Logo image of Columbia Parkinson's Support Group  

July 2008 Meeting

December 2008 Meeting


Fund Raising

Meet Our Board Members Our History
Meeting Information Why Do You Have A Red Tulip In Your Logo?
What Kind Of Things Does Your Support Group Do? Meet Duncan - Our Mascot
How Can I Volunteer? How Can I Contact You?
Our Mission Can I Tweet You?
Affiliations With Other Organizations Do You Have A Blog?

Meet Our Board Members
The Columbia Parkinson's Support Group is operated and run by volunteers who are Parkinson patients themselves, caregivers & care partners of Parkinson patients, or people who have an interest in and support Parkinson's disease.
The Officers and Board Members volunteer their time and talents, receiving no compensation or salaries.
Karen Basso

Karen Basso
President & Public Relations & Secretary
Photo provided by Karen Basso
Michelle Morton-Reed

Michelle Morton Reed
Vice President & Program Chairman
Photo Provided by Michelle Morton Reed
Karen Basso is Senior Vice President and one of the principals of the Preferred Group.  The Preferred Group is an insurance and reinsurance brokerage and consulting firm headquartered in Columbia, SC.  Karen is a care-partner with her husband, Derek, who is a Parkinson’s patient.

"I am very interested in promoting education and research about Parkinson’s Disease and helping to provide a mutual support system for the members of the Parkinson’s community."

Telephone: Cell - 803-351-9571 and Home - 803-739-1500
Email: kbasso@preferredre.com

Michelle Morton Reed is a Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy Expert at Medtronic Neuromodulation. She received her BS in Exercise Science at the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas. Michelle has been involved in the medical industry since 1999 in both practitioner and sales roles. She continues to enjoy her daily contact with patients.

"I became interested in Parkinson's disease because my neighbor had Parkinson's, and I've never had anyone in my life with Parkinson's. I wanted to know everything about it; so I could relate and understand what he and his wife faced on a daily basis."

"My goal in life is to impact people and help change their lives. My day-to-day involvement with Parkinson's patients makes me realize how humble and appreciative they are as people. My heart is filled with so much joy when I'm able to help make their lives a little better than the day before. I feel if I can make a difference in a patient's life, I'm fulfilling my role as a child of our Lord and Savior!"

Telephone: 803-587-9681
Email: michelle.morton@medtronic.com
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Mitch Faile

Mitch Faile
Photo Provided by Mitch Faile
Dave Flickinger

Board Member &
Speaker's Bureau Chair
Photo provided by
Dave Flickinger
Mitch is a father to five, a Clemson Alumni and Atlanta, GA Corporate Executive and Entrepreneur who was diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 44.  Mitch moved to Chapin 4 years ago and wrote and recorded a song "Blame It On The Parkinson's" to raise awareness for Parkinson's symptoms.  The video has generated 25,000+ on line views and the proceeds are donate to Parkinson's awareness charities. 

Mitch says that his main goal is to raise awareness through YouTube views. " I would love to see the video get one million views to raise awareness for the one million people in the United States with Parkinson’s.”

Below is the link to Mitch's song "Blame It On The Parkinson's"


Telephone 770-619-5512
Email mitchf11111@yahoo.com
Dave has a BS and MS in Pharmacy and an MBA. He has practiced hospital Pharmacy for over 40 years in both administrative and clinical roles. For the past 15 years, Dave has focused mostly on clinical responsibilities including mentoring senior Pharmacy students from University of South Carolina and Presbyterian Colleges of Pharmacy. Dave was diagnosed with PD in July, 2015. “Connecting with members of the Parkinson’s community has been both an educational and rewarding experience in my journey as a Parkinson patient.  It is my wish to share that connection with others in the hope that I can benefit them in their journey as well.”

Dave is the Chairman of our support group's "Speaker's Bureau". If you would like to have a speaker come to speak to your group about Parkinson's, please feel free to contact Dave.
Telephone: (803) 732-4502
Email: Flickdb@aol.com
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Photo of Dottie Gantt - President
Dottie Gantt
Emeritus & Board Member
Photo by Dennis Baker
Photo of Dennis Cooper - Photographer
Dennis Baker
Board Member & Photographer
Photo by Dottie Gantt
For 12 years (2002 - 2014), Dottie served as President and Co-Program Chair of the Columbia Parkinson's Support Group. Dottie was a care-partner with her husband CW, who was a Parkinson's patient for 20 years.

