Diane Cook - Founder


Diane is a former management consultant with broad experience in designing leadership and training programs.  She was Director of Deepak Chopra’s International Seminars and has worked for various knowledge-based companies such as Wilson Learning, John Wiley & Sons  Publishers, International Learning Systems and ARC International.

Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008, Diane graduated from The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s (PDF) Clinical Research Institute in 2009 and has participated in 15 clinical trials herself. She serves as patient consultant to a number of studies.

Nationally, Diane has served on PDF’s People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council, the Steering Committee of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI), as Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) Colorado State Director and currently serves as a Patient Representative to the FDA and Senior Patient Advocate of the ProjectSpark Foundation. 

Locally, she has served on the Board of the Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI), and currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the University of Colorado Movement Disorders Center.  She is the recipient of CNI’s Hope Award, Channel 9’s “9 Who Care” award and co-recipient of PDF’s Leadership Award.

In connection with her pioneering work with self-efficacy, she is a frequent speaker and has presented abstracts at both the Sydney and Berlin International Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Congresses and the Montreal and Portland World Parkinson’s Congresses.

Diane is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences. She and her husband and care partner, Gary, live in Denver, Colorado and are the grandparents of 5 grandsons under the age of 5.

Kathleen Crist - Director


Since 2002, Kathleen has been the Director of Social Services and Program Development for the Houston Area Parkinson Society (HAPS), a non-profit social service organization that provides services to individuals with Parkinson’s disease and their families throughout the greater Houston eight-county area.

During her time with HAPS, Kathleen has started many educational programs, including a Newly Diagnosed Education Program and Caregiver Conference and Summer Lecture Series. She has implemented several new therapeutic programs, including dance and singing, tango and the Parkinson’s Enrichment Program, and she has established over 17 support groups.

In addition to being responsible for all programs offered by the organization, Kathleen provides ongoing case management for individuals with PD and their family members, facilitates numerous support groups and is a co-facilitator of the local Houston PD SELF team.

Kathleen is a member of the Unified Parkinson's Advocacy Council, Policy and Advocacy Volunteer and a Fox Trial Finder Ambassador for the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Kathleen graduated from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work in 2001 with a master of social work degree with a gerontology concentration and continues to serve as a Field Instructor for graduate social work students at the Graduate College of Social Work.


PD SELF Current Programs

Albany, New York


Detroit, Michigan 

Evansville, Indiana

Hartford, Connecticut

Houston, Texas

Phoenix, Arizona (English & Spanish Language programs)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Richmond, Virginia

Sunnyvale, California (Bay Area)

Click on location for local registration information.  Please note the Minneapolis program begins April, 2019.