25 posts categorized "Physical Therapy"


Student Physical Therapists Recognized at Patricia Leahy Memorial Lecture

JDP-3271Coinciding 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.

JDP-3276Student 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.

Click here to see the 2015 Leahy Lecture photo gallery.


PT Student Says Doodling Can Aid Learning

Note3Unless a student is in an art class, drawing during a lecture is usually frowned upon. But Zachary Dae DPT'19 is a firm believer that mindless scribbling may actually aid the learning process, not hinder it.

“I have always wanted to work in the medical field, particularly with veterans and people with prosthetics,” said Dae. “I have put some serious thought into careers that would allow me to showcase my artistic abilities and medical education, and designing prosthetics seems like a very interesting route to take after I graduate from USciences.”

His notebooks are full of sketches of intricate cell models and the human anatomy–drawings he feels represent a balance between work and play.

“There are two main reasons I use artwork in my notes: the first being visual reference and the second being enjoyment,” said Dae. “When I draw the pictures in my notes, I usually draw them right after the section that describes them, that way I'll have a picture to show everything and verify everything I have just read or have written.”

Note1Dae said his first semester at USciences was a wake-up call for him to change his study habits because he was not earning the types of grades that he did in high school and was not focused on his school work. Luckily, he said he developed mentorships with biology professors Drs. Dana Pape-Zambito, Catherine Purzycki, and Grace Farber, and each of them supported and encouraged his unique note-taking method because it helped him zero in on his schoolwork and retain the information he learned in class.

As for now, Dae is working toward his goal of completing his doctor of physical therapy degree and is happy to share his drawings with his classmates to help prepare them for homework assignments and exams.


USciences to Host Panel on LGBT Healthcare on April 1

LGBTStriving to address the healthcare needs in the LGBT community, University of the Sciences has teamed up with local nonprofit organizations to host its first Panel on LGBT Healthcare on Wednesday, April 1, from 7-9 p.m., in Griffith Hall (43rd Street at Woodland Avenue).

“This event is intended to bring together students and community members to learn more about the unique needs and challenges faced by the LGBT community in regards to accessing healthcare,” said AJ Young, coordinator of the event at USciences.

Panelists from ActionAIDS, Philadelphia FIGHT, Mazzoni Center, GALAEI, and the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) will give a brief overview of their organization’s work and mission, discuss current issues and pressing needs in LGBT healthcare, and share what they believe is important for future healthcare professionals to know about working with the LGBT community. There will also be time for questions from the audience.

Invited panelists, include:

  • Tiffany Thompson, Director, Youth-Health Empowerment Project at Philadelphia FIGHT
  • Elaine Dutton, Trans Clinical Services Coordinator, Mazzoni Center
  • Elicia Gonzalez, Executive Director, GALAEI
  • Jay Johnson, Volunteer Coordinator & PWA, ActionAIDS
  • Rosemary Daub, Medical Case Manager Coordinator, ActionAIDS
  • Han Meadway, Transportation Advocate, CARIE

“Our speakers are some of the most knowledgeable and passionate people in Philadelphia regarding LGBT issues, and they’re eager to highlight what future healthcare professionals should know to provide quality care that treats LGBT patients with respect and dignity, while addressing their unique and not-so-unique health concerns,” said Young.

This event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served after the panel. For more information, contact Young at a.young@usciences.edu or 215.596.8734.


Samson College Kicks Off 'Allied Health Week' on Nov. 3

Samson College of Health Sciences at University of the Sciences will kick off its Allied Health Week on Monday, Nov. 3, with "Mindful Meditation" at 12:15 p.m. in the IPEX, second floor.

Here's the agenda for the rest of the week:

Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. | IPEX, Room 139 | "FED UP"

Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. "Fed Up" is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see.

Wednesday, Nov. 5 at noon | IPEX Steps

“Walk with me Wednesday”

Thursday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. | IPEX, second floor

“Guiding Flame” Sculpture Dedication
(Dessert reception following dedication)

1 p.m. in ARC | IPE Volleyball Tournament

Anyone interested in signing up must sign up with a team of 6 in 4500 Woodland, Suite 100 by Wednesday, Nov. 5


Samson College Aims to Prepare High Quality Healthcare Professionals for In Demand Careers


While no industry is completely recession-proof, the healthcare industry has proven its strength – even in the midst of economic uncertainty. And that's good news for students at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, a specialty institution solely focused on science and healthcare disciplines.

