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Please join us in congratulating Ryan Mays on his recent receipt of the Jacqueline M. Leaffer Prize in Cardiology from The Center for Women’s Health Research (CWHR) on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Dr. Mays was recently hired as a Research Assistant Professor in the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. He was selected based on his current research goals and direction, research funding obtained, papers written, and discoveries made that demonstrated progress in women’s heart health. The Jacqueline M. Leaffer CWHR Prize in Cardiology has been endowed by Karen and Steven Leaffer of Denver, Colorado, in honor of their late daughter, Jacqueline Marie, as part of her legacy to improve the future of women’s health.
PT Student Explores Neurotherapy Through Summer Rotation at UM Clinic
Wendy Lee didn’t have to look far to find her top-choice summer rotation site leading into her final year at UM’s School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. Lee, a U.S. Army vet originally from Bigfork, stuck around Missoula to work in the Nora Staael Evert Physical Therapy Clinic in the Skaggs Building, where she was able to explore her interest in neurologic therapy under the guidance of Clinic Director and Assistant Professor Susan Ostertag.
Lee joined the Army right out of high school and was trained as a medical lab tech. She knew eventually she wanted to pursue a career in the health sciences, and her broad experience through the military led her to pursue a doctorate of physical therapy.
Though she grew up in western Montana and has many UM alumni in her family, Lee shopped around a bit before settling at UM
“I wanted to go to the best place,” she said. “I looked at some different universities, but this was it.”
Physical therapy students at UM develop a range of experience through required rotation each year of their postbaccalaureate education. The first three rotations – two in the summer and one during winter session – require students to work in outpatient, acute care and inpatient/skilled-nursing positions.
“It’s really important for us to come out with well-balanced experience,” Lee said.
Lee’s summer rotation at the UM clinic satisfies her outpatient requirement and also allowed her learn from Ostertag, one of only three certified neurologic specialists in Montana.
Ostertag said it was rewarding to see Lee grow and develop her skills over the summer and interact with patients.
“I work with patients off and on for years, so I develop a very close relationship with them,” Ostertag said. “I always think it’s a compliment to my students when my patients accept them basically as their physical therapist.”
During the last week of her rotation, Lee worked with her summer patient Mark Byrn, a retired Missoula County Public Schools teacher who is relearning how to walk in the wake of a neurological disorder and a spinal cord injury stemming from surgery.
Lee strapped Bioness electrical stimulation cuffs to the top, outer part of Byrn’s calves. The system uses electric pulses to stimulate the muscles, allowing Byrn to strengthen the tibialis anterior, the muscle that lifts your toes upward when you walk.
The pair made their way out of the Skaggs Building, across the brick plaza over the Urey Lecture Hall and toward the Oval, where they were able to rest on “Mark’s rock.” The rock, one of the large, angular boulders that pepper campus, serves as Byrn’s goal, recharging station and a place for Lee to check in with her patient and evaluate his progress before the trip back to the clinic.
Under the guidance of a clinical supervisor, Lee helped Byrn adjust the cuffs on his legs and the amplitude of electrical stimulation. They discussed his form, speed and how he felt. Finally, they headed back to Skaggs, where Mark completed his session by walking about 30 feet without assistance from his trekking poles.
Byrn only has received therapy at the UMPT Clinic since the end of May, barely longer than Lee has worked on her rotation, but he said his progress has been monumental. He’s hopeful he will “walk” again, though Lee and the clinic staff are quick to remind him he already is walking, and quite well.
Byrn is a perfect example of the type of patient Lee wanted to work with. While many students, staff and faculty members visit the UMPT Clinic for an evaluation of an “ortho” issue like a sore joint or a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the evaluation of patients with neurologic conditions requires a different set of clinical skills.
Nearly 50 percent of individuals receiving therapy at the UMPT Clinic have some type of neurological involvement, so Lee was able to gain experience working with a variety of patients. She credits the summer rotation with helping to develop her clinical-reasoning skills. The ability to determine what the issue is and the best way to address it is especially important for patients who may be starting from zero and need to completely relearn how to walk.
“It’s a lot to consider,” Lee said. “Say someone broke their back, they’re in a brace and they can’t walk. Where do you start? Reassessment also is important. Being able to say, ‘OK, that didn’t work, what else can we do?’”
Her neurologic focus this summer will help Lee as she begins her final year of PT school at UM. In the spring, she’ll complete her final, 15-week rotation at the Veterans Affairs clinic in Seattle, returning to her roots in a military setting.
