Thinking Outside of the Box: Using Creativity in Treating Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease

Presented by Heather Cianci, PT, MS, GCS

Meet Your Instructor

  • Heather Cianci, PT, MS, GCS
    Heather Cianci, PT, MS, GCS

    Heather Cianci, PT, MS, GCS is a Geriatric Clinical Specialist and founding therapist at the Dan Aaron Parkinson’s Rehabilitation Center (Good Shepherd/Penn Partners) at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, PA – part of the University of Penn Health System. Heather received her Bachelor’s in Physical Therapy from the University of Scranton in Scranton, PA and her Master’s in Gerontology from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She has been a physical therapist since 1994, with the majority of those years dedicated to working with patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Atypical Parkinsonisms. Heather is a LSVT® BIG certified clinician, LSVT® BIG Faculty Instructor for LSVT Global, Inc., and a PWR! clinician. She also is a graduate of the National Parkinson Foundation’s (NPF) Allied Team Training Program and Rock Steady Boxing program for PD. Heather has authored book chapters on rehabilitative strategies for PD, and Frontotemporal Degeneration. She also is the author of two educational manuals on fitness and ADLs for the NPF. Heather has also lectured for various state Physical Therapy Associations, the Parkinson Disease Foundation, national continuing education companies, and Philadelphia-area conferences and support groups. Her research includes movement strategies for bed mobility, falls, freezing of gait, and functional movement disorders. She teaches about rehabilitation and PD at Thomas Jefferson University’s (Philadelphia, PA) and Neumann University’s (Aston, PA) departments of PT. Heather is a former Board member of CurePSP® and founding team member of the COPE program (Comprehensive Outpatient Atypical Parkinsonism Evaluation) at Pennsylvania Hospital’s Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorder Center.

Learning Objectives

Effective Feb 8th, 2017 participants must complete the webinar quiz and survey within 7 days of attending the webinar. Only those with credits completed within 7 days will be logged on rosters submitted by MedBridge to applicable reporting bodies for credit recognition.

  • Cite current literature that guides evidence-based treatment strategies
  • Summarize the motor, sensory, and cognitive mechanisms that lead to mobility challenges
  • List Parkinson-specific exercise class program options
  • Translate creative strategies in to 1:1 treatment sessions for mobility issues and exercise programs
  • Design a group exercise class based on creative strategies
  • Describe the principles of neuroplasticity and the role of exercise in individuals with PD
  • Webinar Cancellation Policy: MedBridge reserves the right to cancel webinars due to unforeseen circumstances. In the event MedBridge is unable to hold a webinar we would reschedule the event and notify users of the cancellation immediately. We will make every effort to reschedule quickly and at a similar time. 


5:00pm-5:30pm Chapter 1: Overview of Parkinson’s Motor and Non-motor Symptoms
5:40pm-6:05pm Chapter 2: Research Review and Principles of Neuroplasticity
6:05pm-6:25pm Chapter 3: The Role of Exercise in PD and Exercise Class Program Options
6:25pm-6:35pm Break
6:35pm-7:05pm Chapter 4: Creative Mobility Training
7:05pm-7:45pm Chapter 5: Creative Exercise Strategies and Group Exercise Guidelines
7:45pm-8:15pm Interactive Question and Answer Session