Student Physical Therapists Recognized at Patricia Leahy Memorial Lecture
Coinciding with Physical Therapy Month in October, more than 150 physical therapists, faculty, and students attended the 15th annual Patricia Leahy Memorial Lecture at University of the Sciences on Thursday, Oct. 15. This year’s topic, “New Advances in the Management of Persons with Balance and Vestibular Disorders,” featured Dr. Susan Whitney, a Philadelphia born and raised physical therapist who is now a world-renowned researcher and specialty clinician in the area of vestibular rehabilitation.
“The Leahy seminar is always a highlight of the year for the Department of Physical Therapy, and this year, we had a record number of alumni return for the evening event,” said Gregory Thielman, MSPT, EdD, associate professor of physical therapy and director of the Patricia Leahy Research Lab at USciences.
Each year, this on-campus event recognizes former USciences physical therapy professor Patricia (Patti) Leahy, who passed away Oct. 9, 1995, after a hard-fought battle against breast cancer. Her areas of specialization were in teaching rehabilitation and neuroscience, and she was an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Neurology Section.
Before her death, Leahy established a scholarship fund to financially assist USciences’ physical therapy students during clinical education, and proceeds from this lecture benefit this fund. She felt that it was important to enable students to expand their horizons by seeking clinical sites outside of the Philadelphia region.
Student physical therapists Tara Farnitano DPT’16 (above right) and Christine Kettle DPT’16 (left) were selected as the recipients of this year’s Patricia Leahy scholarships based off their impressive academic performance and passion for helping patients in neurological rehabilitation clinical settings.
“This evening consisted of two things that Patti enjoyed—learning and socializing, and we are honored to keep the memory of Professor Leahy alive on campus,” said Thielman.