Dottie retired from Bell Labs at Alcatel/Lucent, having worked as a research engineer. She has a BS in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina, and a MS in Computer Science Engineering from Kansas State University.

"I am very interested in providing a safe support system for those in the Parkinson community; and interested in helping to provide education and awareness about Parkinson's disease to the citizens of South Carolina and elsewhere."

Telephone: 803-604-0061
Email: lakeside@dottiegantt.com
Dennis Baker retired from working for the South Carolina Electric & Gas Company. Dennis attended the University of Maryland, College Park, majoring in Nuclear Science. Dennis is a care partner with his wife, Carol Baker, who is a Parkinson patient.

"I want to help provide information and resources to other care partners and caregivers of Parkinson patients."

Telephone 803-781-6193
Email: bakerdab@bellsouth.net
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Mike Brown
Mike Brown
Board Member
Photo by Mike Brown
Teresa S. Player
Teresa S. Player
Board Member
Photo Provided by Teresa S. Player
Mike is the Vice President of Operations for Right at Home, a locally owned home care agency providing services for adults in Richland, Lexington & Kershaw counties.  Mike has extensive experience in senior care and has worked in a leadership role on nationally recognized patient care projects funded by the Duke Endowment, Harvard School of Medicine & CMS with the goal of utilizing home care to reduce preventable hospital admissions.

“I look forward to working diligently with the Columbia Parkinson’s support group to help accomplish their mission of raising awareness, raising funds & providing information and support to those affected by Parkinson’s disease”

Telephone: 803.551.4004

Email: mike@rahcolumbia.com

Teresa S. Player is the Community Outreach Director for BeWell Home Services, which is a ministry of Lutheran Homes of South Carolina. Prior to joining BeWell, Teresa was employed as an attorney with the State of South Carolina, as well as an attorney in the private sector. Teresa is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina Law School.

Cellular: 803.391.6196 -- Office: 803.251.4663 -- Fax: 803.251.4677

Email: outreach-midlands@bewellhomeservices.org

Dr. Ben Herz
Dr. Nathan (Ben) Herz
Board Member
Photo Provided by Dr. Herz
Dr. Ben Herz has more than 33 years of clinical experience in orthopedic and industrial injuries, and is a specialist in the area of degenerative neurological diseases. Before taking his current position with South University as the Online OTD Program Director, he was the Founding Director and Professor at the Virginia Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences Entry Level OTD program. While there he created an inter-professional curriculum with both Physical Therapy and the Physician’s Assistant programs.

He has also served as the clinical Occupational Therapist, an Associate Professor, and Program Director at Georgia Health Sciences University Centers for Excellence for both Movement Disorders and ALS.

Dr. Herz is known internationally as an “early pioneer” using the Wii, Wiifit, and Kinect gaming systems for unique Parkinson's therapy. He lectures internationally on using virtual reality and gaming as a therapeutic intervention in Parkinson's rehabilitation.

He continues to serve as an ergonomic consultant to the South University faculty and staff, as well as for regional industries.

Email: batt687@gmail.com

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Uncle Sam

Click Here To Learn More About Volunteering
We Need You - Please Volunteer!

Like any other support group, our monthly programs, and services are made possible because of our wonderful Volunteers, who donate their time, their many talents, resources, and other types of contributions.   We always need Volunteers to help our support group.

A Volunteer can be a PD patient, a caregiver, or just someone interested in Parkinson's disease.  As a Volunteer, you can share your experience, skills, talents, and learn new skills.  As a Volunteer, you will have the opportunity and to experience and meet some very special people in the Parkinson's community, and those who provide services to the Parkinson's community.  As a Volunteer, you will always have assistance from other members on our Board and on our committees.  

If you are interested, and want more information about Volunteering,, please feel free to contact
us at Email contact@columbiaparkinsonsupportgroup.org - or- one of our officers listed below.
Karen Basso
President and Public Relations
Telephone: Cell 803-351-9571 or Home 803-739-1500
Email: kbasso@preferredre.com
Michelle Morton Reed
Vice President & Program Chairman
Telephone: 803-587-9681
Email: michelle.morton@medtronic.com
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Our Mission

The Columbia Parkinson's Support Group (also known as CPSG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and incorporated in the State of South Carolina. The mission of the Columbia Parkinson's Support Group is to provide the Parkinson's Community with a safe environment to obtain SUPPORT, INFORMATION, EDUCATION, create AWARENESS about Parkinson's Disease, and FUND RAISING to further research for the cure of Parkinson's Disease.

