St. Joseph’s/Candler service helps our movement disorders patients have a better quality of life

Jan 19, 2023

Are you a movement disorders patient of Dr. Jill Trumble, Dr. Ryon Poston or Dr. Jonas Vanags? Then there’s someone you may not know about but should certainly talk to.

Her name is Melissa Gritz. She’s the St. Joseph’s/Candler outpatient movement disorders social worker. She can help movement disorders patients in a variety of ways to improve quality of life – and her service comes at no additional cost.

“A lot of my job is seeing where patients are emotionally and helping them move forward with whatever their self-determination is,” Gritz says. “I’m here to support patients to live their best life, however they determine that to be.”

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

Gritz works with movement disorders patients to address any concerns or struggles they may have, whether that’s physically, mentally, socially or spiritually. She can refer you to other community services to help address financial needs or legal needs, for example. Because movement disorders patients are at a higher risk for falls, Gritz also can refer you to a home health occupational therapist to evaluate your home.

Gritz also attends area movement disorders support groups to connect with patients and families and works with local businesses that may be able to assist our movement disorders patients.

“It’s OK to reach out for help, for support,” Gritz says. “Oftentimes people are afraid to make significant changes, but once they do, they realize those changes did help improve their quality of life.”

If you or a loved one have a movement disorder and would like to speak or meet with Gritz, you can call her at 912-346-6378 or email her at

“Please reach out sooner rather than later. It’s OK to call me anytime” Gritz says. “It’s all about finding joy, and it’s my goal to help you do that.”

How this service came to be

Melissa Gritz is able to offer the myriad of social services that movement disorders patients require through the generous donations of corporations and individuals. St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations, with leading gifts from Colonial Foundation, Inc. and Sterling Seacrest Partners, started raising money for the Movement Disorders Program several years ago.

If you’d like to donate to the St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations directed towards the Movement Disorders Program, you can do so here.

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