For ten years, Belmont University School of Physical Therapy has been sending students for clinical rotation to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in London, England. The School recently sent a plaque to the Hospital to recognize the longstanding partnership, and in turn, was recognized by the Hospital in an article in their staff and volunteer newsletter. The article also featured the two most recent clinical students to the Hospital, Allie Sosebee and Alex Young.
“I am thrilled and humbled by this honor and to be the inaugural recipient,” he said, upon receiving the award at the School's hooding ceremony. “It is always nice to be appreciated not only by your peers but also your mentors.”
DeWitt, who earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Belmont, serves as team leader for clinical development, clinical assistant professor and director of physical therapy residencies at The Ohio State University.
Speaking to the summer 2012 class, DeWitt urged them to live out of their comfort zones by continually challenging themselves to drive growth in their personal lives and careers.
“Find fire in your gut that makes you do more for yourself, more for your family, more for your profession and more for your patients. See people as people and not as a person with disabilities,” he said. “Tell people that you want help, you want to learn and do more. Amateurs train until they can get it right, but professionals train until they cannot get it wrong.”
Prior to enrolling at Belmont University, DeWitt was an athletic training with the New England Patriots.
“I knew someone in the first class, and when I came to visit, I was impressed with vision, facilities and exceptional quality of the instructors,” he said. DeWitt went on to become the 2008 Ohio Physical Therapist of the Year and earn a 2009 New Horizon Award from the American Association of Physical Therapy.
Belmont University School of Physical Therapy joins with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to offer residency program
The School of Physical Therapy at Belmont University has joined with the Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute (PBPRI) in the Vanderbilt Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences to initiate a Neurological Physical Therapy Clinical Residency. PBPRI is the outpatient interdisciplinary neurological rehabilitation program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where physical therapists work in teams with colleagues in occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and social work to promote community re-entry, and vocational and/or academic transitioning. The one-year residency is offered through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and is the first of its kind in Tennessee. The program is designed to prepare the resident to treat patients with neurological conditions using contemporary, evidenced-based treatment approaches and provide the skills and experience needed to sit for the Neurological Clinical Specialist (NCS) certification exam with APTA.
“We are very excited about this new partnership,” said Mike de Riesthal, Ph.D., director of the PBPRI. “Education of new clinicians is one of our primary missions. Partnering with Belmont’s excellent program allows us to expand that mission into the field of physical therapy.”
Christina Durrough, DPT, has been selected as the inaugural resident in the joint venture and will begin her work this August. The residency requires direct clinical care each week at PBPRI where Dr. Durrough will receive mentoring and instruction to evaluate and treat patients with acquired brain injury and other neurological conditions including stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, brain tumors and balance disorders. The Clinical Residency Director for the program is Lisa Haack, PT, DPT, NCS, who is a clinical staff member in physical therapy at PBPRI and is a neurologic specialist. Dr. Renee Brown, professor of Physical Therapy at Belmont University, will serve as the Academic Residency Director.
At Belmont, Dr. Durrough will extend her clinical work to the classroom by teaching and providing lab instruction to doctoral students in the School of Physical Therapy under the guidance of Dr. Brown. Belmont will also sponsor and coordinate Dr. Durrough’s participation with the Neurologic Physical Therapy Professional Education Consortium.
Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute was conceived when the Nashville Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club, along with Nissan Corporation, USA and Ford Motor Company, Inc., made a financial commitment to the development of a traumatic brain injury program. The need for such a program was proposed by the members of the Nashville Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club when they identified the limited availability of comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation services for neurologically impaired adolescents and adults in the Nashville area. PBPRI opened its doors in 1988 to fill this critical role.
Belmont University School of Physical Therapy, part of the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Science and Nursing, has been preparing physical therapy practitioners since 1997 and was among the first schools in the southeastern United States to grant the Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2000. Today, over 300 Belmont graduates are in physical therapy practice in middle Tennessee and other regions of the United States, with some graduates serving populations in need internationally. The PT residency is one option for post-professional training for graduates, allowing them to develop a specialty and become board certified.
Kate Glaws, a current doctoral student in the Belmont University School of Physical Therapy, has been selected for the Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. The residency is one of 22 APTA credentialed programs in sports physical therapy in the United States. Kate was selected from among 30 applicants to the program and will begin the 16-month residency after graduating with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from Belmont this August.
