Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Twitter has a sense of humor...

Photos from the Class of 2017's First Day in Kinesiology Lab

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Look for SLU PT student Caitlin Whiteley among SLU 101 leaders!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Very Warm Welcome to the Professional Phase, SLU PT Students of the Class of 2017!

A very warm welcome to the professional phase, 
SLU PT students of the Class of 2017! 

Today the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training welcomed the Program in Physical Therapy Class of 2017 and the Athletic Training Education Program Class of 2016 into the professional phases of their programs with a lunch and video presentation. 

Welcome again 2017, we couldn't be more excited to have you as students! 

SLU PT Alumni Julie Hereford Publishes Sleep and Rehabilitation

Dr. Julie Hereford, a SLU PT alumni of 1983 recently published the text, "Sleep and Rehabilitation." 
Congratulations to Dr. Hereford! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

International Clinical Experiences

Last year we very proudly announced that SLU’s Program in Physical Therapy had 2 active international clinical experiences: Hillside Health Care International in Punta Gorda, Belize and 2 clinical locations in rural Italy. Hillside offers students the opportunity to participate in community based rehabilitation, and combines education regarding physical therapy and treatment. Clinical sites in Italy have been provided by EduGlobal, a company that assists in placing students, and allows students to work primarily with patients recovering from neurological and orthopedic injuries.

Since our last announcement we have had multiple students placed at these sites. Their response to their experiences has been incredibly enthusiastic. Below are 4 accounts from our students, 2 who were placed at Hillside and 2 who enjoyed Italian rotations.

It is absolutely impossible for me to explain my experience in Umbertide, Italy in the detail that I want to relay. Words can never describe how incredible the experience was. While working at Istituto Prosperius, I had the opportunity to work with the Ekso Bionic, which is an exoskeleton robot for people who have paralysis to be able to walk. In fact, my CI was the first therapist in all of Europe to be certified to use the Ekso, so you can imagine the amount knowledge I gleaned from this. Beyond this specialization, all of the students had the opportunity to divide our time between ortho and neuro, and also spent a week in the pool with the aquatic therapist. I learned a popular technique used at Prosperius, called myofascial manipulation, which is similar to trigger point release.  But more than the therapy techniques, I learned the art of communication, both verbal and nonverbal. The most Italian I knew going into this clinical was ciao, but I left being able to understand most of what people would say (if they spoke slow enough!) and was able to speak basic conversations. I learned all about Italian hand gestures and had many conversations using these when words could not be found. I created incredible relationships with the patients and therapists, some without ever having a conversation beyond “Ciao, come stai?” (Hello, how are you?). Working in a different country, with a completely different health care system, was an invaluable experience where I learned a new culture, a new language, and  gained a new meaning of being culturally competent. I was able to learn many intangible skills that can’t be taught in the states.  I sincerely hope everyone can have an experience similar to this in their life. My one piece of advice: Go in with an open mind! Step out of your comfort zone and throw yourself into the situation. I promise you will not regret it!
Katie Veith (DPT Class of 2014)

SLU PT students on an international clinical rotation in Italy! Katie Veith, Chelsea Mollenhauer, and Amanda Thompson (DPT Class of 2014) 

For anyone considering a clinical rotation in a foreign country, I would absolutely recommend it.
I can’t talk about my experience in Italy without talking about the Italian people. The Italians are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Professionally speaking, I learned the most about communicating with both colleagues and patients. Even those who spoke English very well had difficulty understanding me if I spoke at my normal speed. I had to learn to slow down and use simpler words, which is something I have put to use back here in the US. With most of my patients, I could have nowhere near a full conversation with words. But I learned you do not have to speak the same language to understand your patients. Fortunately for us, the Italians speak a lot with their hands. One of my favorite memories was when my clinical instructor stepped away and I was able to fully understand what my patient with aphasia was saying using only his hands. Of course, I could only respond with a simple “capito” (I understand).

Chelsea Mollenhauer (DPT Class of 2014)

Amanda Thompson (DPT Class of 2014) on her clinical rotation in Italy

Last year I completed a four week clinical rotation at  Hillside clinic in Punta Gorda, Belize. It is difficult to put into words the growth, knowledge, and experience I had during this rotation, but I will try! This international clinical rotation gave me the opportunity to learn and practice in a community-based environment and to view the role of a PT in a different way. This type of practice model is very unique and utilizes education and empowerment of individuals in the community to create sustainable change. I quickly learned the importance of being creative and use the resources that are available in the community, which has led me to continue to think "outside the box" during other clinical rotations.
Another aspect of the rotation that I enjoyed was learning about how the clinic educates children in the community about disabilities. This topic is near to my heart. It was heartbreaking, but yet empowering to meet a young girl in a village that never went to school and never left her home due to a severe physical and mental disability. This experience was empowering because it showed me that there is still the need for education about disabilities in order to enhance the life and education of individuals with disabilities in all communities and countries. This quote from Archbishop Desmund Tutu perfectly summarizes my experience in Belize. "My humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours. I am human because I belong. It speaks about wholeness, it speaks about compassion". 

