Center For Movement Challenges (CFMC)™
The organization's flagship program, LDBF Boxing for Parkinson's™, was established in 2013 by Larry and Ellie Kahn and Paul Delgado. The program was developed using medically-proven research showing that vigorous exercise, in the form of non-contact boxing, improves symptoms and slows disease progression.
Since then, the organization has undergone rapid and unparalleled growth while serving the ever-expanding community of people living with Parkinson’s disease. In September 2020, the organization opened a 4,700 square foot state-of-the-art Wellness Center in the heart of Sandy Springs. The move to the Wellness Center has allowed the organization to expand programs and services beyond the Parkinson's community to include serving people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease (YOPD), Parkinsonism and Veterans.
The Wellness Center was the dream of CFMC™ CEO, Denise Formisano, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2014 and Parkinson’s in 2015. Denise was determined not to let her diseases control her life and fights every day to ensure that others have the opportunity to live their best life. Her goal for the Wellness Center was to consolidate a broad range of therapeutic programs and services in a centralized location, thus making those resources more convenient and accessible for people with movement challenges to improve and manage their health needs.
CFMC™ has partnered with the following service providers conveniently located at/or adjacent to the Wellness Center: Physical Therapy by Synapse NeuroRehab+Wellness; Nutrional Counseling; Speech Maintenance Services; Massage Therapy; and Social Services. These services play an important role in the "Continuum of Care" philosophy, which provides an ongoing, interactive working relationship between Neurologists, Therapists, and Exercise Professionals, providing participants the ultimate in care.
On May 11, 2021, Center for Movement Challenges (CFMC)™ and the family of Walter and Estelle Strauss, including their daughters Sandra Spielberger and Michelle Schwartz, honored their parents in the naming of the Walter and Estelle Strauss Wellness Center. The day was shared by family, friends and the community.
To their daughters, Sandra and Michelle, Walter and Estelle were role models for how people deserve to be treated, overcoming adversity, and generosity towards others in need, and they want the qualities of their parents to be remembered as an inspiration to those who struggle in their lives.
After learning about the LDBF Boxing for Parkinson’s program and the benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s, Sandra and Michelle wished that their father would have such an incredible exercise program to help him live a better life with Parkinson’s.
Walter was born in Alsfed, Germany in 1923. At the age of 13, with few possessions and no money, but with the help of a sponsor in the United States, he fled the Nazis and arrived in Bluefield, West Virginia. Walter's parents, Albert and Martha, and his brother, Henry, were also able to escape Germany to freedom in Africa, but his sister, Hana Lore, sadly perished in a Nazi concentration camp in Poland.
Walter later settled in Atlanta and, after finishing high school, he enlisted in the United States Army, where he distinguished himself as a translator of German.
After WWII, Walter returned to Atlanta and founded Walter’s Clothing, a store for men and boys, located at 66 Decatur Street in Downtown Atlanta. The red and white awning still stands as a landmark since 1952.
Walter treated all who entered equally, from Atlanta sports and music celebrities to the average Atlantan. Walter was known as the godfather of the sneaker world and was an icon in the Atlanta business community.
Walter’s wife, Estelle, was born and raised in Atlanta and spent her career as a teacher and mentor in the public school system and she played a vital role in helping her husband build the Walter’s empire.
Walter passed away peacefully on July 5th, 2018 at the age of 94. Barely a year later, Estelle, his beloved wife of 64 years, passed on August 15th, 2019 at the age of 87. They are survived by their daughters, Sandra Strauss Spielberger and Michele Schwartz, and their grandchildren, Sandra’s sons Brandon and Mitchell Steinbook.
CFMC™ Advisory Council
Annie Long is the Senior Community Program Manager (formerly Development Director) for the Parkinson’s Foundation, responsible for the development and delivery of community-based education and empowerment programs for the Foundation throughout the state of Georgia and surrounding areas.
