As 2017 came to a close, which was a year to remember for so many reasons, I reflected on HAPS’ accomplishments and successes. And I took pride in the fact that despite being faced with challenges of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey which we will never forget as a community, we were able to achieve ambitious goals.
When I began my term as President of HAPS last year, as an avid runner, I brought to my role an objective to heighten our awareness of wellness. I quickly realized that applying "wellness" is not merely relevant to the broad range of therapeutic exercise and support groups that our organization provides its clients every week, making
personal wellness possible. It is also the guiding premise for HAPS and its mission, as we go forward each year continuing to ensure the health of our organization to advance the institution from a strong position. Some of what we accomplished last year includes:
- Providing 66,000 service hours reflecting a 29% increase from 2016
- Adding groups in outlying areas such as Ft. Bend County, Cypress and Magnolia
- Increasing the number of support groups from 14 to 17
- Hosting a record number of attendees at our biennial Educational Symposium representing a 50% increase from the previous event
- Continuing Parkinson's Disease Self Efficacy Learning Forum (PD SELF) in a second year as part of a national pilot program for those who are newly diagnosed
- Piloting a Caregiver Wellness program focused on support and emotional wellbeing
- Coordinating over 2,200 rides to physician appointments and HAPS groups
- Expanding the popular non-contact boxing class to accommodate growing need
- Celebrating local, national and international advocates at the Changing the Face of Parkinson's gala honoring Robert Flatt, Diane Rehm and World Parkinson Coalition
- Participating in multiple community awareness and fundraising events such as Playing for Parkinson's, golf tournaments, and local shopping events
- Launching the return of the Superhero Squad for the 2018 Chevron Houston Marathon with a record number of HAPS individual fundraisers
- Raising, for the first time in HAPS history, $1,000,000 in gross income
This extraordinary year was due to the combined efforts of a mobilized and active Board of Directors, Board of Advisors, Medical Advisory Board and dedicated staff, along with the committed participation and support from the Parkinson's community. Most importantly, the clients, who enthusiastically embraced wellness and the disciplines of HAPS programs as an approach to long-term Parkinson’s management, contributed immensely to the value of our services and the ability to deliver our mission.
My growth as a runner in the many years I have been associated with this organization has been monumental. Little did I know that when I first ran a marathon to raise money for HAPS in 2011, that I wo
uld still be running. This year I achieved my personal best—Full Marathon time of 3:05:51; 50th woman overall; and 3rd in my age group! I am fresh off that "win" and endlessly inspired by HAPS and the memory of my father who lived many years with PD. As we think broader and deeper about what could be possible, we move ahead like a Marathon runner setting goals, working hard and reaching milestones. I feel more committed than ever to celebrating and promoting wellness in all we do at HAPS in 2018 and beyond.
On January 13-14th, TEAM HAPS braved the brisk winter weekend as walkers, runners and those cheering grabbed their sneakers, tights and capes for the 2018 Chevron Houston Marathon weekend. An amazing group of nearly 200 HAPS heroes assembled and participated in the Saturday morning ABB 5K and almost 40 runners hit the Sunday Half and Full Marathon course to as we Conquered Parkinson’s. HAPS thanks all of the Superheroes who helped make this year's marathon one to remember. In addition to our "super" successful fundraising efforts, HAPS won $25,000 from Chevron Corporation for most donations received during the Charity Challenge competition. HAPS sends a special thanks to our 2018 Marathon Chair, Jeff Hurlbert, for leading the way, and to our sponsors: Allegiance Bank, Enterprise, Beck Redden, Home Instead, Medtronic, Bell Consulting, Inc., and Mia’s Table for their contributions. The fundraising deadline is February 16th and we won't stop until we reach the finish line. Go TEAM HAPS!