk to someone who is supportive and listening on the other end of the line.”

If you have questions about Parkinson’s or would like more information about our programs, don’t hesitate to email Anne Muskopf at amuskopf@jfcsboston.org or give her a call at 781-647-JFCS (5327).

This post has been contributed by a third party. The opinions, facts and any media content are presented solely by the author, and JewishBoston assumes no responsibility for them. Want to add your voice to the conversation? Publish your own post here.