Houston Area Parkinson Society (HAPS) is a non-profit organization that serves, educates and advocates for those affected by Parkinson’s disease in our community.
Founded in 1974, HAPS is one of the oldest independent, local Parkinson’s disease social service organizations in the United States. HAPS provides comprehensive services to eight counties in metropolitan Houston, with an estimated population of more than 6 million people.
HAPS offers numerous programs and services to the Parkinson’s community. Prior to the COVID-19 situation, HAPS offered more than 40 weekly exercise, water, music and speech therapy groups in addition to tai chi, tango, yoga, dance, singing and non-contact boxing classes. Post-COVID, HAPS offers robust virtual programming as well as in-person classes. All services are made available by HAPS to individuals with Parkinson’s and their care partners free of charge.
Professionally facilitated support groups are offered at no cost to individuals living with Parkinson’s and their caregivers to share their experiences in a warm, friendly environment. In addition, HAPS offers free transportation services to and from physician visits. Social services, respite, emergency financial aid, education programs and a monthly newsletter are also available.
In April of 2019, HAPS excitedly launched our new look! Through a generous and creative local partnership with Savage Brands, we carefully and thoughtfully completed this rebranding process. Together with Savage Brands’ creative team, we worked to not only create a new image, but to find a way to capture and communicate the reason that HAPS exists. The process, which started in September of 2018, began by talking to professionals, leaders, and individuals with Parkinson’s. The goal was to connect the heart and soul of HAPS to a narrative that captures the core of what we do to the importance of those we serve.
Many people know the basic facts about Parkinson’s disease–and what they know frightens them. But that’s a narrow view, it’s one small picture in the Parkinson’s story. Anyone who has ever met a person living with Parkinson’s knows that the diagnosis is just one part of who they are.
It’s true that Parkinson’s can touch every area of life. That’s why HAPS’ comprehensive approach includes therapeutic, social and educational resources tailored to match what Houstonians have told us they want and need. Because no one should face Parkinson’s alone, we work to create a tight-knit community within the larger community; a place where individuals come together not only to receive, but to provide meaningful support throughout their Parkinson’s journey.
How we now communicate our message is all that has changed over the years, but that message is a true reflection of how we have always operated:
By using a whole-human approach to community building, we reduce the fear and isolation associated with a Parkinson’s diagnosis.
We exist to ensure that no one faces a Parkinson’s diagnosis alone.
We see a world in which all affected by Parkinson’s have the hope and confidence and support needed to live life to its fullest.
As an organization, we are guided by compassion, fueled by optimism, and driven to make an impact. These values and behaviors guide both programming and leadership at all levels. We know that living with Parkinson’s can be challenging, overwhelming, and sometimes isolating. Our goal is to acknowledge this, find ways to work around these issues, and help bring life back into focus. HAPS exists to provide a clearer, brighter, fuller picture of what living with Parkinson’s is and can be; and HAPS will continue to provide services and offer programs that enrich and engage, educate, and empower.
As we work on behalf of the Parkinson’s community to improve understanding of PD and the needs of those living with the disease, we want to make sure that we share both the realities of Parkinson’s and the bright spots, the hope, and the meaning of the lives of those who live with this disease every day.
Nearly two decades ago our previous logo and mission statement were introduced by former HAPS Board Member and person with Parkinson’s, Nina Brown. We believe that our new brand builds on Nina’s vision and is an extension of all that HAPS represents. The new logo draws attention to and creates a greater awareness of Parkinson’s disease, by using the “P” as a focal point. In tribute to our previous logo, the tulip stands for hope, strength, life, and resilience. In 2019, we changed the name of the newsletter to JOURNEY which more accurately reflects what HAPS strives to achieve and convey. Parkinson’s is a long and winding road, and HAPS will be there every step along the way to provide specialized support.
As always, it is our community that is at the forefront of our mission and our service. It is with extreme gratitude that we express our thanks to Savage Brands for their in-kind work and ongoing collaboration. Their passion and dedication to capturing the essence of the organization as well as those we serve has been synergistic throughout this process. They have helped give voice to our whole-human, whole-hearted approach to care.