St. Joseph’s/Candler program designed to help patients with movement disorders

Jun 14, 2022

The Movement Disorders Program offers comprehensive care for Parkinson’s, Essential Tremor and other movement disorders patients

More than 600,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year. That’s just one condition that is classified as a movement disorder, and it’s not even the most common movement disorder.

To ensure patients with movement disorders receive the highest quality of care, St. Joseph’s/Candler offers the Movement Disorders Program (MDP), a program dedicated to comprehensive evaluation, treatment, education and resource support.

“This program is essentially a road map that can assist people who have any type of movement disorder,” explains Katy Harne, outreach coordinator for the Movement Disorders Program.

Katy Harne

Contact the MDP Coordinator >

A movement disorder is defined as a group of neurological conditions causing involuntary or abnormal movement. Examples of movement disorders can include Parkinson’s disease, restless leg syndrome, Tourette’s Syndrome, Essential Tremor, Huntington’s disease and other related neurological disorders.

Related Article: Six common movement disorders

The MDP is designed to help patients with movement disorders throughout their entire journey, Harne says. You could be newly diagnosed and don’t know where to turn to look for help so this program can plug you into community resources. The program also can help patients pivot with changes as their disease progresses. Harne also has more than a decade of experience working with geriatrics.

“So I’m happy to help you throughout your entire journey,” she says.

The goal of the MDP is to provide compassionate, comprehensive, quality care for patients with movement disorders. The program improves access to information, services and treatment, as well as serves as advocates for patients with movement disorders.

The St. Joseph’s/Candler MDP is the only program of its kind in the region.

“I think this program is so important because whenever you are faced with such an overwhelming diagnosis, you feel very isolated,” Harne says. “This program helps connect people to the greater community we have in the Lowcountry whether that’s support groups or different types of medical assistance or community events – people can feel connected and feel they are not alone in their endeavor to live life successfully.”

Among the services offered through the MDP are:

  • Multidisciplinary team approach to determine the best customized treatment plan for a patient’s individual needs.
  • Designated patient navigators to help guide patients in the continuum of care from diagnosis to treatment to recovery.
  • Specialized diagnostic/therapeutic procedures coordinated by a highly-skilled board-certified neurologist.
  • Patient evaluation and follow up assessment with the St. Joseph’s/Candler Physician Network – Neurology practice.
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy offered in both an inpatient and outpatient setting.
  • Education and community outreach, including connecting patients with support groups.

“Maybe someone is newly diagnosed and needs to know more about Parkinson’s specific therapy programs, we can help with that,” Harne says. “Or maybe a patient is feeling isolated and wants to meet with the local Essential Tremor support group, we can help with that. It’s about knowing all of the resources within our network and being able to refer to dedicated professionals who can help with movement disorders.

The MDP team

The MDP takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating patients with movement disorders. The team includes:  

  • St. Joseph’s/Candler Neurologist Dr. Jill Trumble, board certified neurologist and fellowship trained movement disorders specialist, medical director of the program
  • Katy Harne, outreach coordinator
  • Board certified balance physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists
  • Other social workers, registered nurses and exercise physiologists

“For me, it’s about getting out in the community and making people aware this program is accessible to them, and that we’re available to people to educate them and offer resources,” Harne says.

“While you might not be able to say there’s a cure for this condition at this time, there are so many ways to live successfully and to make this day as productive and as healthy as possible. There’s an entire tool belt of resources we have and all of these things are at our patient’s disposal.”

For more information about the Movement Disorders Program, contact outreach coordinator Katy Harne at 912-663-6803 or by filling out this form. For more information, visit our website. 

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