Tuesday, September 24, 2019

SLU Program in Physical Therapy Faculty Member Dr. Carol Beckel Leads Fundraising Effort and Raises $2000 for Clinic in Belize

Saint Louis University Faculty, Staff, Students, and Alumni Contribute to Fundraiser for Hillside Health Care International

Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy Faculty Member Dr. Carol Beckel joined forces with alumna Carley Kirsch (DPT Class of 2013) on June 29th this summer to raise money for a non-profit medical clinical in Southern Belize, Hillside Health Care International (HHCI). Dr. Carol Beckel and Carley serve on the Board of Directors for HHCI. Carley volunteered at HHCI for a year as the Rehab Director and Dr. Beckel provides short-term volunteer coverage as a PT as well. HHCI is a clinical affiliate for students in the Program in Physical Therapy.

Dr. Carol Beckel and Carley collected items from around the midwest including donations from family and friends as well as Program of Physical Therapy faculty, staff, and alumni. Emma London and Bailey Flynn (both 2019 graduates) who both completed clinical rotations at HHCI donated items after wrapping up their lives in St. Louis. 

Several Program alumni helped prepare for the sale and on the day off the sale including a classmate of Dr. Carol Beckel's, Katherine Meirink (1992), Meg Robben (2006), Lexi (Modglin) Wisch (2018), and Caitlin Whiteley (2018) spent time sorting items ahead of the sale. 

On the day of the sale, Katherine along with her daughter and a Girl Scout from their troop came out to support the sale. In addition, Program Staff Kristin Hrasky and current student Remy Arnold (Class of 2020) who will complete a rotation at HHCI in January of 2020, also helped to make sales, carry items to cars, and clean-up at the end of the sale.

In total, the yard sale raised $2,000 to support the work of HHCI to provide primary medical care, pharmaceuticals, physical therapy, and communication education in the Toledo District of Belize. To learn more about HHCI please go to HillsideBelize.org.  Although it was a hot and humid day in St. Louis, it was a fun way to raise money, help folks clean out their own basements, and help others find that perfect new item for themselves!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

SLU Program in Physical Therapy Student Laura Seadler Uses Scholarship to Travel to Clinical Site in Belize

SLU DPT Students: Laura Seadler (left) and Claire Thoelecke (right)
Cheryl L. Cavallo Memorial Scholarship Spotlight - DPT Student Laura Seadler Heads to Punta Gorda for 2019 Clinical
by Laura Seadler (DPT Class of 2020)

Thanks to the generosity of the Cavallo scholarship, I was able to spend my last four weeks of clinical for 2019 in Punta Gorda, Belize at Hillside Healthcare International providing outpatient and home health care to the wonderful, awesome, kind people of Punta Gorda and surrounding villages in and around the Toledo district of Belize.

On this rotation, I was given the opportunity to work alongside a PT classmate and SLU faculty member, Physician Assistant students from North Carolina and Pharmacy students from Butler University as we treated patients and interacted interprofessionally to provide cohesive patient care. It was seriously a blast.

SLU Program in Physical Therapy Students: Laura Seadler (left) and Claire Thoelecke (right

Hillside is an incredible, sustainable organization that provides a variety of pro bono services to those in need.

I would recommend spending time and volunteering at Hillside to all friends and family, please support and continue to engage in conversations pertaining to public health, global health and healthcare for the underserved!

Dr. Carol Beckel and SLU Program in Physical Therapy Students, Laura Seadler and Claire Thoelecke.

by Laura Seadler
Class of 2020

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

SLU Program in Physical Therapy Student Stella Jeong Uses Scholarship for a Public Health Immersion Trip with Campus Ministry

Welcome sign to West Virginia.

Immersion Experience Spotlight - Cheryl L. Cavallo Memorial Scholarship Funds DPT Student Trip to West Virginia
by Stella Jeong (DPT Class of 2021)

With the generous gift from Cheryl L. Cavallo memorial fund, I was able to go on an immersion trip to West Virginia through SLU’s Campus Ministry. This trip has taught me and transformed me in a way that I would’ve never imagined— and I am more than happy to share my experience in this blog.

Side of the road from Kermit.

The immersion trip was constructed around the theme of “Public Health,” which was the main reason why I chose this program out of many other options. As a future health care provider and an individual who never personally experienced rural poverty, I felt called to visit WV. And here is how the trip unfolded:

Photo with staff from Mine Wars Museum.