"This is a notable accomplishment for Kate as this process is highly competitive due to the limited number of positions available in the United States,” said Dr. Michael Voight, a professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Belmont. He added, “Kate exemplifies all of the characteristics required to excel in this type of post-graduate education. The residency at OSU is considered one of the best in the country with a very distinguished faculty."
The OSU residency provides opportunity to receive clinical training in sports physical therapy from physical therapists and physicians specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine, to participate in research at the University’s biomechanics research laboratory, and to treat sports patients. Residents gain experience working with OSU’s athletic programs, treating athletes in Division I sports, club sports and at USA National Governing Body of Sports Medicine events. Residents also instruct orthopedic and cadaveric labs in OSU’s entry-level PT program.
As a PT student at Belmont, Kate co-authored with fellow students Sarahann Callaway, Melissa Mitchell and Heather Scerbo and faculty members Mike Voight and Pat Sells, a research study exploring the relationship between peak pelvis rotation, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus strength on a golfer’s handicap. The study was published in the June 2012 edition of the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy.
Kate entered the DPT program at Belmont after graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) Honors College with a degree in accounting. At IUP, Kate was team captain of the women’s basketball team for two years, and in her senior season led the Crimson Hawks to the PSAC Conference Championship and the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen where she was selected to the All-Tournament team. She also was named to ESPN the Magazine’s Academic All-District II Women’s Basketball First Team in 2007 following a Second Team selection in 2006.
Since its inaugural class of 2000, either Belmont University School of Physical Therapy’s third year students and/or second year students have been the recipients of PT Clinical Scholarship awards. These awards have been provided by an anonymous donor with the intent to assist in defraying the additional costs incurred during the final 8-week full time clinical experiences. With the $5000.00 offered again this year, the total amount to date that has been awarded to PT students is $114,000.00.
At the request of the donor, a committee selected third year students based on their campus and community involvement, high academic achievements and need. Each applicant provided a one-page resume’ and one-page essay indicating why they chose the physical therapy program at Belmont University and explained their need for financial assistance.
This year's scholarship recipients are Sarahann Callaway, Brittany Colston, John Hackett, Sarah Herschberger, Lauren LaCourse, Natalie Neufelder, Michelle Perna, Teela Sexton, and Allie Sosebee.
Mission to Guatemala 2012
by Allison Toole
Today we woke up in beautiful Antigua! Its safe to say we all got an amazing night of sleep after a hard day of work yesterday in Tecpan! I was part of the team that spent the day at the JT Children’s Foundation and it was such a rewarding experience! We saw 5 patients in the morning and 4 patients in the afternoon. It was amazing to see the teamwork between us and the clinicians there in Tecpan. The parents of the patients we saw were so open and wanting to understand how they could help their children out even more at home. We started out by assessing their children and ended each session with educating the parents on exercises and strengthening techniques they needed to do at home. We stressed to the parents that most of their children will not get better unless they continue doing their exercises at home. Overall, the teams had a very rewarding experience at the JT Foundation and felt very blessed for the opportunity to work with such beautiful children.
After our team finished at the JT Foundation, we got on the bus and headed over to the where the other team had spent the day building steps and installing a rope. I was completely in awe when we pulled up and saw the numerous amounts of kids that lived in this part of the village! They were SO loving and immediately hugged and greeted us as we got out of the van. After talking with the other team for a while, I was told that the kids were very eager to help out with their project and were an integral part in helping build the steps. It warmed my heart to know and see how hardworking these children are… that isn’t something I am used to seeing every day. It was a very humbling experience to see how grateful these children were for all the work we did.
I can’t believe how fast this week has gone by! I feel like I have learned and grown so much in such a short amount of time. My heart is completely on fire for this beautiful country and I cannot wait for future opportunities to come back and hopefully continue these projects we have started here this past week. Today is zip lining and shopping in the market and we are all very excited to explore the market and get some good shopping in (including the delicious coffee!!)
Mission to Guatemala 2012
Feliz Dia de Madre! Today is Mother’s Day in Guatemala. We all got this message at 4 am with a 5 minute blast of fire crackers in the courtyard!
The team headed to Tecpan – a rural farming village about 2 hours west of the city. We teamed up with JT Childrens Foundation – an organization that provided physical and occupational therapy for kids. 1/2 of the team stayed at the foundation assisting with therapy and the nurses gave CPR training.