Formerly the Executive Director of PD Gladiators, she helped manage and expand the metro Atlanta Fitness Network and led the organization through a unification with the Parkinson’s Foundation. Annie is passionate about helping others and believes very strongly in the power of exercise for those living with Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Annie started her career with the Parkinson’s Foundation in 2013 after her mother was diagnosed with PD. Before her work with the Parkinson’s community, Annie worked as a Communications Consultant for an employee communications agency and served as the Operations Manager for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Washington, DC. She currently lives in Johns Creek with her husband Chris, two young children Brooks and Taylor, and her pug Winnie.
Dr. Jorge Juncos, MD, formerly Associate Professor of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine and a researcher and clinician in their Movement Disorders Program, completed medical school at Columbia University School of Medicine in NYC and his neurology training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. His movement disorders and neuropharmacology fellowship were completed at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He has 30 years of experience in the diagnosis and management of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders.
Dr. Juncos is board-certified in internal medicine and neurology with a special interest in the management of neuropsychiatric and autonomic symptoms in movement disorders. He has participated or directed more than 30 clinical trials funded by the NIH and the industry. The scope of this work ranges from clinical drug trials and neuroprotection studies with NIH Neuroprotective Trials in Parkinson’s disease (NET-PD) to research on the epidemiology of Parkinson’s.
Dr. Joash Lazarus, MD, graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg, South Africa. Following a primary care internship in his home country, he joined the movement disorders section at Emory University to pursue research training in neurology and genetics. Dr. Lazarus completed neurology residency training as well as a clinical fellowship in movement disorders. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. During his training he was the chief resident in neurology at Emory and also held leadership positions with the American Medical Association – RFS, the American Academy of Neurology, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and is the current representative of the Georgia Neurologic Society to the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG). Dr. Lazarus is a member of the council of legislation of MAG and has represented both organizations at national policy forums.
His clinical and research interests revolve around the evaluation and management of balance disorders, such as those seen in Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and other movement disorders. He has presented his research in this field and national and international meetings and received the resident research award at Emory University. Dr. Lazarus is currently a co-investigator on research collaborations between MSCA and Georgia State University
Dr. Barry McCasland, MD, has been a community-based neurologist in Atlanta for the past 20 years. He recommends organized exercise to his patients with Parkinson’s Disease as a large portion of their treatment regimen-regardless of their capability level. Over the years, he has directed many patients to LDBF Boxing for Parkinson’s and consistently receiving positive feedback and seeing evidence of improvement in their PD symptoms.
“LDBF not only provides an excellent workout but an accepting community for my patients, which keeps them motivated – translating into positive results. My patients enjoy improved balance and mobility, better dexterity and increased confidence because of the workouts. I remain a commtted believer in LDBF Boxing for Parkinson’s”.
Dr. McCasland completed an internship in Internal Medicine at the Washington Hospital Center in D.C. and a three-year residency in adult Neurology at Emory University and its affiliated hospitals while serving as Chief Resident during his third year. Dr. McCasland’s has been in private practice focusing on neurology, in Atlanta, since 1998. Dr. McCasland’s special areas of interest within the broad field of Neurology, include diseases of the nerves and muscles, neurologic conditions involving the eye, concussion, and the neurologic care of professional athletes.
Amy Morse, PT, DPT graduated from Medical University of South Carolina with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2009. She worked at St. Francis Hospital in Greenville, SC for four years where she began working with people with Parkinson’s Disease. Following this, Amy moved to Atlanta in 2013 and took a job with Emory Healthcare until 2021. During her time at Emory, Amy expanded and led the Movement Disorders rehab program and was a mentor for Emory University’s Physical Therapy Neurological Residency program. She has spoken at many local and national community events and conferences including Emory’s Udall Community Conversations, National Parkinson’s Foundation “Living Well” and “Fitness Counts”, and World Parkinson’s Congress in 2016. She teaches the Parkinson’s lab materials for Emory University and GA State’s Physical Therapy students.
Amy has been involved with the LDBF Boxing for Parkinson’s™ program since 2014. She is co-author and presenter of the LDBF Affiliate Certification Training Program.
In 2021, Amy opened a private PT practice with co-owner and PT, Brittney Hooker adjacent to CFMC™. They started Synapse NeuroRehab and Wellness in hopes to connect rehab and wellness for optimal care for people with Movement Disorders.