We first arrived in a small town called Kermit and met a woman named Marlene, who greeted us with the warmest smile. She was the executive director of ABLE families, a non-profit organization that runs the afterschool program, in-home family education program, and summer camps for families who are at risk. Marlene showed us around Mingo county, and I was able to connect with people who have been laid off from coal mining companies with no health care benefit, people who suffer from opioids overdose crisis, and young mothers who were raising children with no proper resources. Hearing their stories was heartbreaking, and honestly hard to believe. I really didn’t think the situation would be this serious and alarming because it’s the United States. I thought I knew what poverty looked like, coming from a family who also struggled a lot from a developing country. This trip broke my prejudice and made me realize that I had many privileges that people from WV might not have. And these “privileges” include a grocery store with fresh produce, a hospital or health clinic that are at least within an hour away, clean water without toxic substances from factories, and environment where children can grow up without having to worry about drug addiction so close to their home. I would want to label them as “basic human needs or rights” instead of “privileges”, but unfortunately, in WV, it simply wasn’t the case.

Train transporting coal.

When we visited the Mine Wars Museum, the staff who gave us the tour said, “We would love to see [health care] students like you guys come back to West Virginia. We could really use your help.” What he said that day, made me think a lot about my future path as a Physical Therapist. What can I bring to communities that are underserved when I’m a PT? How can I raise more awareness? How can I make a change when I’m back in St. Louis? So many unanswered questions, but they are driving me to become the PT that I want to be in the future.

Micro-Farming from PATCH 21 to grow fresh produce for the communities

I was overwhelmed and confused when we left West Virginia after a week, but the immersion trip has left me with many meaningful lessons and community leaders that I can look up to. I’ve donated part of my scholarship to Marlene’s ABLE families organization as I was so inspired by the work that they do.

Progression of “Mountain Top Removal” for coal mining companies.

I encourage everyone to participate in Hustle 4 Your Health event to support the cause and for the future experiences of other PT students who may receive this amazing scholarship.

Thanks for reading my story and feel free to ask more about my trip if you want to!

Stella Jeong
DPT Class of 2021

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

SLU Physical Therapy Student Alexis Ardovitch Will Run the Chicago Marathon in Solidarity with Disabled Athletes

SLU Physical Therapy Student Alexis Ardovitch Volunteers at Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA) Games and Runs for the Cause 

SLU SPT Alexis Ardovitch and Laura at the GLASA Games.

GLASA helps athletes like Laura continue to pressure her athletic spirit,” states SLU SPT Alexis Ardovitch who volunteered at the games held from June 13 - June 16 at Lake Forest High School and Niles West High School, just outside of Chicago. Laura had been an avid biker with an active lifestyle before her accident. Now she is a powerful badminton player, beating Ardovitch on the court in an off the records game last month.  

Ardovitch, who is a 2018 SLUPSY Billiken Student-Athlete award winner, plans to run the Chicago Marathon in support of her fellow athletes on Sunday, October 13, 2019 in Chicago Illinois. "I am choosing to run the Chicago Marathon for GLASA because I am inspired by the athletes and their stories," writes Ardovitch. If you would like to be a part of her journey to increase access and raise awareness, then consider donating to Ardovitch's marathon HERE.

Babette, Johnnie and Alexis Ardovitch, SPT, at the GLASA Games

With events like the National Veterans Wheelchair Games and the Midwest Valor Games, GLASA strives to create opportunities for empowerment, specifically surrounding disabled veterans. Reflecting upon the image above Ardovitch remarks, “Babette and Johnnie were both so full of joy. Both have served our country. Thank you for your service!” 

Dr. Okanlami and Alexis Ardovitch, SPT, at the GLASA Games.

At GLASA, Ardovitch made the acquaintance of key figures creating access and opportunity for independence, such as Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, MD, MS. Dr. Okanlami creates programs for disabled college students at the University of Michigan, where he is Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Affectionately known as “Dr. O,” he is also Director for Medical Student Success in the Office for Health Equity and Inclusion.

Alexis Ardovitch, SPT and friends at the GLASA Games.

GLASA's motto, 'Let No One Sit on the Sidelines' inspires an atmosphere of inclusion and well-being. The Association sponsors recreation, exercise and elite level competitive sports activities for over 3,000 youth, adult and military veterans with disabilities from around the world. Please consider supporting GLASA by donating through Ardovitch's Chicago Marathon Campaign page HERE.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

SLU PT Students Recognized by the Foundation for Physical Therapy

Left: SLU DPT Student Caroline Lipic
Right: President Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PHD, FAPTA

Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy Receives National Recognition for its Contribution to the Pitt-Marquette Challenge

The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research awarded the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy students with an Honorable Mention for their efforts to support the Foundation through the 2018-2019 Pitt-Marquette Challenge. Altogether, the SLU Program in Physical Therapy raised over $3,000 in donations during Spirit Week of November 2018.

Top fundraising schools for the 2018-2019 Pitt Marquette Challenge
Far Left: SLU DPT Student, Caroline Lipic
Top fundraising schools, like Saint Louis University, were announced on June 13, 2019, at the Foundation’s Awards Luncheon held during the 2019 American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) NEXT Conference and Exposition in Chicago. Marquette University co-hosted the luncheon which was also sponsored by the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT).

