Belmont DPT students attended the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) Day on the Hill on February 11, 2015. Scott Newton, TPTA President, and Joe Black, TPTA Legislative Chair, provided an orientation to the legislative process and highlighted a particular bill of interest to PTs. The students were then escorted through Legislative Plaza to the Old Supreme Court Room in the Capitol. Along with PT students from UTC, the students heard an inspiring talk from State Senator Bo Watson who is also a PT. He stressed the importance of the legislative arena for PT practice and urged them to be advocates for their profession.
Dr. Michael Voight, Professor of Physical Therapy, has been appointed to Performance Health Academy’s 2015 Scientific Advisory Committee, one of eighteen individuals from around the world who have expertise in physical therapy, chiropractic, exercise science, athletic training, and massage therapy.
Performance Health is a leading manufacturer of rehabilitation and wellness products sold in the U.S. and over sixty countries. The Company markets its product offering under such brand names as TheraBand, Biofreeze, Cramer, Bon Vitaland Thera°Pearl. The Performance Health Academy was formed to scientifically document the benefits of resistance exercise and pain relief and guide the company in its development of new products and exercise programs. The Academy web site is a unique resource that connects healthcare professionals and consumers to the ever growing body of knowledge on exercise.
Dr. Mike Voight, Professor of Physical Therapy, was recently a keynote presenter at the World Golf Fitness Summit in Carlsbad, California and at a meeting of the Japanese Athletic Trainer and Physiotherapy Association in Tokyo, Japan.
The World Golf Fitness Summit brings together over 30 of the world’s thought leaders in athletic performance to discuss the latest research and practical applications. Dr. Voight is noted as one of the leading authorities in the rehabilitation of orthopedic and sports injuries. At the Summit, he joined with Dr. Tom Byrd, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery, to present a session about hip injuries in the golfer.
Earlier in the month, Dr. Voight co-presented a session to the Japanese medical community on the evaluation of movement disorders and the impact that poor movement has on the hip. Seventy-five Japanese physicians and physical therapist were in attendance.
A research group of third year graduate students in the School of Physical Therapy, under the direction of Dr. Pat Sells and Dr. Kevin Robinson, recently had a manuscript published in the October issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The journal is the official research medium of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
“We had conversations several years ago with a company making wearable performance jewelry,” explained Dr. Sells, “and agreed to conduct research that clinically tested claims that the product, which included a variety of technologies such as copper, negative ions, holograms, etc., enhanced performance with improved balance, agility and power.” The students utilized about 60 aerobic exercise tests with subjects under three different conditions: when not wearing the jewelry, when wearing fake jewelry that appeared to be the performance enhancing product, and when wearing jewelry with the performance enhancing technology. The clinical tests found that the wrist bands had no impact on performance.
The students, who have since graduated with their Doctorate of Physical Therapy degrees, included Hannah Cavicchio, Brittney Everhart, Brandon Grass and Jonathan Lambert.
Belmont alumnus, Dr. Brandon Gilliam, has been named Director or Rehab and Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. Dr. Gilliam earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Belmont University School of Physical Therapy in 2005. Upon graduation, he began working in private practice clinics in the Nashville area from 2005-2013. He also provided sports medicine coverage at Christ Presbyterian Academy from 2005-2009. Prior to accepting the position with the Heat, Gilliam traveled extensively and taught continuing education courses to other health care professionals with the North American Sports Medicine Institute. In addition, for the past several years, Dr. Gilliam served as an adjunct within the Belmont University School of Physical Therapy. In his final year in Nashville, Dr. Gilliam started his own business consulting with professional and collegiate teams and individual athletes as well as providing concierge physical therapy and fitness services for entertainers and athletes. In his current role as Director of Rehab, Dr. Gilliam is responsible for maintaining the day to day health of all the player currently on the Miami Heat roster.
The Belmont University School of Physical Therapy recently hosted two health professionals from Istituto Prosperius Tiberino, a 75-bed rehabilitation hospital in Umbria, Italy. Since 2012, nine Belmont physical therapy students have completed a clinical affiliation at the hospital and three more students are scheduled for an 8-week clinical affiliation during the spring of 2015.
Istituto Prosperius provides both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation for patients with neurological and orthopedic disorders and injuries in a team model of care which includes physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, nurses, art therapists, psychologists and social workers. The Istituto staff conducts ongoing research projects and pilots technological devices for the rehabilitation of neurological patients. The hospital serves as one of leading centers in Italy using robotic therapy to assist in ambulation for patients with spinal cord injuries. The facility also houses two large therapy pools for patients, one equipped with underwater steppers and treadmills.
Two Belmont alumnae and one current Belmont student were recently contestants on the game show “Family Feud.” Sarah Morgan is a School of Nursing alumna, and Bethany Thomas graduated from Belmont’s physical therapy program. Lindsey Thomas is currently enrolled in the pharmacy program at Belmont. All three women are also related to Professor of Media Studies Dr. Rich Tiner.
The family auditioned in June at the Hotel Preston in Nashville. The Thomas family episode was taped this summer and aired this past Tuesday.
Dr. Pat Sells, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, lent his expertise to a recent story posted in Nashville Medical News about a new Tennessee law designed to reduce youth sports concussions. The story, Identifying & Preventing Concussions Now a Statewide Effort, written by Melanie Kilgore-Hill is linked here. Dr. Sells' comments from the story are included below.
While the law is a step in the right direction, Belmont University professor and exercise physiologist Patrick Sells, DA, said getting athletes to actually fess up to possible injury is the toughest part.
“Kids are hesitant to tell you if they took a blow to head because they know what the ramifications are and how long they could be out of the game,” Sells said. “I’ve seen kids go head-to-head or head-to-ground with no headache reported and find out later on they were afraid of the repercussions. That’s the competitive spirit of an athlete – they don’t want to quit because of injury … so as a parent, coach or doctor, you have to take measures to get kids to buy into this.”
Sells said it’s essential to educate athletes on the importance of telling an adult when something isn’t right. He stresses to students, parents and coaches the importance of being able to identify key symptoms including headache, confusion, difficulty remembering or paying attention, balance problems or dizziness, loss of consciousness, feeling sluggish, nausea or vomiting, or blurry vision. He also encourages parents to understand the qualification of the league and the system children are playing under and to take the time to verify the coaches understand risks and Tennessee’s newest sports concussion law.
Identifying and preventing concussions is of special interest to Sells, who has performed baseline tests on local youth football leagues pre- and post-season to determine changes in memory recall. He said several area schools are wising up and offering similar testing to athletes as a standard practice. Another tool used to gauge players’ health is a specially designed football helmet that measures the G-force behind each hit.
“It’s ultimately the responsibility of the school, athletic league and state organization to ensure coaches are knowledgeable about designing safer practices, hydration, and concussion signs and symptoms,” Sells said. “Coaches especially need to be well versed in a multitude of assessments in order to make that decision as there’s not one certain way to tell if a player might be in trouble.”