“Our programs in the health professions are all high quality, fully-accredited programs which offer our students an interdisciplinary education with hands-on experience,” said Laurie Sherwen, PhD, Dean of Samson College of Health Sciences at University of the Sciences.

A recent analysis by U.S. News & World Report found that 21 of the 30 fastest-growing jobs are in health-related fields — a growth coming from more participation in healthcare because of the Affordable Care Act, and also because of the increasing needs of the aging boomers themselves. Because healthcare jobs continue to soar across the United States, graduate degrees in physician assistant studies, occupational therapy, and physical therapy each landed a spot on Forbes’ top 10 master’s degrees for jobs in 2014. This list was generated based off recent national statistics regarding the job climate and projected career growth for each of these fields.

Among its six academic programs, Samson College houses a physician assistant studies program, as well as occupational therapy and physical therapy programs. Each year, entry into each of these programs becomes more competitive, as application submissions continue to spike.

USciences received more than 800 applications for 40 spots in its graduate physician assistant studies program for the 2014-15 school year. In only its second year, this graduate program has doubled its size because students realize the demand for healthcare professionals will translate into jobs after graduation. USciences also offers an undergraduate physician assistant pre-professional program for students who want to start their journey to becoming a physician assistant directly after high school. 

“The physician assistant profession is booming, and students of all ages and healthcare backgrounds are returning to school to become physician assistants,” said Joan Ward MS, PA-C, chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. “The flexibility to move into different areas of medicine without additional training also adds to the appeal of this profession.”

The University’s Department of Occupational Therapy also continues grow, and most recently bolstered its offerings by launching an online, post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy program to deliver flexible learning opportunities to individuals interested in continuing their education. USciences is one of six schools in the country with a direct-entry doctorate in occupational therapy program, in addition to offering a post-baccalaureate doctorate in occupational therapy, and a master’s of occupational therapy degree.

Lastly, the Department of Physical Therapy offers students a direct-entry doctorate of physical therapy program, as well as a transfer or post-baccalaureate doctorate of physical therapy option. The physical therapy program provides students with real-life experience through its two research labs – the Leahy Lab and the Baltimore Technology Equipment Lab – as well as its pro-bono clinic for underprivileged residents of Philadelphia.

This will be an exciting year for students enrolled in Samson College, as USciences prepares to open the doors of its new Integrated Professional Education Complex (IPEX) this fall. IPEX combines innovative learning spaces and student lounge space with simulation labs, a clinical lab, mock patient exam rooms, and conference rooms.

This building showcases an integrated education model that allows students from several disciplines – including pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise science, psychology, and healthcare business and policy – to obtain traditional and hands-on experience.

Don’t forget: The University community is encouraged to celebrate the completion of the IPEX at a special ribbon cutting ceremony and reception slated for Thursday, Sept. 18, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.  This ceremony is among several events on tap during Alumni Reunion weekend (Sept. 18-21).


Students, Alumni, Staff Get Dirty to Fight Multiple Sclerosis, Raise Nearly $2K

MuckNearly a dozen students, alumni, and staff of University of the Sciences braved mud-filled pits, trenches, and craters as they participated in the Philadelphia MuckFest MS 5K on May 31. The team, dubbed Muddy Bunch, collectively raised nearly $2,000 to support the event’s mission of benefiting multiple sclerosis (MS) services and research.

"Just like the obstacles runners face during MuckFest MS Philadelphia, multiple sclerosis is unpredictable; you simply don't know what is going to happen next. That's why the money raised through this event is so important," said Tami Caesar, president of the National MS Society's Greater Delaware Valley Chapter.

This 5K fun-run is pure athletic hilarity, featuring a course packed with more than 20 outrageous and muddy obstacles. Each year, MuckFest MS Philadelphia attracts thousands of women and men, young and old, athletic and not-so-athletic, who band together on teams for a mucky 5K in support of a world free of MS.

