January 7, 2024 @ 11:28 AM

An assessment coordinator is important to a successful and effective assessment program.  How do you find a PARS Coordinator?

First, let's talk about the ideal background.  You are looking for a take-charge person.  Not timid and who can manage the assessment process, the boxer and their family members effectively to keep the assessments on track for time purposes but also to not get distracted. Most important, they need a "Parkinson's eye":  The ability to recognize subtle signs of PD symptoms such as tremors, posture, festination or shuffling feet, slow thought processes, balance issues, etc.  

Your PARSs Coordinator is likely to be retired but don't rule anyone out.  Ideal candidates are physical therapists or occupational therapists.  Nurses or nurse practitioners or flight attendants.  They are used to being in charge, working with difficult people and are creative in getting things done.   

Where ti find your PARS Coordinator... An obvious place to look is the spouse of one of your boxers.   They have experience with PD and if they have been observing your workouts, they are familiar with your boxers and they have a "Parkinson's Eye".  

If you don't find your PC in your spouses, you will need to go outside your gym.  Don't have any assumptions or expectations about the search.  Once you find your volunteer, you might be surprised how the connection came about.   You are looking for someone who is looking for a volunteering opportunity or they might have an email list they can send out on your behalf.  Try places where seniors congregate.   Consider...  Silver Sneakers, Senior centers or YMCAs, Parkinson's associations and foundations, Rotary and Kiwanis clubs and churches.

It will take some time on your part.  We can provide you with a flyer you can hand out and the email text you can use for an email volunteer request they can email.  Just ask and we will customize them for you.

The PARS Coordinator in one of our gyms is only available once a week, on Mondays, and she likes to travel.  Give your PC the responsibility and freedom to do the job and they will work around their own schedule.  She gets about 80% of assessments done on Mondays.  If the boxer doesn't typically come on Monday, she invites them to drop in on a Monday specifically for their assessment.  If they are unable to make it on a Monday, she or the assistant coach do it on a special day.  The exceptions are very few and it has not been a problem.  When our PC is going to be out of town, she schedules ahead for before she leaves or for when she gets back.  It hasn't been a problem to move assessments by 2 weeks or so either way.

You want someone who is willing to commit for at least a year to make it worthwhile.  Buy them a Rock Steady shirt.  Introduce them to the group.  Make them feel important and a part of your team.  Train them and give them the freedom to get the job done.

Your PARS Coordinator is key to your assessment program success.