Barb Knezetic (DPT Class of 2014)

Barb Knezetic (center) on her clinical rotation in Belize (DPT Class of 2014)

It is difficult to summarize my time in Belize working with Hillside Healthcare International Clinic using just words, but I think it is important to say that I left Eldridge with more than just a clinical experience. Entering into the profession of physical therapy demands a specific sort of charism, stemming from a desire to work with others to actualize their greatest physical and functional potential. Being at Hillside and working alongside the people of the Toledo district instilled in me a deep humility and a newfound lens with which I may approach my future practice as a physical therapist. My rotation at HHCI was more than an academic experience, I left feeling fulfilled in mind, body, and spirit. As our profession advances, it is critical to understand the impact of what rehabilitation looks like locally and globally. Having been witness to physical therapy and healthcare in El Salvador through studying abroad and Belize through my clinical rotation, I see that international interprofessional communication can only better us as clinicians by urging therapists to be creative and work towards a common good for the benefit of the global community.

Lindsay Noesen (DPT Class of 2014)

Lindsay Noesen (DPT Class of 2014) on her clinical rotation in Belize 

Introducing Sydney Elizabeth Young

Monday, May 19, 2014

Congratulations to our Graduates! Class of 2016 and Class of 2014 Awards and Ceremony Photos

We couldn't be prouder of our graduates! Look below for photos from the graduation ceremonies and class awards!

Some of our excellent PT faculty members at the graduation ceremony. Left to right, Gretchen Salsich, Kelly Hawthorne, and Barb Yemm 

DPT Class of 2014 graduate Devyn Moore and Program Director Mark Reinking at the Class of 2014 celebration at Plush 

Class of 2016 graduates as they head out to the stage!

DPT Class of 2014 graduate Kristen Hager receiving an award from Program Director Mark Reinking 

DPT Class of 2014 graduate Amy Bourne receiving an award from PT faculty member Elaine Wilder

Class of 2016 graduate Julianne Pelger graduated with honors!

PT Assistant Program Director Tricia Austin making announcements at the celebration at Plush

DPT Class of 2014!

Class of 2016 Awards

Excellence in Research
Fischer, Leah
Garbin, Alexander
Sorgani, Christopher

Excellence in Academics
Crnich, Joseph A.
Duffy, Aileen M.
Fischer, Leah M.
Green, Tyler J.
Hornick, Kaitlin C.
Matherne, Lindsay M.
Mengis, Leah M.
Nolan, Catherine J.
Olson, Abby J.
Schettler, Nicole J.
Tansor, Julia K.
Tierney, Andrew P.
Tomasik, Kathy N.
Vickers, Kayla C.

Excellence in Community Service
Castillo, Olivia
Gallagher, Kathleen
Hornick, Kaitlin
Koval, Rebecca
Lenox, Erika
Miller, Caitlin
Mroz, Anna
Pelger, Julianne
Scantland, Lauren
Tomasik, Kathy

Class of 2014 Awards


Bourne, Amy
Crosby, Heather
Dockins, Kerri
Dollive, Halley
Dougherty, Kayla
Figueras, Kessica
Graue, Rebecca
Gries, Molly
Keller, Brianne
Knezetic, Barbara
Leas, Mollye
McInerney, Claire
McKeone, Claire
Munie, Samuel
Noesen, Lindsay
Reinking, Sarah
Sloan, Laura


Bonastia, Bailee L.
Buehne, Allyson R.
Camplin, Lindsay N.
Corley, Danielle M.
Dollive, Halley M.
Dougherty, Kayla S.
Erickson, Ashley R.
Hager, Kristyn S.
Hanson, Katherine E.
Harrington, Meghan E.
Mollenhauer, Chelsea E.
Moore, Devyn M.
Munie, Samuel G.
O'Dekirk, Margaret M.
Overholser, Kara R.
Rainville, Ashley C.
Reinking, Sarah E.
Schweickart, Hannah L.
Siadek, Ashley N.
Strieker, Stacy L.
Tampow, Alexandria J.


Brehm, Erin
Buffington, Paige
Corley, Danielle
Greenwell, Emilee
Munie, Sam
Tampow, Lexie

Welcome Sydney Elizabeth Young!

