Friday, April 8, 2022

SLU Program in Physical Therapy Annual Irma Ruebling Distinguished Speaker Event Focused on Innovation in Physical Therapy Research

The Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy hosted its annual Irma Ruebling Distinguished Speaker Event on site with a simulcast on Zoom on Thursday, March 24, 2022. We welcomed Dr. Terry Ellis and her presentation entitled “Innovative Approaches to Optimize Performance in the Real World in Persons with Neurological Conditions”. 

The Irma Ruebling Distinguished Speaker Series was the vision of Irma Ruebling, former chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training. It was her goal to bring nationally renowned speakers to Saint Louis University to highlight ongoing research and important topics and to foster a dialogue with faculty, students, and guests about the importance of research in advancing our profession.
Saint Louis University Professor Dr. Gretchen Salsich hosted the event and acknowledged leadership in the Doisy College of Health Sciences for their ongoing support for physical therapy research. Dr. Salsich recognized Dr. Tricia Austin, interim Dean, Dr. Jesús García-Martínez, Associate Dean for Research, and Dr. Chris Sebelski, interim Chair for the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training. Efforts to strengthen the research profile of the Doisy College of Health Sciences are central to the college’s strategic plan. Events like this inform, inspire, and connect us to research. The Department’s ongoing support of this event since its inception nineteen years ago has contributed to its growth and success.

Also acknowledged were the 2022 Ruebling Research Fund recipients. The Irma Ruebling Endowed Research Fund was established in 2006 to ensure the continued development of research activities fostering the growth of the profession, improvement of the health of patients and clients, and enhancement of the education of physical therapy students and practicing physical therapists. Three Program in Physical Therapy Faculty were recognized as the 2022 Irma Ruebling Endowed Research Fund Recipients. 
  • Dr. Ann Hayes received funding to support her project titled, “What Additional Radiographic Measures Taken Pre and Post Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis Specific Exercise Better Demonstrate Successful Outcomes for Adults with Spinal Deformity?” 
  • Dr. Jason Longhurst received funding for his project, titled, “Mapping brain activity preceding freezing of gait episodes in individuals Parkinson’s disease”. 
  • Dr. Elissa Held Bradford received funding for her project titled, “Breaking Down Barriers to Rehabilitation Outcome Measurement in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis”.
The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Terry Ellis, Associate Professor, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, and director of the Neurological Physical Therapy Residence program at Boston University. Her research focuses on investigating the impact of exercise and rehabilitation on the progression of disability in individuals with Parkinson's disease. 
Following the keynote presentation, there was a question and answer session with clinicians, faculty, and students. The decision to simulcast the event ensured that it was more inclusive of our community members who could not attend in person. It was a memorable evening of inspiring discussion and special recognition of SLU PT faculty!

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