Logo image of Columbia Parkinson's Support Group

July 2008 Meeting

December 2008 Meeting
Fund Raising

What Does Your Support Group Do? Affiliations With Other Organizations Our History
Tweet Us - @SC parkinsons Visit Our Blog - "Parkinson Round Table"  
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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Our Board Members and Leadership Team 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
Photo provided by Karen Basso
Photo of Carol Baker - Vice President
Carol Baker
Vice President & Co-Program Chair
Board Member
Photo by Dennis Baker
Karen Basso is our President. She 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

Carol Baker is Vice President / Treasurer / and Program Co-Chair. She is retired, having worked at the University of South Carolina in Financial Aid, processing guaranteed student loans, and she worked at "Do It Best" as an Administrative Assistant in payroll and insurance.

"As a Parkinson's patient, I want to assist other Parkinson patients in their search for information, resources, and empowerment about Parkinson's."

Telephone 803-781-6193
Email:  caroltbaker@bellsouth.net

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Johnny Miller
Johnny Miller
Secretary & Board Member

Photo provided by Johnny Miller
Chris Maynard
Chris (Christopher) Maynard
Treasurer & Board Member
Photo provided by Christopher Maynard
Johnny Miller is our Secretary. In 2009 he retired after 40+ years of ministry. He moved back to S. C. in 2011 to teach part-time at Columbia International University, where he has been both President and a professor. He has also been a pastor, a high school teacher, and a sports journalist. Johnny is a Parkinson's patient. He is interested in education and encouragement, educating the individual PD patient and the community in the realities of the disease, and encouraging the individual patient to continue to grow in understanding and combating the disease.

"I have profited tremendously from the wisdom and knowledge of other PD patients, and I want to provide that for yet others."

Telephone: 803-520-0262
Chris has a BA in Geography from the University of South Carolina, as well as a Lean Six Sigma certification from Accenture. He currently works as a Business Process Manager for TD Bank at the Lexington Center in Lexington, SC. Chris brings a total of 16 years of experience in the Financial Services industry to the Treasurer position (Wachovia Bank, Colonial Life, and TD Bank.

"As a Young Onset PD patient, I am looking to assist this group in any way possible. Volunteering for the Treasurer position seems like a logical first step."

Telephone: 803-960-5835
Email: xcsmscnc1@gmail.com
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Photo of Dottie Gantt - President
Dottie Gantt
Emeritus and Board Member
Photo by Dennis Baker
Photo of Dennis Cooper - Photographer
Dennis Baker
Board Member & Photographer
Photo by Dottie Gantt
Dottie Gantt is a Board Member and President Emeritus. For 12 years (2002 - 2014), Dottie served as President and Co-Program Chair of the Columbia Parkinson's Support Group. Dottie is a care-partner with her husband CW, who is a Parkinson's patient.

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
Board Member - Dennis Baker is our Photographer. He is 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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Michelle Morton-Reed
Michelle Morton Reed
Board Member
Photo Provided by Michelle Morton Reed

Teresa S. Player
Teresa S. Player
Board Member
Photo Provided by Teresa S. Player
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
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.

Telephone: 803-391-6196

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Meeting Information
- For more information about our meetings, membership, meeting notifications / email, privacy statement, dues & donations, etc. Please Click here

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What Does Your Support Group Do? - Yes, we have our monthly meetings, but there are 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 an active, 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.

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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

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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Why is there a red tulip in your logo? 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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©2008 by Columbia Parkinson's Support Group (CPSG), All Rights Reserved.
Page Last Updated November 10, 2015
Site designed and maintained by Dottie M. Gantt

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CPSG Logo by Krystal Acton of Graphic Designs Unlimited