A leader in Parkinson’s disease care
Park Nicollet Struthers Parkinson's Center is designated by National Parkinson Foundation as a center of excellence. Our interdisciplinary, team-based approach to treatment has served as an innovative model for care since 1978. Our focus on patient experience continued in 1995 as we moved to a private, accessible facility with a one-floor layout.
Struthers Parkinson’s Center operates under an advisory board comprised of community members and health professionals and we are accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Through the years, our quality, community service and unique approach to treatment have helped us become a national leader in Parkinson’s care.
Evelyn Struthers: The Gift of Heart and Soul
Alan Struthers was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1986, sending him, and his wife, Evelyn, on a search for ways to meet the physical and emotional challenges ahead. They found little help until meeting Paul Silverstein, MD, and his team of specialists at Methodist Hospital Parkinson’s Center.
Evelyn immersed herself in helping Alan and others facing Parkinson’s. In 1989, Evelyn and Alan funded a pilot program that provided respite day care for Parkinson’s patients. There was such a strong demand for this program that they provided the primary financial support to establish what is now known as Club CREATE (Center for Research, Education, Artistic and Therapeutic Endeavors). Formed through a partnership between Parkinson’s Center staff and members of the Parkinson’s community, the CREATE program is innovative and enhances participants’ quality of life.
By the time Alan died in 1995, Parkinson’s Center had outgrown its space inside Methodist Hospital. Evelyn and her family, along with center leaders, dreamed of a world-class, free-standing facility focusing on people with Parkinson’s disease and their families. To fulfill this dream, the Struthers family became the major donors for the new facility in Golden Valley.
Struthers Parkinson’s Center opened in late 1995. Evelyn was a tireless volunteer at the center and would regularly say, “If there is one little thing I can do for someone else on earth while I’m alive, then I want to do it,” and “If someone is glad you’re here, then your life has meaning.” Many visitors to the center knew her only as their favorite volunteer, “Evie,” and had no idea that she was the leader who made it possible for this unique center to be created. Evelyn also served as an active member of the center’s Community Advisory Board until her passing in 2013. Her children, grandchildren and extended family carry on the tradition of leadership, volunteerism and support.
Evelyn Struthers has left a legacy of inspiration and leadership and remains the heart and soul of Park Nicollet Struthers Parkinson’s Center.