The virtual conference, Making Good Happen While Living with Parkinson’s Disease brought together people from around the world as they shared their personal stories and efforts to make a difference. This conference was part of the Life. Amplified. Inspired by Earl Bakken.™, program from the Medtronic Foundation that supports and amplifies the actions of people living with chronic conditions who give back to make the world a better place.

Did you miss our virtual conference? Explore our agenda below and watch  session recordings on-demand. Be sure to visit for additional resources and ways to get involved.

Read more about some of our featured speakers for this virtual conference.


THURSDAY, March 25

Gemma Care, Presenter & Emcee

Opening Remarks
Dr. Sylvia Bartley, Medtronic Foundation

Medtronic Foundation Senior Director Dr. Sylvia Bartley opens the conference and introduces Life. Amplified. Inspired by Earl BakkenTM - the program to carry Medtronic co-founder Earl Bakken’s legacy forward.

Our Inspiration: Earl Bakken’s Vision of Live on. Give On.
Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer, University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing

Founder and director of the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer, shares highlights of Earl Bakken’s life and his unending desire to live on, give on, and dream on, and his vision to change the world by giving back.

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My Story: Mission Positive
Matt Eagles, ParkyLife

Matt Eagles has made it his mission to spread positivity. During this session, Matt shares his journey of becoming and being a positivity activist while connecting the many faces of the Parkinson’s community. 

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Why Do We Give Back? Emotional & Physical Benefits of Volunteering
Chris Jarvis, Realized Worth

In this session co-founder and chief strategy office of Realized Worth, Chris Jarvis, explores what compels us to give back and the benefits that come with volunteering and helping others.

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My Story: Small Things Can Change Lives
George Manahan, The Manahan Group

After his diagnosis with Parkinson’s, George Manahan was looking to connect with others sharing the same diagnosis. While his first foray did not go as planned, it inspired him to establish resources in his community and connect with national groups to change his life and those of other people living with Parkinson’s.

Watch Session On-Demand

Break + Mindfulness Session (optional)
Mariann Johnson, University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing

During this recorded session, Mariann Johnson will share information about what mindfulness is and isn't, and how cultivating a mindfulness practice may benefit those living with chronic conditions and their caregivers. She will provide practical tips for practicing mindfulness in our everyday lives.

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Become the Best Version of Yourself 
Esen Tümer, InfiniTech

Esen Tümer is a successful professional who is passionate about showcasing what is possible once you realize that you are in quantum field. Through this session, you’ll learn how to leverage the philosophy of the laws of attraction to help you become the “The Best Version of Yourself.” 

Creating Wellbeing Through Movement   
Dr. Terry Ellis, Boston University

In this session we will learn more about the impact of movement on people with Parkinson’s disease.

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My story: Building My Own Passion Project 
Brian Baehr, Baehr Challenge

Brian Baehr had always lived an active life. After his diagnosis with Parkinson’s, he continued to focus on exercise to help him manage the disease. Maintaining a positive attitude and with the support of his family and friends, Brian funneled his passion for exercise into the Baehr Challenge to raise awareness and support for research and treatment. During this session, Brian will share more about his passion project and the support he’s received along the way.

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Giving Back Through Advocacy, Equity & Research
Tara Hastings, Michael J. Fox Foundation
Helen Matthews, Cure Parkinson’s
Paul Mayhew Archer, Parkinson’s UK
Omotola Thomas, Parkinson’s Africa  

During this session, panelists will discuss an important facet of giving back to advance not only research but also access to care. You’ll learn how your voice can affect change and how to get involved.

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Managing Your Emotional Health While Living with a Chronic Condition
Dr. Sylvia Bartley
Emma Hine and Lewis Hine, A World With Friends
Gary Pauley, Get Up and Move Gym Club
Allison Smith, The Perky Parkie

Dr. Sylvia Bartley shares how using S.M.A.R.T. strategies and tools help her manage her depression and maintain good emotional health. As we continue to manage our personal health and the stresses and anxieties due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this session is intended to give resources to others. The session also includes a panel discussion with people living with a chronic condition on their strategies to balance their emotional health.

Watch Session On-Demand


FRIDAY, March 26

Opening Remarks

Cultivating Wellbeing in Our Lives and Communities
Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer, University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing

Founder and director of the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer, talks about the determinants of wellbeing and how to cultivate it in our personal lives and within our families and communities. While health has an influence on our wellbeing, other determinants of wellbeing are also important, including purpose. In this session you will be invited to reflect on ways to take charge of your health, wellbeing, and purpose - to dream, inspire, and create meaningful change in ourselves and the world.

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The Power of Connections
Larry Gifford, PD Avengers
Tara Hastings, Michael J. Fox Foundation

To achieve a goal, we often need to collaborate and engage with one another versus working in silos. To do this, however, we need to build connections and relationships. Covid-19 has upended how we communicate, connect and build those relationships. Hear how we can build connections and together realize our dreams and passion projects. 

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My story: The Importance of Connecting Back to the PD community
Allison Smith, The Perky Parkie

During the pandemic, Allison felt herself becoming stagnant. She wasn’t connecting with people and wasn’t experiencing new things. She missed that sense of community. You’ll learn how she’s working her way back into the Parkinson’s community by blogging and making a concentrated effort to connect with others more.

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Creating Change & Collective Impact
Jenna Deidel, Davis Phinney Foundation

The Davis Phinney Foundation will share learnings from the PD community and discuss how cross-sector collaboration can address the needs of people with Parkinson’s and issues of awareness and stigma. You will hear about the Healthy Parkinson’s Communities™ initiative and tips on how to become a community leader. 

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Telling Your Story of Change
Gemma Care, Presenter & Host 

Every single person has a story within them — it’s just waiting to be told. Learn why the world needs to hear your story and how to tap into your own experiences while sharing them in a powerful and inspiring way. 

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Leveraging Social Media to Support a Cause
Mark Avera, Porter Novelli

Social media has allowed us to connect and stay connected with each other. While we have limited opportunities to engage in person, social media can help us reach beyond our immediate circle. Learn how to leverage different social media platforms to tell your story and get support for your passion projects.

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Getting Involved in the PD Community
Veronica Clark, European Parkinson’s Disease Association (EPDA)
Celeste Tennant, Parkinson’s Foundation

There are a variety of opportunities to get involved in the Parkinson’s community. Many organizations are looking for people to lend a hand and they also offer resources to help you get started on your own. You will hear from the European Parkinson’s Disease Association (EPDA) and the Parkinson’s Foundation about ways you can get involved.

Watch Session On-Demand

Closing Remarks.
What Can We Do to Amplify Our Lives while Amplifying Others’ Lives?

Dr. Sylvia Bartley & Audrey Guibat Demont, Medtronic Foundation

After two days of lectures, personal stories and skill-building sessions, we will reflect on where to go from here and how to help each other lift our stories up and make our dreams a reality.

Please visit for more information on the program. For questions, contact us at