Parkinson Association of Alberta’s storefront office in Red Deer is closing to reduce costs, but services will continue as always in the community.
Effective Dec. 1, the association will shut down offices in Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge, and staff will work out of their home offices. The Lloydminster office has already been operating out of a home office.
“All of the support groups we offer, all of the programs we offer, are already in established community settings,” said CEO John Petryshen, on Friday.
For example, monthly support meetings in Red Deer are held at Davenport Church of Christ.
“We’re doing this so we don’t have to cut positions and people who are providing the service. People living with Parkinson’s and their family members will not feel the impact of this.”
Despite successful fundraising projects, the association is in a deficit position even though administrative costs have been kept low with skeleton crews, he said.
“We raise approximately $2 million but we’re running a provincial organization and there are over 10,000 people with Parkinson’s in our province. We steward every nickle and dime so it can go directly towards our mission statement.”
The Red Deer office, at 102-4918 46th St., has one staff member.
Petryshen said the Red Deer office has been open for at least 15 years. Its monthly support group has about 25 members and a successful speaker series, held once or twice a year, attracts about 100 people.
He said closing the offices will encourage partnerships with other non-profit organizations in the community.
“It’s an opportunity for Parkinson Association of Alberta to be more creative, also to engage more community members and agencies.”