The Parkinson's Community can consist of Parkinson Disease (PD) patients, their caregivers / care-partners, family members, friends, and any others who are working in related fields or have an interest in Parkinson's disease.
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Meeting Information

Please Click here For information about our meetings location, times, membership, meeting notifications / email, privacy statement, dues & donations, etc.

Please Click Here For information about the current Meeting Calendar and Events information
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What Kind Of Things Does Your Support Group Do? - We have our monthly meetings, but there are so many other activities that we do towards our mission goal of providing Support, Information, Education, creating Awareness about Parkinson's disease, and Fund Raising to further research for the cure of Parkinson's Disease.
Click here to find out what are the many other things that we do as a support group.
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Affiliations With Other Organizations - The Columbia Parkinson's Support Group is not an affiliated with any other organization.
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Our History
The Columbia Parkinson's Support Group has a long history of being an active, and growing membership.

In January 1985, W. G. Rainey and a small group of individuals started the group because they felt there was a need for a support group for Parkinson's patients, their caregivers, and anyone who had an interest in Parkinson's disease within the community. The group was formed on March 20, 1985. For many years the group met wherever they could find a meeting place in the Columbia mid-lands area.

In 2001, the group was recognized by the Lexington Medical Center (LMC) as a community support group. While our support group is not a part of LMC, for many years they graciously allowed us to hold our meetings in their classrooms. Eventually our support group grew large enough that they moved us into the Lexington Medical Center Park 1 Auditorium. Thank you Lexington Medical Center for your continued support and allowing us to meet on your facilities.

In 2008, the Columbia Parkinson's Support Group became the first Parkinson's support group in the state to be recognized by South Carolina Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging as part of their SC Access program.

In 2013, the Columbia Parkinson's Support Group received 501(c)(3) non-profit approval from the IRS.

Why do you have a red tulip in your logo? There is a very special live tulip created just for the Parkinson's Community all over the world. For the answer click here
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Photo of Duncan - Our Mascot Dog
Our Official Mascot
Photo by Dr. Ben Herz

Meet Duncan
Duncan is the official mascot of the Columbia Parkinson's Support Group. In his photo, Duncan is wearing one of our Parkinson Awareness Buttons.

Duncan says "Wuff Woooof" --- (Translation - He wants everyone to work towards helping to find a cure for Parkinson's Disease!)

Why is Duncan your mascot?
Duncan has an interest in Parkinson's disease. Duncan liked his very first visit to the Columbia Parkinson's Support Group meeting; and he become a member of the group by signing our membership list with his paw print. Whenever he can, Duncan says that he will be attending and participating at our support group meetings. Duncan is cute, cuddly, and very well-behaved. We appreciate Duncan's membership.

We will be featuring photo's of Duncan on several of our web pages.

Duncan says - "Woof" "Woooof" "Arff" "Woof" --- (Translation - Please come and attend our support group meetings.)Spacer gif
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How Can I Contact You?
You Can Contact Us By Email and Phone to ask questions, give us feedback, and get more information.
Click here to visit our Contact Page with all the Email and Phone numbers

You Can Tweet Us - @SCparkinsons
Tell us what is on your mind about Parkinson's. Find out what others have contributed to the Parkinson's community in South Carolina and elsewhere.
Click here to Tweet Us

You Can Visit Our Blog at the "Parkinson Round Table"
The "Parkinson Round Table" blog was created to provide a place for conversation, discussion, and exchange of information about Parkinson's disease (PD) and related topics. We invite anyone who has an interest in Parkinson's disease to gather around the virtual table. Bring a cup of coffee, tea or whatever; and join us. You can come dressed-up, in your pajamas, or whatever. You can come any time of the day or night. We don't care how or when you come. We just want you to have a place where you can relax and share in the conversation about living with Parkinson's.
Click here to join us at the "Parkinson Round Table"

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©2008 by Columbia Parkinson's Support Group (CPSG), All Rights Reserved.
Page Last Updated March 26, 2018
Site designed and maintained by Dottie M. Gantt

WEBSITE DISCLAIMER --- The CPSG has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy of information provided on the CPSG website.  All information on the CPSG website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical or legal advice or recommendations. Any links to other websites found on the CPSG website are owned by third parties and the CPSG will not take responsibility for the information or content thereon.  Links to such third party sites are not to be taken as an endorsement by the CPSG of the third party site or any products, services, or processes being offered by the third party.