The other half went out into a community in the mountains. We were at Melvin’s home. Melvin is a 14 yr old kid with CP. His home is on top of a steep incline – maybe 200 meters from the main road. Melvin walks down the stairs to the main road to get to therapy. The stairs have been washed smooth over time. His handrail….barb wire! Yikes.
We spent the day cutting out new stairs and installed a rope for a hand rail. Pretty good day of manual labor. We did of course find time to play with all the kids. Spanish is the 2nd language in this area. the main language is a Mayan dialect of Q’eqchi. Super nice folks.
After work we headed into Antigua were we will be for the next 2 nights. Friday is our day off – zip lining and shopping.
Mission to Guatemala 2012
by Rachel Haddock
Today was as busy and fun filled as the previous few days. I was a part of a team who spend the majority of the day at the school meeting classrooms full of children ages kindergarten through the 6th grade. With entry into each classroom we were greeted with songs. We watched as they made gifts for their mothers and had time to play as well. We spent the rest of our time painting a classroom that was built a few years ago and really needed a fresh coat of paint.
The highlight of the day, for me was when we went into the village where we got to see how great the poverty is and what seemed to me was the 'real Guatemala' and what daily life is like for people here. We met a wonderful family whose daughter is suffering from chronic renal failure. She was hooked up to a make-shift dialysis device and we heard from her mother that the young girl wanted most was to ride a bike again before she died. This statement was not only incredibly touching and heartbreaking but motivating for our team. As we left them, we made the decision to buy her a bicycle before we left. In the middle of dinner she and her mother and father came to the Nazarene Center to get her gift. We were all overwhelmed by her father's gratitude and her mother's tears. The little girl was so excited and was able to practice immediately, her joy was undeniable. It was so humbling and rewarding to know that we made a difference in her life and hopefully made her time before and after surgery a time she can enjoy and have fun like other kids.
I am looking forward to the adventures and challenges that we face tomorrow but I am so encouraged after tonight, seeing the impact we made simply by giving a little girl a bike- something we take for granted everyday back home.
Mission to Guatemala 2012
Our first visit was to Lucy. The nursing team and I were honored with an invitation inside her home, and witnessed a kind of gratitude for that home (which had been built by The Shalom Foundation) that far outdid what any of could have expected from someone living in such extreme poverty. Our hearts broke in unison when Lucy disclosed that the beautiful baby girl in her womb was past due, and that she completely lacked access to any kind of hospital, clinic, or even midwife to facilitate delivery… Las Conchas simply didn’t have anything to offer her or her baby to be… And Lucy simply didn’t have access to transportation. Her plan, when the time came, was to take to the bumpy dirt road outside her home and walk until she passed someone who could help. Not long after, we ran into Julio, another man Shalom had provided for in the past. With one of his precious daughters wrapped around his legs, Julio lamented that he no longer had a job and that he was struggling to provide food and fulfill basic needs for his family. Heart-wrenching visits like these passed one by one throughout the day until finally, standing outside a small tin home on a hillside of the Las Conchas community while the nursing team examined another helpless baby girl, I stared down the steep dirt road toward the masses of other small tin houses, and thought to myself that there was simply too much.
Luckily, I had someone there to remind me that miracles happen one by one. And the reminder was well-timed. Today was a day of miracles. I even think I may have contributed to one very special miracle at the clinic that we visited in Las Canoas. The nurses were overjoyed at the bags and bags of medical donations that we brought with us. They dug right into everything, and with great care they organized it all between the two small rooms that functioned as their office and exam room. Their gratitude for the donations was unmistakable. still it wasn’t long before I became aware of a rather large deterrent to their actual ability to use many of the supplies that we were leaving them with: They couldn’t read any of it. In fact, they couldn’t read any of the bottles or instruction sheets for any of the drugs that they had so neatly organized in their cabinets from previous rounds of donations. It was therefore with great honor that I was able to translate the function and dosage information for their entire cabinet. The nurses enthusiastically noted and labeled everything, with their minds undoubtedly full of the many local people that they would now be able to treat with the medicines they had received.
The need here is overwhelming. But with the right mixture of generosity and sharing of skills… perhaps these small miracles can be even more so.