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Meet our wonderful and dedicated volunteers who work very hard to bring about community awareness for Parkinson's.


James Whitaker

James (Jimbeaux) Whitaker is our president elected in October 2010. He is also employed with East Texas Medical Center and is very active in bringing about community awareness of Parkinson's Disease.  He is experienced in fundraising and event planning!

Melinda Hermans, PhD, RN, BC

Dr. Melinda Hermanns

Dr. Melinda Hermanns is our vice president. Dr. Hermanns has been a registered nurse for 19 years and has had a variety of experience from surgical ICU to rehabilitation nursing; however, her speciality area is Psychiatric Mental Health. She is Board Certified in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Dr. Hermanns graduated with her PhD in Nursing in May 2008, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. For the past two years, she was the facilitator of our Care Partner Support Group for Parkinson's Disease. Dr. Hermanns is passionate about educating others about Parkinson's disease. She has published a number of articles in nursing, including articles in the area of Parkinson's disease.

Joyce Woodward Smith

Joyce Woodward Smith is our treasurer.  She is retired from Smith County and was County Treasurer for 25 years.  Joyce has two children and three grandchildren.  She has lived in Tyler for the last 38 years and enjoys volunteering her time to the APDA East Texas Chapter, crocheting, and quilting.  She also loves traveling and spending time with her "yacht club".

Debbie Williams Gates, LVN

Debbie Gates is our secretary.  She is employed as a nurse with East Texas Medical Center in Tyler and works with Dr. George M. Plotkin, Movement Disorder Specialist.  She has been a board representative since January 2011 and brings a vast amount of Parkinson's knowledge to our board.

George M. Plotkin, PhD, MD

George M. Plotkin, PhD, MD

Dr. George Plotkin serves as a medical liaison for the APDA East Texas Chapter.  Dr. Plotkin is a movement disorder specialist here in East Texas who specializes in Parkinson's Disease.

Kelly M. Boutin

Kelly M. Boutin

Kelly M. Boutin is the Parkinson's Education Coordinator for East Texas.  She has been with the former APDA Information and Referral Center since April 2007and the APDA East Texas Chapter Board since April 2007 and enjoys every moment that she can spend with the patients of the Parkinson's community.  She assists with the coordination of all Parkinson's fundraising events along with other members of the board and volunteers.  She organizes, facilitates and oversees the majority of the Parkinson's support groups in East Texas.  She is married to Brenton J. Boutin.  She also has two children -- her daughter is a registered nurse at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, TX, and her son is a Junior attending Stephen F. Austin State University.  She has lived in Tyler for the last 43 years.  Her personal interest with a parkinson's organization is that her paternal grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.


Tom Gates 
Betty Carr
Chris Hermanns
Vickie Griffin
Greg Griffin
Tim Zweck
Steve Hudnall, CPA

Our Mailing Address

PO Box 132118
Tyler, TX  75713
Phone:  (903) 941-9424

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