Muck2It is not just about the fun and the slapstick shenanigans out on the course. There is also a mission behind the muck: 100% of funds raised by participants benefit the National MS Society, which provides programs and services that help people address the challenges of living with MS and funds cutting-edge research into the cause, treatment and a cure for MS.  MuckFest MS participants from across the United States have raised more than $16 million for the National MS Society.

For the past four years, Marc Caserio, director of campus recreation; and Marie Kiechel, fitness and wellness manager, have rallied together a group of USciences students to participate in the run. Caserio said this year's team was primarily made up of first-timers.

Team Muddy Bunch was made up of the following individuals: Kiki Chaudhary BI'15; Danielle Hoguet DPT'16; Brianna Ligotski DPT'18; Bhumi Patel PharmD'15; Priya Patel PA'14; Joshua Paul PharmD'15; Michael Rabinowitz PharmD'15; Robert Hand DPT ’14; Tyler Bartnick, friend of the University; Caserio, and Kiechel.


USciences Athletes Explore Common Shoulder Injuries in Pitchers


Shoulder injuries are common among baseball pitchers, but are they introduced by chronic overuse or predisposing factors? University of the Sciences athletes, Jay Andrews ESWM’14 and John McConville ESWM’16, teamed up off the field to investigate the link between flexibility imbalances and shoulder and back injuries among eight pitchers on the USciences baseball team.

“This study was designed to help establish the predisposing factors to injury,” said Andrews. “By identifying those factors, athletes will be able to enjoy participating in sports for as long as they wish, and minimize their risk for injury.”

As members of the USciences’ Devils baseball team, Andrews and McConville are not far removed from the devastating effects of sports-related injuries. In fact, in his first year at USciences, McConville experienced a severe tear in his shoulder joint, as well as partial tears in the surrounding muscles. His own sports injury experience, paired with his academic interests, inspired him and his teammate to closely explore shoulder injuries in ball players.

Using a goniometer – an instrument that measures an angle and allows an object to be rotated to a precise angular position – Andrews and McConville performed shoulder flexibility tests on each participant in early February, and continued to monitor the players’ shoulders throughout their season. This data provided insight on the rotation differences of the pitchers’ dominant and non-dominant arms, which helped pinpoint the cause of common injuries seen in other players.

Here’s how their study worked: Participants provided their personal backgrounds outlining past injuries and pitching experiences, and continued to update the statuses of their injuries and levels of soreness through frequent surveys. At the end of the season, participants were given a final flexibility test to provide a standard database for internal and external range of motion in baseball pitchers.


“Our goal was to find the physiological reason behind these types of sports-related shoulder injuries and use that information to help baseball pitchers at all levels avoid injury,” said McConville. “Our hope is that trainers use our evidence to put pitchers on programs designed to achieve similar flexibility in the non-dominant arm, and work to maintain that balance as a method of injury prevention.”

Combining health promotion, scientific research and business education, the University's Exercise Science and Wellness Management Program gives students the skills to help direct people toward healthier lifestyles and to contribute in an enormous variety of settings. Exercise Science is a fast-growing, dynamic discipline. Degree holders have a variety of promising career paths in front of them, as well as several advanced-degree options. 

Click here for more info regarding the University's Exercise Science and Wellness Management Program.


PT Students, Faculty Share Expertise at Phillies Game

Phillies4Students and faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy braved the rain participate in the Philadelphia Science Festival's Science Night at the Ballpark during the Phillies game on Tuesday, April 29.

Carol Maritz PT, EdD, GCS, vice chair of the Department of Physical Therapy; Karin Silbernagel, assistant professor of physical therapy; and a few of their students evaluated participants' shoulder range of motion and strength needed for throwing. They also demonstrated and provided simple exercises that individuals can do at home to improve shoulder strength. 

