Wednesday, May 15, 2019

SLU PT Alumni Spotlight - Julie Echsner Gahimer PT, HSD

SLU PT Alumni Spotlight - Julie Echsner Gahimer PT, HSD (Doctor of Health and Safety)

Professor of Physical Therapy, University of Indianapolis, Krannert School of Physical Therapy

Hometown: Columbus, IN
Current Town/City: Greenwood, IN

SLU PT Class of 1981

Interests, Activities, Clubs, and Professional Organizations

American Physical Therapy Association (Education and Neurology Sections), Health Volunteers Overseas, 2019-2020 Leadership Johnson County Class, Technology in Higher Education, a Certified Laughter Leader (CLL), Certified in Laughter Yoga, Volunteer at the Indiana University Student Outreach Clinic, International Service Learning Symposium Committee, Board Member at the Baxter YMCA, Faculty co-leader of Service Provision of rehabilitation service in Belize, 2019 co-leader of UIndy Spring Term trip to the Camino de Santiago, Spain, Catholic Charities Disaster Response Team, Mission trips with church and catholic high school, UIndy Healthy Diploma Coach, UIndy Christian Vocations Mentor.

Dr. Gahimer with colleagues Stephanie Combs-Miller and Connie Fiems attending the IVSTEP conference at Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio. July 2016
If you could come back to SLU and teach a class, which class would you like to teach?

I actually was fortunate enough to present a Health Promotion lecture to nursing students at the SLU Madrid campus several years ago when my daughter attended her sophomore year (2012) there.  I would love to teach a class on interprofessionalism or instructional design and delivery.

Dr. Gahimer with the Billiken during the bicentennial celebrations.
What was the most valuable lesson — inside or outside the classroom — you learned at SLU?

I learned the importance of community service and giving back. Quite a few members of my immediate family are SLU graduates as well.  Everyone has had the same experience.  My father received a Community Service Award from the SLU Medical School in 2016.  Quite an honor for him at 90 years of age.

A Poster Presentation at the International Symposium on Service Learning in Stellenbosh, South Africa 
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

I actually have two that I cannot decide between.  The greatest professional accomplishments are receiving "The UIndy 2012 Teacher of Year Award" and "The 2017 UIndy Peter's Good Neighbor Award."
Dr. Gahimer receiving the Peter's Good Neighbor Award from UIndy in 2017
What advice do you have for students getting ready to graduate with their DPT?

"Be where your feet are" and "be present" in all interactions in and out of the clinic.
"If you love your work, you will never work a day in your life"

A Service Learning trip to San Ignacio, Belize in 2016.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I have been teaching at UIndy since 1986.  This past year I have been granted a year-long sabbatical and recently spent a total of 4 weeks volunteering for an organization called Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO).  I taught physical therapy faculty and students at Da Nang University for Medical Technology and Pharmacy, in Da Nang, Vietnam. It was truly a professional and personal highlight of my physical therapy career. You can read more about that experience in the Daily Journal:
Students and faculty at Da Nang University
This is one of several posts featuring SLU PT Alumni experiences. The Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy wants to recognize the exciting and innovative things our alumni are doing, here in St. Louis and around the world. For more information for and about SLU alumni experiences go to:

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