About APDA Massachusetts

About Us

The Massachusetts Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association supports the national mission to provide outstanding patient services and educational programs, elevate public awareness about the disease, and support research designed to unlock the mysteries of Parkinson’s disease and ultimately put an end to this disease.

Our goals include to:

  • Better educate the general public about Parkinson’s disease.
  • Develop necessary services for Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers.
  • Facilitate raising enough funds to find the cure for Parkinson’s disease.
  • Provide resources for the leaders of Parkinson’s support groups in Massachusetts.
  • Collaborate with the APDA Information & Referral Center to increase services throughout Massachusetts.

Learn About the American Parkinson Disease Association Massachusetts Chapter

Our Chapter Board

The Chapter Board is comprised of approximately twenty volunteers with diverse backgrounds who meet monthly to direct the operation of the APDA Massachusetts Chapter. Board members are not paid for their services and are committed to the mission of helping find a cure through funding research, and to helping people in their day-to-day activities. Board members work extremely hard in planning and organizing information sessions, the Annual “Optimism Walk” and numerous fundraising events.

Working closely with the APDA Information and Referral Center and Massachusetts’s two APDA Centers for Advanced Research, the APDA Massachusetts strives to provide service to the approximately 20,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the state,* as well as their family members and care partners. The Chapter fulfills this mission by giving grants to organizations providing Parkinson’s programming,  supplying guidance and education to support groups across the state, and supporting educational programming in collaboration with the APDA Information and Referral Center, among other activities.

*Based on the 2020 Census.

All are welcome to sit in on Board meetings, and those interested in doing more can apply to become Board members, subject to Chapter Bylaws.

President: Kristin Stapleton

Vice President: Jay Zavala

Treasurer: Alex Yen, PhD

Secretary: Melissa Diggin, NP

Member at Large: Gail Achin

Member at Large: Chris Dandrea, MBA

Member at Large: Alexandra Deal, JD

Member at Large: Debra R. Ellis, MSPT, NCS

Member at Large: Meryl Fink

Member at Large: Melissa Fire

Member at Large: Thomas Garaventi

Member at Large: Meg McAuliffe

Member at Large: Laurie Jo Tullis

Member at Large: Robert Tullis

Member at Large: Denyse Turpin, MPH, RN

Member at Large: Cathy Wesalowski

Advisor: Tami DeAngelis, PT, DPT

Advisor: Terry Ellis, PhD, PT, NCS

Advisor: Donna McLaughlin, MSW, LICSW

Advisor: Marie Saint-Hilaire, MD, FRCPC

Advisor: David Sommer, MD, MPH

Advisor: Lisa Sommers, MA, CCC-SLP

Advisor: Cathi Thomas, MS, RN

Advisor: Linda Tickle-Degnen, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

APDA Information and Referral Center

The APDA Information and Referral Center at Boston University Medical Center serves as a resource for people impacted by Parkinson’s as well as healthcare providers and community members.

Read More

Three staff of the APDA Information & Referral Center

PSN of Cape Cod, APDA Branch

The Parkinson Support Network of Cape Cod, a Branch of the American Parkinson Disease Association MA Chapter, provides educational programming and services to individuals impacted by Parkinson’s on the Cape.

Visit the PSN Page

Participants stretch before an event

Community Grant Progam

The Community Grant Program funds a variety of programs that make a difference in the lives of those living with Parkinson’s disease.

Learn More about the Community Grant Program

Members of a Rock Steady Boxing Group put their hands in the center for a cheer

Support Our Mission

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