While my desk calendar says August 2022 and March 2020 are 30 months apart, the beginning of COVID somehow feels both ages ago, and just yesterday. I’m not yet ready to reminisce about the days of Clorox wiping my groceries, but I am heartened to hear about all the ways that as a community, we are using the experience of the last 30 months to learn more, and do more.
Maybe it feels like yesterday to you too: our lives were turned upside down, the support groups we loved shuttered, restaurants closed, gyms locked their doors. And visits with beloved family, friends, and neighbors disappeared. We were six feet apart and lonely. Now, after two-plus years of a lingering pandemic, we’re beginning to understand the real toll that loneliness and social isolation have on wellbeing. We’re beginning to have honest conversations about how we feel and what we need. And healthcare providers are taking notice.
Indu Subramanian, MD, our wHolistic™ series facilitator, says, “Patients would be excited to hear that we’re thinking differently as doctors and that social determinants are on our minds, not just pills and devices.” Dr. Subramanian is a leading voice for social prescribing: a care model where healthcare providers don’t just prescribe drugs, they prescribe accessible, culturally-relevant social interaction. In other words, they fill the gaps in care by connecting people with community resources. Dr. Subramanian believes support groups are a crucial part of the solution.
At PMD Alliance, we’re actively providing innovative ideas to meet the challenge. If doctors are using social activity as medicine, we’re ready on the other side of their prescription pads to provide the resources and connections you need. Dr. Subramanian has seen it firsthand: “Having worked with PMD Alliance over the past two years, I’ve seen that they’re very open-minded about social topics.”
We’re not just open-minded; we’re action-oriented. We lost nearly 30% of support groups during the pandemic, which is why we need volunteers to step up as new group leaders more than ever. We’re already meeting this challenge: we’ve announced the first-ever ALL IN!™ Summit for prospective and practicing support group leaders across the country, which will take place in Washington, DC, October 22-25. This summit will reinvigorate leaders and equip them with the innovative strategies and tools they need to build successful groups in their local communities.
We know one of the best ways to heal from loneliness and help you thrive today is by providing the life-giving power of connection. We’re ALL IN for the movement disorders community. Are you?
In fierce gratitude,
Acting CEO, PMD Alliance