Thursday, July 24, 2014

2014 Alumni Merit Award Recipient - SLU PT Alumni Bill Hopfinger '78

Congratulations to SLU PT alumni 
Bill Hopfinger on receiving the 
2014 Alumni Merit Award!

Bill received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from SLU in 1978. 
Bill is currently an instructor for the Program in Physical Therapy and sits on the Program in Physical Therapy Advisory Board. 

You can find out more about Bill's contributions to the practice of physical therapy and the Alumni Merit Award here. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Class of 2015 PT Students on a Clinical Rotation at Barnes

Good Luck to the DPT Class of 2014!

Best wishes and good vibes 
to the DPTs from the Class of 2014 
who are taking the NPTE today and tomorrow!

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Cheryl Cavallo Physical Therapy Lab Dedication Ceremony

A very warm thank you to all who attended the Cheryl Cavallo Physical Therapy Lab Dedication yesterday evening! It was a beautiful evening, full of touching memories and words of gratitude for all that Cheryl shared with us and taught us. 

Cheryl's Paddington Bear made an appearance!

Mary Christman opened the event with touching words about Cheryl

Program Director Mark Reinking spoke on Cheryl's dedication to her patients through most ably teaching her students and the role that the organization and efficiency of the labs played in that dedication to education. 

Don Highberger, SJ, blessed the Cheryl Cavallo lab, asking Cheryl's spirit to "haunt" the lab with lots of cleaning and organizing overnight. He also asked that students and faculty alike embody Cheryl's compassionate spirit while learning in this space. 

Interim Dean of the Doisy College of Health Sciences Irma Ruebling spoke about spending much of her professional life alongside Cheryl and the impact of Cheryl's work, as shown in Cheryl's words, "Treat people with care and respect, give comfort, and especially ensure their dignity. If we do this, the world will be a better place." 

Elena Gray (Class of 2015), one of the Cavallo Awardees, was able to share about her experience working at a Neurological camp in Jamaica.  

Larry Cavallo, Cheryl's brother, shared touching words about realizing who his sister was as a person through her incredible work in the Program in Physical Therapy and her dedication to her patients and those in need in the community. 

Mallory Eggert (Class of 2015), another Cavallo Awardee, shared some of her experiences at the Neurological camp in Jamaica and expressed gratitude for the special person that Cheryl was and the gift that the Cavallos made to ensure that other physical therapists can be special people, contributing to the care of patients all over the world. 

Poster presentations from the 3 Cavallo Awardees of 2014: Mallory Eggert, Elena Gray, and Mary Laethem (Class of 2015). Mallory and Elena created a poster featuring their work in Jamaica at a Neurological camp and Mary created a poster featuring work she did in Guatemala. 

From left to right: Steve Sievers (Saint Louis University Director of Development), Larry Cavallo (Cheryl's brother), Irma Ruebling (Interim Dean of the Doisy College of Health Sciences), and Mark Reinking (Program in Physical Director)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Just fixing up that ole' shoulder bone #ThanksGorillaGlue

Photos of Class of 2017 in Kines Lab

Sports Medicine and Athletic Training Workshop Featured in Newslink

The Introduction to Sports Medicine and Athletic Training workshop was featured in Newslink today! In the photo below, participants listen to instructor Kenny Wilson. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Meet Alicia Flach!

The Program in Physical Therapy is very excited to welcome Alicia Flach, PT, DPT, NCS. Alicia is joining the Program in Physical Therapy today as an Assistant Professor and will be involved in DPT 507 Applied Neuroscience, DPT 527 Neurological Conditions I, DPT 420 Developmental Biology, Neurological Seminar and the IPE Program. A very warm welcome to Alicia! 

Alicia Flach, PT, DPT, NCS and her husband Matt

Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Alton, IL and lived in Dorsey, IL (a very, very small town). I went to Edwardsville High School.

How many siblings do you have?
 I have a twin brother that also lives in the St. Louis area.

What are your parents like?
 My mom lives in Chicago and works at an international law firm. She currently loves being a grandma to our daughter, Emma.


When did you first become interested in physical therapy and why?
 While at school at the University of Illinois, I decided to volunteer at a hospital. I was assigned to the PT department and loved it! I loved how rewarding it was to be involved with people improving and regaining their independence.

Where did you receive your undergraduate degree?
University of Illinois

Where did you receive your PT degree? DPT? PhD?
University of South Carolina

What made the largest impact on you, concerning physical therapy (i.e. a strong clinical experience, mentors, working with patients, etc.)?
 I would say there are a couple of landmark moments that had an impact on me. The first would be my work in the research lab as a student therapist. We worked on intensity of mobility training (walking and balance) with adults following stroke, spinal cord injury and children following hemispherectomy. It was truly my first “hands on” experience in improving the lives of others.

Second, would be my time at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. I don’t know that I can narrow this experience down to one moment but I’ll say the evidence based practice, inclusion of active research into patient care, and working with astounding clinicians from multiple disciplines really helped me grow as a clinician and realize the impact of an effective interdisciplinary team can have on the life of someone recovering.

Professional Association

Are you a member of the APTA?
 Yes. I have been a member since I was a student. I am currently a member of the neurology and education sections.

Scholarship and Research

What areas of research are you involved in and interested in?
I am interested in learning more about the appropriate intensities of physical therapy interventions on those with neurological injuries or diseases to maximize functional outcomes. I am also interested in how well knowledge is translated from the classroom to the clinic.

Clinical Practice

What was your previous background in regards to clinical practice?
 My first job after finishing school was at a small hospital on the northwest side of Chicago. I worked in subacute and acute care settings. I then moved to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and worked in a variety of settings. I started in day rehab (intensive outpatient setting) and then moved to inpatient rehab where I worked with people with many diagnoses (ie spinal cord injury, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, amputation and many other medical conditions). Following about one year in the inpatient setting, I moved to the outpatient setting where I worked with people that had a wide variety of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions. Some specialty populations that I really enjoyed working with were those with vestibular conditions, pulmonary conditions, and following amputation. During my time at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, I prepared for and became a Neurologic Clinical Specialist.

What is your current background in regards to clinical practice?
 I plan to continue to be active in the clinic with an emphasis on working with people that have neurological conditions.

Area of Teaching

What courses will you be teaching?
I will be involved with Applied Neuroscience DPT 507, Neurological Conditions I DPT 527, Developmental Biology DPT 420, Neurological Seminar, and in the IPE program.

Fun Facts

If you were not a physical therapist what would you be?
 I would love to own a bakery.

What is your favorite St. Louis restaurant?
Since we just moved here from Chicago after being away for a while, I haven’t determined a favorite but would LOVE suggestions.

Where is your favorite place to travel?
I would say anywhere I haven’t been before. I love to experience new places and cultures.

What is your favorite memory?
The day my daughter was born was life changing and truly amazing. A very close second was my wedding day. It was simple, small and perfect!

Who is your favorite sports team?
Fighting Illini (for basketball)
Gamecocks (for football- nothing like SEC football!)

What is your favorite movie?
This is a great question- there is a substantial period of my life that I would have hands down said Dirty Dancing. However, this has been dethroned. I would say Stranger than Fiction is my current leader. I also am always down for a good Ken Burns documentary!

If you could travel anywhere where would you go?
This is a tough one. I still daydream about a trip that we took in 2010 to South Africa for the World Cup and then popped by Barcelona on the way back. I would definitely take any opportunity to return to those locations but would love to make it to Greece and Italy.

Alicia's dogs :)