March 19, 2018 Providence News Team

Napa, Calif. March 9, 2018 – Starting March 19, Rock Steady Boxing, a unique exercise program, based on training used by professional boxers and adapted to people with Parkinson’s, will be available at Synergy Medical Fitness Center (located inside Queen of the Valley’s Wellness Center) to men and women of all ages and levels of ability who have been diagnosed with the disease.

“We are fortunate to be able to bring Rock Steady Boxing to individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s in Napa County,” said Pamela Contos, Program Manager at Synergy Medical Fitness Center. “We are very thankful to donors, JoAnne DePuy, Jim Maggetti and Ed and Karen Ulshafer. Their contributions to Queen of the Valley Foundation made it possible for us to offer this program.”

The program’s founder is former Marion County (Indiana) Prosecutor, Scott C. Newman, who was diagnosed at age 40. He began intense, one-on-one boxing a few years after his diagnosis and he witnessed dramatic improvement in his physical health, agility and daily functioning. In 2012, the Rock Steady Boxing Method went global. It is estimated that 1 million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease, and today, there are a total of 513 Rock Steady affiliate programs around the world.

“When evidence began to emerge that our program had a very positive impact on the ‘boxers’, our mission became clear -- to share our knowledge and experience with all people with Parkinson’s,” said Rock Steady Boxing, Inc. Executive Director, Joyce Johnson.

The program is led by trained coaches, and involves exercises, including: stretching, bicycling, running, jump-roping, push-ups, balancing and lots of non-contact boxing. Academic institutions, such as University of Indianapolis and Butler University, are reporting and documenting the improved quality of life among Rock Steady Boxers and while discovery of a cure may be years away, there is evidence that progress in terms of strength, flexibility and speed, is made by those participating in the Rock Steady Boxing program, regardless of the stages of the disease.

“We will keep class sizes small—approx. six-eight people with two certified coaches—to allow for personalized training,” said Armando Gutierrez, Synergy’s head coach certified to offer Rock Steady Boxing training classes to individuals with Parkinson’s disease. “Prior to starting Rock Steady Boxing, athletes will meet with me or another certified coach for an initial assessment, where they will be evaluated and discuss which of the four levels of class is the best fit for them.”

The program cost is $120 for Synergy members; $200 for non-Synergy members with a one-time assessment fee of $50 (which includes the assessment, boxing gloves, hand wraps, and a Rock Steady Boxing jersey). There are eight classes included in each session.

Demos will take place during a launch party on Friday, March 16 from 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. at Synergy Medical Fitness Center—members of the community are welcome to attend this free open house event to learn more about Rock Steady Boxing.

For additional information about Rock Steady Boxing in Napa, visit To sign up for a class, contact us by email at Additional information about Rock Steady Boxing Inc. and Parkinson’s disease is available at

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