Accreditation Program Outcomes as of 2012
The accrediting body for the DPT program, CAPTE, requires all programs provide the public with accurate, reliable and easily available information about student outcomes, preferably via the program's webpage. At a minimum, this information must include graduation rate, ultimate licensure exam pass rate, and employment rate, over the most recent three years, and must be updated annually at the time that the program submits its Annual Accreditation Report. These rates are as follows for the 2012 reporting period:
- Graduation rate: 96.9%
- Licensure examination pass rate:100%
- Employment rate: 100%
Local High School Students Exposed to the Workings of Physical Therapy
Students from the new Health Science Academy at Missoula Big Sky High School toured the University of Montana’s campus at the end of November. The academy provides a hands-on, project-based biomedical STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum. The program is designed to expose and prepare students to engage in the Health Sciences as a career while still completing the required courses needed for on-time graduation. The School participated in the UM campus event for the academy as a means of exposure to the career of physical therapy. The School’s contribution was spearheaded by Dr. Sue Ostertag, Assistant Clinical Professor, who organized a three station event. The high school students toured the Nora Staael Evert Physical Therapy Clinic with instruction and demonstration from one our staff physical therapists, Dr. Jason Krumbeck. They also rotated through the New Directions Wellness Gym with Gym Coordinator Molly Blair organizing an interactive participation with our gym’s specialized equipment. The final rotation in the School was in the Movement Science Laboratory where our research technician, Curt Hammill, provided demonstrations and applications of some of the lab’s motion analysis equipment.
To learn more about the experience and benefits for all, please visit this video link to hear a 90 second news story on the event from UM Journalism study Cody Proctor - http://umnews.jour.umt.edu/?p=839 .
Fall Update: Transitional DPT curriculum
With nearly 150 new students admitted in this fall’s cohort in the tDPT curriculum, the total enrollment, including the first classes of graduates, has now exceeded 600 across the nine cohorts in the program that was initiated in the fall of 2008. The curriculum, which bridges those with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in physical therapy to the DPT designation, will soon be accepting applicants for the spring cohort that begins in January of 2013. Financial incentives are available for UM PT alumni and active clinical instructors; the program is designed to be affordable, self-paced and requires a singular on-campus weekend course within the 20-credit curriculum for those with a master’s degree and 30 credits for those with the bachelor’s degree. Link to http://umt.rehabessentials.com/ to learn more about the program.
- Dr. Humphrey Helps Pen a New Science Advisory from the American Heart Association - A new science advisory from the American Heart Association was published in the journal Circulation on Jan 30, 2012. It calls on inpatient and home health care teams to implement a coordinated effort to promote outpatient cardiac rehabilitation (CR) to eligible patients. Dr. Humphrey was a coauthor on this document. A primary goal of the science advisory aims to better define the role of key health care professionals in both the inpatient and home health settings to ultimately improve participation in cardiac rehabilitation.
- Dr. Laskin takes another group of students to Thailand – Once again made the long flight to Chiang Mai, Thailand, this summer where he mentored 5 UMPT 2nd-year students (Heidi Biehl, Kelly Shields, Kelsey Turner, Tori Moffett and Andy Thomas) through a variety of experiences. Dr. Laskin delivered an invited presentation at the PT School at the University of Chiang Mai that inspired lots of great questions and dialogue. James and the UMPT students spent a 2-hour lab session with 64 senior Thai PT students presenting on physical therapy for western patients. James was also pleased that during the student’s final reflective presentation to the Chiang Mai PT faculty, the students committed themselves to continuing the relationship between the two schools by way of recruiting and mentoring the next group of UMPT students and helping raise the necessary funds.
- Clinical Assistant Professor Dave Levison was an invited presenter at the Graham Sessions, held this year in Charleston, South Carolina, on January 12-14th. Dave was part of a panel presentation discussing the cost of entry-level PT education and its impact on recruitment, retention and the profession overall. The Graham Sessions is an annual event designed to provide a think tank forum for safe, vigorous debate on issues that affect our profession.
- Dr. Mizner and students present at ACSM - 2012 graduates Maggie Dewitz, Caitlin Gollehon, and Jenna Kokes, mentored by Dr. Mizner, presented their research findings at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in San Francisco in May.
- Dr. Chuck Leonard attended the Annual European Neurology Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, in June this year. The conference explored a wide variety of topics including the cost/ benefit of using neuroimaging and other new technologies to assist with clinical decision making.
The work being done in UMPT’s Motor Control Laboratory has taken on a considerable international flavor this past year. This spring semester the Motor Control Laboratory hosted the visit of Dr. Vinicius Cardoso from the Federal University of Piaui (Brazil). Dr. Cardoso is a former student of UMPT faculty member, Dr. Alex Santos. Dr. Cardoso is now an active collaborator with Dr. Santos and contributing to the work done in the Motor Control Laboratory. In addition to Dr. Cardoso, another important collaboration for the laboratory comes from Dr. Tjeerd Boonstra from The University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The combined efforts of these researchers are helping to provide high-quality scientific inquiry into the processes of multi-muscle control during the execution of postural tasks.
In the past year we consolidated our clinics, which underwent a significant physical renovation; we have likewise rebranded the associated efforts in the School to reflect our singular identity, UMPT. The mission of Nora Staael Evert Physical Therapy Clinic (NSEC), then, is to provide support to the unique missions of UMPT Sports and Orthopedics, UMPT Neurological and Mobility Impairments, the UMPT New Directions Wellness Center and the Applied Physiology Research Laboratory. This consolidation should lend itself to more efficient client care, clinical research and clinical education. Dr. Sue Ostertag directs the NSEC and Dr. Toby Kinney chairs the Clinic Advisory Committee to provide oversight to the mission of the NSEC. Dr. Brenda Mahlum, who directs the sports residency program, assumes a new role in providing coordination to projects in UMPT Ventures, an entity created to develop educational and collaborative service projects within the School and College.
School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
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