Contact: Courtney O’Banion, Communications Coordinator

Building awareness during Parkinson’s Awareness Month

(LIMA; April 24, 2017) April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and more than 1 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder. For those living with Parkinson’s or another movement disorder in the Allen County and surrounding areas, there are exercise groups to help improve mobility and quality of life offered by St. Rita’s Health Partners.

The exercise groups meet every Wednesday and Thursday at the following locations:

Ottawa Parkinson’s Exercise Program

When: Every Wednesday
April 5 - Nov. 22, 2017, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Putnam County YMCA
101 Putnam Pkwy. Ottawa, Ohio 45875

Lima Parkinson’s Exercise Program
When: Every Thursday
April 6 – Nov. 23, 2017, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: St. Rita’s Auxiliary Conference Center
718 W. Market St. Lima, Ohio 45801

The groups focus on helping patients stay physically and mentally healthy. Currently, there are nearly 30 patients who attend these sessions.

“We have offered Parkinson’s exercise groups since 2003 at St. Rita’s, and our goal is to enhance the quality of life for those affected by this disease,” said Beth Hartoon, physical therapist and organizer of St. Rita’s Parkinson’s support and exercise groups. “When you see these individuals learning new exercises, seeing them become more motivated, and watching their movements improve - it truly is inspiring.”

An individual taking part in the exercise group will learn exercises including gait training, transfers, strengthening exercises and more.

“It’s important that our community knows that we have these resources available, because at some point there is a possibility that you or someone you know could be affected by Parkinson’s. April is an important month to build awareness, but these groups come together throughout the spring, summer and fall,” Hartoon said.

To learn more about support and exercise groups offered, individuals can contact Beth Hartoon, PT, DPT, at 419-226-9019 (Lima) or 419-523-5391 (Ottawa).

About St. Rita’s Health Partners
Since 1918, St. Rita’s Health Partners has been providing quality healthcare to the people of Lima and west central Ohio. More people prefer St. Rita's for medical care than any other hospital in the 10-county region we serve. Our comprehensive high-quality medical services include The Henry & Beverly Hawk Vascular & Heart Center at St. Rita's, St. Rita's Orthopaedic Care Center, trauma and emergency, cancer treatment, women's health, mother/baby, pediatrics, sports medicine and rehabilitation, behavioral health services, homecare and hospice.
As a member of Mercy Health, the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest health systems in the United States, it is our Mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the health of our communities. In 2014, St. Rita’s Health Partners invested $42 million in community benefit into the communities where we provide care, most of it targeted to people who are poor and under-served. Together with more than 3,000 employees, physicians and volunteers, we are fulfilling our promise, providing area residents with outstanding health and wellness services and improving the health of the communities we serve. Please visit for more information or connect with St. Rita’s Medical Center on Facebook.