A warm congratulations to our 
clinical education staff member Rachel Young and her husband Craig Young on the birth 
of their daughter, Sydney Elizabeth Young! Sydney was welcomed into the world 
in the very early hours of May 14, 2014. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Saint Louis University Physical Therapy Students and Staff Now Providing Pro Bono Therapy Services to the St. Louis Community

Plans to provide pro bono physical therapy services to underserved communities in St. Louis has been in the works for a number of years.  Dr. Barbara Yemm of the SLU Program in Physical Therapy began attending continuing education programing pertaining to student run free clinics in 2011 to help bring a student run initiative to fruition.  However, it wasn’t until Spring 2013 that Dr. Yemm found physical therapy students that shared that same passion.  I remember distinctly when Dr. Yemm approached Hilary Obert (a peer in the SLU DPT class of 2015) and me about joining her in this mission; it was at our poster presentation at the SLU Senior Legacy Symposium.   Hilary and I were both members of SLU Global Medical Brigades, where we traveled abroad to provide medical care to underserved cities in Honduras, Nicaragua and Ghana.  At the Symposium, we presented on the importance of physical therapy in medical missions abroad.  We both recognized the need for practicing physical therapists in holistic care for such communities in third world countries, but it was Dr. Yemm that drew our attention to the healthcare access disparity here at home in St. Louis.  We were hooked instantly. 

SLU PT students Sean McInerney and Amanda DiGangi (Class of 2015) at the HRC

With the help of Tyler Zahrili, a SLU School of Medicine student and Health Resource Center lead responsible for the strategic integration of physical therapy services, we were able to make this mission a reality.  In fall 2013, we drafted our proposal to integrate pro bono physical therapy services at the Health Resource Center(HRC).  The HRC is a primary health care service that is run by students from the SLU School of Medicine located in the Victor Roberts Building, 1408 N. Kingshighway Blvd.  The HRC offers many different clinic sessions to meet different patients’ needs.  These include: asthma and allergy clinic, pediatric clinic, well-woman clinic, and general adult clinic which takes place every Saturday.  After a semester of planning and organizing, it was on January 4, 2014 when we officially began offering physical therapy services at the HRC.  Since that day, we have had active physical therapy clinic for 14 weekends and have provided a total of 75 treatment sessions.  On a given weekend, we have two third year physical therapy students treating patients with the help of a supervising faculty physical therapist, and at least two second year physical therapy students involved with medical consultations.  The second year students are alongside School of Medicine students collaborating to decide if the patient they are seeing would benefit from physical therapy intervention.  It is this aspect of the clinic that makes the HRC unique, and one that we are very excited about.  Not only are we treating uninsured and underinsured individuals of St. Louis, we are also instigating interprofessional communication and collaboration between SLU healthcare students.  As the HRC continues to expand services to include other health professions, SLU students will further develop interdisciplinary skills that will resonate into their professional practice after graduation.  

SLU PT students Amanda DiGangi, far left, and Hilary Obert, far right (Class of 2015) with
SLU PT faculty member Barb Yemm, center

After years serving others through various clubs, medical missions abroad and this pro bono work in St. Louis, I know that as I pursue a career in physical therapy I will continue to serve my community as a practitioner, and especially as a volunteer.  Due to the time we have put into this pro bono mission and the gratitude it has brought each of us, I can confidently say that wherever life takes me, I will seek out opportunities to extend my vocation for service and physical therapy to those that cannot afford therapy services. 

-Amanda DiGangi, Student Lead and Co-Founder of the Physical Therapy Services at the HRC

Carol Beckel Receives Doisy College of Health Sciences Excellence in Faculty Service Award!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Renovations to the Gait Movement Analysis Research Lab Completed!

Congrats to the PT Students Honored at the Straight A Luncheon!

Congratulations to the 
Program in Physical Therapy students honored 
at the Straight A Luncheon 
for student athletes! 
Program in Physical Therapy students included:

Jackie Bynes
Lauren Fyalka
Kirsten Gobell
Corinne Holtmann
Danielle Keeney
Beth Petersen 

Program in Physical Therapy faculty member Barb Yemm gave remarks at the event. 

PT student Lauren Fyalka (left), PT faculty member Barb Yemm (far right) 

PT student Corinne Holtmann giving remarks with PT student Kirsten Gobell and PT faculty member Ginge Kettenbach in the audience 

PT student Danielle Keeney giving remarks. In the audience: PT student Kirsten Gobell, Doisy College of Health Sciences Interim Dean Irma Ruebling, and PT faculty member Ginge Kettenbach 

PT student Kirsten Gobell

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Photos from the PT StuCo Spring Social for Cinco de Mayo!