Isabell Senft-Daniel from PJ Parkinson’s Support

An interview with Isabell Senft-Daniel from PJ Parkinson’s Support on November 21, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.



Isabell Senft-Daniel has over two decades of experience in business development and management in the health industry. Isabell received her education in Germany where she is still a fully licensed Physical Therapist. She is specialized in neurological disease and developed many health and rehabilitation programs with insurance companies in Germany. She was the founder and CEO of a 15-employee physical therapy clinic and rehab center. In the United States, she focuses on Parkinson’s disease. She demonstrated flexibility in work environments with health care experience from Europe and the United States. She is the founder of the PJ Parkinson’s Support (Non-profit). She has been instrumental in generating outstanding revenue growth, producing momentum in a complex region, and systematically enhancing brand-building strategies to promote awareness and participation. Strategic leader with the ability to successfully lead and motivate teams in a fast-paced environment.


Can you tell me more about your organization?


PJ Parkinson’s Support, founded in 2014 by German licensed physical therapist Isabell Senft-Daniel, began as the fulfillment of a simple wish made by a patient struggling with Parkinson’s disease. Peggy Johnson, Ms. Senft-Daniel’s long-time patient and friend, knew first-hand how isolating living with Parkinson’s could be. She expressed her desire for a support group that would provide herself and other Parkinson’s patients with a source of education, belonging, and support as they face the difficult journey ahead of them.


Ms. Senft-Daniel was inspired by her patient’s desire for connection with others battling Parkinson’s, and organized the first ever Parkinson’s support group meeting in Blount County. The overwhelming demand for this support network became immediately apparent, as there were upwards of 40 attendants on the first day. Sadly, Ms. Senft-Daniel’s patient passed away shortly before the first meeting; however, she is survived by the organization through its name — Peggy Johnson (PJ) Parkinson’s Support.


What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?


I was working as a physical therapist in Germany. Seeing many people with PD in her clinic at the time, she became passionate about helping these individuals improve their quality of life. After moving to Tennessee, her first client with Parkinson’s in the US had belonged to a support group before she had moved to eastern Tennessee. She asked me if I would be willing to start a support group in our community, and, working with many other people with Parkinson’s, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to help. Today, we manage 8 different support groups with a great community outreach program which includes education, movement classes, advocacy, respite care, equestrian guided therapy to address mental health difficulties, and meal delivery for homebound people with Parkinson’s. All our program are FREE for all

families affected by Parkinson’s.


What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?


Fast forward to today… PJ Parkinson’s continues to expand its reach and has teamed up with many other organizations who also seek to help those affected by Parkinson’s, not only to survive, but to thrive.


Our services now include providing meals, respite care, free movement classes, referral sources, and educational seminars for health care providers, caregivers, and family members of those with Parkinson’s disease. PJ Parkinson’s offers a variety of support groups throughout the Greater Knoxville area, including a Young Onset group and a Care Partner group. Our programs collectively seek to improve the lives of all who are touched by Parkinson’s disease, and to provide a safe and supportive community for those navigating diagnosis and treatment.


What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s?


PJP will be on your side from the day of your diagnosis until the end stage for the disease.


See a short video.


Parkinson’s-Every Story is Different





Here is a video I produced during Covid with people from all around the world.


Parkinson’s-One World, One Voice


What type of training and how long are the programs?


PJ Parkinson’s is a grassroots organization which helps families affected by Parkinson’s disease to navigate their journey in their daily life. Your donations stay local to support local families. All our programs are FREE for all Parkinson’s families. Movement classes like Dance for PD, Pilates for PD, Yoga for PD, and more, are available in Knoxville, Tellico Village, Maryville, and Sevierville. All our instructors are health care providers, future Neurologists, and Physiotherapeuten. Our Equine assisted program is one of a kind in the US. The social and educational aspects of our 9 support groups are most important to our community. Advocacy, education, and referrals are services we provide on a daily basis.


What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?

As a truly grassroots organization I hope to expand our service to other states. We are in the process of opening a new chapter in the Chicago area. We believe that everybody should have access to quality services.


What events do you participate in?


I am involved with the Davis Phinney Foundation and the World Parkinson’s Congress,


How can someone get in touch?  What is your website?


If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?


Never give up! There is so much hope with cutting edge research, advanced treatment, and hopefully a cure soon! It takes a village!