Marv Bossart Parkinson’s Foundation teams up with UND to offer training to health professions students
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The Marv Bossart Parkinson’s Foundation has teamed up with the University of North Dakota to provide funds for physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and communication sciences and disorders (CSD) students to obtain training in Parkinson’s disease care. Through this effort, qualified UND students will have 100 percent of the cost covered for specific Parkinson’s education and training.
An endowment has been established through the UND Alumni Association & Foundation for future growth, along with a distribution fund for immediate use for students in the 2021-2022 school year.
In this first year alone, over 150 students at UND will qualify for these funds. The course will utilize evidence-based speech, physical and occupational therapies to help people with Parkinson's. The training is being administered by LSVT Global, a U.S.-based physical and occupational therapy training organization focused on the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) treatment model.
“My dad, Marv, was always so proud to be a UND graduate," said Liz Bossart Mathison, executive director of the Marv Bossart Parkinson’s Foundation. Mr. Bossart died from complications of Parkinson’s in 2013. "Establishing this endowment is an honor and a privilege for our family, ensuring that so many students will learn how to help those with Parkinson’s for many, many years to come."
The Marv Bossart Parkinson’s Foundation is administered by Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF), Fargo.
“This partnership, established between the Marv Bossart Parkinson’s Foundation and UND, is a beacon on the prairie,” added Pat Traynor, executive director of DMF. “It once again exemplifies how the people of this region come together in an effort to make a real difference in the lives of our communities.”
Because LSVT treatment is customized to each person's specific needs and goals, it can help regardless of the stage or severity of the condition. LSVT trains people with Parkinson’s disease to use their body more normally, effectively training for any activity, whether “small motor” tasks like buttoning a shirt or “large motor” tasks like maintaining balance while walking. It also teaches them how and when to apply extra effort to produce bigger motions – more like the movements of everyone around them.
“I am so grateful to Liz and the Marv Bossart Parkinson’s Foundation for their vision and investment in the education of students in the PT, OT, and CSD programs,” said Cindy Flom-Meland, professor and chair of the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences Department of Physical Therapy. “Their generous endowment will benefit students for years to come, and the number of persons with Parkinson’s disease that will be treated by these soon-to-be health care providers is exponential. It’s a beautiful way to pay-it-forward in memory of Marv Bossart.”
Mr. Bossart anchored the WDAY News for 42 years. The Marv Bossart Parkinson’s Foundation was founded by the Bossart family to help patients, their families, and caregivers affected by the disease.
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Liz Bossart Mathison
Marv Bossart Parkinson’s Foundation