Parkinson’s Mentor Program

Newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patients and those who’ve been living with the condition can benefit from a relationship with someone who can help them understand their disease or simply someone to talk to about it.

The Norton Neuroscience Institute Parkinson’s Mentor Program pairs patients with doctoral candidates studying physical therapy at Bellarmine University School of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences.

As mentors for one another, patients and students have the opportunity to build meaningful relationships that are mutually educational as well as emotionally and physically beneficial for the patient. Based on clinical research, the program allows students and patients to work together to improve patients’ self-confidence and quality of life, as well as reduce social isolation.

For patients, mentor programs with students can expand their social circle. Students benefit from establishing relationships with Parkinson’s patients and become better acquainted with the realities of living with Parkinson’s disease.

The Norton Neuroscience Institute Parkinson’s Mentor Program is offered by Parkinson Support Center of Kentuckiana, a part of Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Centers, in partnership with Bellarmine University School of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences. The program pairs students in the Bellarmine University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program with local patients with Parkinson’s disease for an educational relationship.

The program runs from September to April, and registration closes in August. If you would like to apply for the program after registration closes, please reach out to the contacts below.  Participants meet two to three times per academic semester.

This program is supported by a community grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation.

Parkinson’s Mentor Program Goals

  • Educate physical therapy students on real-world aspects of living with Parkinson’s disease and quality-of-life issues faced by patients.
  • Introduce students to research and career opportunities in neurology and movement disorders.
  • Provide relationship-building opportunities between students and patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Who Can Participate

  • Individuals who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at any stage and:
    • Are interested and committed to interacting with health profession students
    • Are independently mobile or have a caregiver who can provide assistance
  • Bellarmine University students who:
    • Are entering their first, second or third year of physical therapy school
    • Are in a health profession track or
    • Have an interest in interacting and learning more about patients with Parkinson’s disease

Activities can include going to the library, playing board games, taking walks, attending a Parkinson’s meeting or program, exercising, sharing a meal, and attending an art showing or music performance.

This is an educational program, and students are not permitted to provide treatment or medical advice.

For More Information


Andrea Lanham
Program Coordinator, Parkinson’s Support
Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center – Brownsboro
Norton Medical Plaza III – Brownsboro, Suite 400
4915 Norton Healthcare Blvd.
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 559-3221


Elizabeth Ulanowski, P.T., DPT, NCS
Associate Professor
Bellarmine University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
Nolen C. Allen Hall, Room 368
2120 Newburg Road
Louisville, KY 40205
(502) 272-8354

Supported by

Parkinson’s Support Center of Kentuckiana, a Part of:

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