Traveling to Chicago for the APTA(NEXT) Conference, SLU DPT Student Caroline Lipic was able to accept the award on behalf of all SLU PT students involved in the campaign. Pictured at top, Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PHD, FAPTA, Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine bestows this distinguished award to SLU DPT student Caroline Lipic. Dr. Field-Fote is also President of the Foundation's Board of Trustees.

The Marquette Challenge unites PT & PTA students from across the country in a singular effort to raise money for the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research and their awardees. “There is a friendly competition between schools to see who can fundraise the most,” said McKayla Figueroa, SPT, a student coordinator for Marquette University. “But the most important thing is just to participate at any level. We’re all connected by a shared passion for helping people through physical therapy.”

The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research is a national, independent nonprofit organization conferring grants, scholarships, and fellowships to leading researchers in the field. For over 40 years the Foundation has relied on the donations of individuals and institutions to fund scientifically based and clinically relevant research initiatives. Their mission is to shape the future of healthcare through physical therapy research. Incorporated as a charitable organization in 1979, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in grants, fellowships, and scholarships to nearly 600 researchers. Learn more about the Foundation's investments in the physical therapy profession at www.foundation4pt.org.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Dance Leads SLU Students to Physical Therapy

SLU PT Students Write About How Dance Influenced Their Passion for Physical Therapy

Libby Ramm (SLU DPT Class of 2023)
Like most dancers who go on to study physical therapy, my passion for physical therapy developed the first time I got injured. I never thought that something like snapping hip syndrome could expose me to a lifelong passion and my future career. Most kids don't know what they want to pursue a career when they are 13, so when I proudly told my parents that I wanted to be a PT, I'm sure they thought that was going to change. 5/6 years later when applying to colleges, that never changed. Being a dancer, I was taught to think critically about every movement and every body shape I saw in the mirror. This taught me to see the body as an instrument; a functional system that was capable of incredible things. A bag of skin, bones, and muscles that helps me express emotion and be an artist. I believe that my respect for the incredible things a body can do is what led me to find interest in physical therapy. With the more I learn about all of the things my body is constantly doing to keep me alive and to allow me to exist, I grow more and more fascinated with it. Becoming injured for the first (of many) time brought me to a crossroads between dance and science; exactly where I found my passion in life.

Alexis Ardovitch (SLU DPT Class of 2021)
As a dancer, I feel as though I have an additional perspective to provide to my physical therapy education and future intervention. I believe that dancing has really allowed me to understand my body, and it has allowed me to understand movement. As movement specialists, physical therapists need to have a great knowledge about how people move through space. As a dancer, I have a great understanding for how my body moves in space. This provides me with a perspective that cannot necessarily be taught in the classroom, and I believe it is an advantage when it comes to becoming a movement specialist. Additionally, dance has allowed me to understand my body and the different ways in which I can make it move. Before I became a physical therapy student, it was still in my best interest to understand which muscles performed what action in order to understand a specific movement and or to heal an injury. Now that I am studying physical therapy as a dancer, I already have an understanding of how my body works. Ultimately, my passion for the human body is the common thread that weaves through my love for dance and for physical therapy. As my future career as a physical therapist approaches, I have an increasing desire to work with performing arts athletes. Why not combine my two passions into a career?

Photos submitted by Alexis Ardovitch.

Monday, June 10, 2019

SLU PT Faculty Member Chris Sebelski, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, Presents Scholarly Research in Geneva Switzerland

SLU PT Faculty Member Chris Sebelski, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, presents scholarly research in Geneva Switzerland 

In May, 2019, Dr. Sebelski traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to present scholarly research at the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) Congress.  The WCPT is the “sole international voice for physical therapy” (https://www.wcpt.org/what-is).  The Congress is held every two years and is the profession's largest international congress to share the latest findings in research and therapies including advances in education, practice, research and policy.

The research presented, Leadership Competencies for Physiotherapists:  A Delphi determination, is collaborative work with Dr. Barbara Tschoepe of University of Vermont, Dr. Diane Clark of University of Alabama, Birmingham; Dr. Jennifer Green Wilson of College of Brockport, SUNY; and Dr. Stacey Zeigler of Clarkson University.  The purpose of the study was to identify and define leadership competencies essential for PTs and thus guide curricular standards on leadership development for PT education programs.  Results included leadership behaviors and skills perceived by the panelists to be “very” important for the physical therapist who is less than one year from graduation and those leadership behaviors and skills perceived by the panelists to be “very” important for the physical therapist who is greater than one year from graduation.

Photo credits: Dr. Steven Chesebro of the APTA and Dr. Chris Sebelski of Saint Louis University

To learn more about the 2019 WCPT, visit https://www.wcpt.org/congress.