Excerpt from Philly.com article, Fans win even as Phils lose with Science Night at the Ballpark:

The Phillies may have succumbed to the Mets in a rainy 6-1 loss on Tuesday night, but fans still proved victorious with science in the 4th Annual Science Night at the Ballpark event. As part of the week-long Philadelphia Science Festival, multiple local companies and institutions showed their support by bringing fun, interactive, and educational presentations to Citizens Bank Park. Presenters included the Philadelphia Zoo, the Franklin Institute, Dow Chemical, NASA, and several area Universities, among others.

The weather was less than cooperative, with temperatures in the high 40's, and cold rain and wind cutting down on attendance. The event was still successful, however, because it focused on providing entertaining, hand-on examples of science in action. The Franklin Institute presented several demonstrations of how science can apply to baseball. Participants could test their reflexes in a pinch-drop test or stand atop a spinning disc and swing a baseball bat to demonstrate Newton's laws of motion. University of the Sciences in Philadelphia demonstrated several strength and conditioning tests and exercises, and then explained how these same exercises can be used to help athletes recover from injury. 

Thomas Jefferson University also offered several mental challenges as well as the difficulties of experiencing a concussion using specially-designed goggles. Dow had on hand the #3 Chevrolet SS driven by Austin Dillon in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series, and highlighted how many of the technical advances found in the race car have also been applied to everyday household items.


VIDEO: 6abc Highlights Students, Faculty at USciences Research Day

6abc showcased the diversity and growth of research pursuits at University of the Sciences during its 12th Annual Research Day and 27th Annual John C. Krantz, Jr., Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, April 10. Research Day recognizes and highlights the research efforts of faculty, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, to encourage and promote communication and collaboration among researchers.
USciences distinguishes itself by offering undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct research early in their academic careers. The diverse research activity that was on display spanned several aspects of the University’s scholarly pursuits, including:
  • Determining occupational therapists’ role in working with pediatric cancer patients
  • Discovering the personality traits that cause adolescents to kill
  • Using yoga to improve quality of life for patients with anorexia nervosa
  • Identifying predictors of successful post-secondary transitions for autistic students


Pharmacy Students, Leaders Unite for Pharmacy Legislative Day at Capitol

PCPMore than a dozen student pharmacists from University of the Sciences' Philadelphia College of Pharmacy gathered at the Pennslyvania Capitol for the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association's (PPA) Pharmacy Legislative Day on Wednesday, April 2.

The students and their faculty advisors helped to “paint” the Capitol white, wearing their identifying lab coats and pushing the importance of “Pharmacists: We Make a Difference!” More than 250 pharmacy students from seven schools of pharmacy across the Commonwealth, as well as more than 80 pharmacists, walked the halls of the Capitol, participated in the Pharmacy Rally, and made legislative visits.

Pharmacy Legislative Day attendees met with a significant number of legislators or their staff and delivered packets of information to any legislative offices for which visits were not able to be scheduled.  The visits covered important issues of the profession focusing on pharmacy benefit managers' regulation and transparency, fair pharmacy audits, and expanded immunization opportunities. This valuable opportunity for PPA members to have their voices heard - and to stress the importance of issues facing pharmacy today - was an important and crucial step in educating legislators about pharmacists and their concerns.

Each of the pharmacy schools had displays showcasing information on the value pharmacists provide and performed various health related screenings. Information on medication adherence, smoking cessation, immunization awareness, hypertension assessment, heart health, blood pressure and cardiovascular risk assessment, and blood glucose was displayed in the East Wing Rotunda throughout Pharmacy Legislative Day. Philadelphia College of Pharmacy’s table focused on medication adherence and taking medications appropriately. The PPA also arranged for group tours of the Capitol and some special legislative meetings for students.

USciences' pharmacy students who participated, include: Stephanie Yenner PharmD'14, Priya Patel PharmD'14, Monica Huon PharmD'14, Courtney Spina PharmD'15, Kevin Farrow PharmD'15, Matthew Garin PharmD'15, Breanna Kester PharmD'16, Fidelia Bernice PharmD'16, Colleen D'Amico PharmD'16, Kevin Pak PharmD'19, Justin George PharmD'19, and Antonella Frattarelli PharmD'15. Pharmacy professor Dr. Dan Hussar is also pictured here.

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