Brittney Hooker, PT, DPT, NCS graduated with a BS in Exercise Science from Southeast Missouri State University in 2014 and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The University of Missouri in 2017. She completed her Neurologic PT Residency at Emory University in 2018 and was board certified as a Neurologic Clinical Specialist in 2019.
She worked as a PT at Emory Brain Health Center from 2018 – 2021, where she primarily treated people with Parkinson’s disease and other Movement Disorders. During her time at Emory, she was also a mentor for the Emory Neurologic PT Residency Program. Additionally, she teaches Movement Disorders lectures/labs for Emory University DPT School. Brittney presented her research on PT for people with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy at a National PT Conference in 2020.
In 2021, Brittney transitioned to her current role as Co-Owner and PT at Synapse NeuroRehab and Wellness, where she continues to focus on improving the quality of lives of people with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurologic diagnoses. Brittney also serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the Parkinson’s Foundation of Georgia.
Niamh Tunney PT, DPT, MS is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Mercer University, Atlanta Georgia, where she has been a faculty member since 2010. Dr. Tunney completed her Master of Science degree at Georgia State University, her Doctor of Physical Therapy at MGH Institute of Health Professions. She graduated as a physiotherapist from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
She practiced full time in neuro- rehabilitation for 17 years, and part time for 10 years while transitioning to full time academia. Her teaching focus is in the areas of neurorehabilitation and neuroscience. Her research interests are in the scholarship of teaching and learning, particularly inter-professional education. She has published several articles on motor learning and on approaches to neuro- rehabilitation both in the PT clinic extending intervention into the community.
Lynn Ross, LMSW, is a retired medical social worker that has found it hard to retire. In April 2017, after ten years, she retired from the Movement Disorders program in the Department of Neurology at Emory University and in July of the same year began working part time as a Care Coordinator with Caring Companions of Atlanta, a home care agency.
Lynn also serves on the Advisory Councils of Culture Change of Georgia and the Georgia’s Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia (GARD) State Plan.
Using her 20 + years’ experience in medical social work, Lynn offers a listening ear and assists people living with PD and MS and their families in finding local resources and information.
Carolee Horner, Functional Nutritionist, Health and Wellness Coach Owner of Uniquely Nourished began her educational journey graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a BSBA in Marketing. She then continued on to receive a Post Bachelor’s Certificate and Master’s Degree in Integrative Nutrition from Maryland University of Integrative Health.
Functional Nutrition Therapy integrates evidence-based biology and wellness solutions to heal the entire mind, body and spirit.
Scott Oglesbay, LMT, MMT, BCTMB practices Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy (MAT), an osteopath-based modality to improve body alignment and posture. MAT, a form of manual therapy uses scientific evidence about the body and brain to inform the practitioner’s approach to musculoskeletal problems. MAT relies heavily on strategic deep tissue and muscle activation for posture correction and pain relief.
MAT training teaches how the musculoskeletal and nervous system work together, the root causes of the pain and how to restore optimal balance and performance. Scott also practices Relaxation Massage and Reiki Energy Healing, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation.
Robert Dichiara, graduated from Mississippi State with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting. Licensed CPA in the state of Georgia. Division Controller at Georgia Pacific for 19 years. Retired former CFO of Swiss Krono USA, a US subsidiary of Swiss Krono AG of Switzerland.
Robert volunteers his expertise to assist the organization with financial responsibilities of maintaining complete, accurate records of all financial transactions, receipts and disbursements, and assists in preparing and monitoring annual budget and business plan.
Spencer Roane is President of Pentagon Properties, Inc. and Boyd Roane, Inc. Atlanta, GA.; owning and managing four land lease communities in Georgia and Texas as well as acquiring, selling and seller-financing over 375, new and previously owned manufactured homes over the past 28 years.
A 36 year career in the manufactured housing industry, includes membership in the Georgia ManufaCtured Housing Association, founding member of the Southeast Community Owners (SECO) annual conference, and induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame. An undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA. He holds Mortgage Home Originator and Mortgage Broker Licenses.