Dr. Randy Trumbower’s Students Receive 3rd Place at the GA Tech Design Expo

Dr. Randy Trumbower’s undergraduate students took third place (out of 42 teams) at this years Georgia Tech Design Expo. The title of their project was, “Re-Hand: A Software Assisted Hand Strength Assessment and Rehabilitation Device”.

Dr. Randy Trumbower Appointed Membership to the GA Tech Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience

Randy Trumbower was appointed membership to the Georgia Tech Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience (IBB) this month. The IBB community consists of interdisciplinary scientists that are involved in cutting-edge medical research. The IBB serves as a catalyst for innovative biomedical engineering and bioscience research located in Midtown Atlanta. See www.ibb.gatech.edu for more details

Dr. Sarah Blanton Invited to Participate in Photography Exhibit at Emory’s Cannon Chapel

Sarah Blanton, PT, DPT, NCS

Sarah Blanton, PT, DPT, NCS

This fall, Dr. Sarah Blanton, Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Division of Physical Therapy, has enjoyed the opportunity to participate in a photography exhibit at the Cannon Chapel at Emory. The narrative theme of this body of work is called “Thin Places” and addresses themes of spirituality in Appalachian landscape.

She says: “My art and spirituality are intertwined so that each fosters the other’s growth. I find the overarching theme of my work a dynamic exchange between these two driving forces. This set of images explores concepts of spirituality and self-reflection through various dimensions of landscape. I have spent the last 20 years trying to portray the sense of place I experience at the lake of my childhood. Located in Upper East Tennessee, South Holston Lake is bordered by the Appalachian Mountains. Being in the presence of this deep, quiet body of water pulls me out of the whirl of life to rest in a centered awareness. At the shores edge, there is such a sense of wisdom and solace. It is a threshold – a true “thin place”.

The concept of thin places comes from Celtic mythology. Peter Gomes, a Harvard theologian, says that these thin places are “in the universe where the visible and the invisible world come into their closest proximity. To seek such places is the vocation of the wise and the good — and for those that find them, the clearest communication between the temporal and eternal. Mountains and rivers are particularly favored as thin places marking invariably as they do, the horizontal and perpendicular frontiers. But perhaps the ultimate of these thin places in the human condition are the experiences people are likely to have as they encounter suffering, joy and mystery.”


South Holston is where I experience the truth of my spirituality at its most sincere and humble levels,” says Dr. Blanton.

Through this exhibit, Dr. Blanton was invited as guest lecture for the Emory University School of Theology class: Chaplaincy in a Multi-Religious World – “Reflections of Art and Spirituality in Appalachia.” She also took part in the “Lunch Time Talks” at Common Grounds café at Cannon Chapel, to discuss her art and the role of spirituality in her work.

Dr. Sarah Blanton Selected to Participate in 2012 ERRIS Workshop on Grant Writing

Sarah Blanton, PT, DPT, NCS

Sarah Blanton, PT, DPT, NCS

Dr. Sarah Blanton has been selected to participate in the 2012 ERRIS (Enhancing Rehabilitation Research in the South) Workshop on Grant Writing to be held in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Dr. Blanton is Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Medicine, and currently the site project coordinator for the ICARE (Interdisciplinary Comprehensive Arm Rehabilitation Evaluation in stroke) national clinical trial.

Dr. Blanton presented the following poster presentations at the World Congress of Physical Therapy in Amsterdam this summer:

Blanton S, Doussoulin A. “Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy in Temuco, Chile – An International Example of Translational Collaborative Research to Foster Evidenced Based Practice.” World Congress of Physical Therapy, Amsterdam, June 2011.

Blanton S, Pullen S, Lieberman R, Zajax-Cox L. “Increasing Cultural Competency among Healthcare Providers for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals: A Pilot Program.” World Congress of Physical Therapy, Amsterdam, Holland, June 2011.

Doussoulin A, Saiz JL, Blanton S. “Psychometric Properties of Motor Activity Log-30 in patients with paretic upper limb of stroke in Chile.” World Congress of Physical Therapy, Amsterdam, Holland, June 2011.

Dr. Marie Johanson Receives the “Teacher of the Year” Award from PTAG


Marie Johanson, PT, PhD, OCS

Dr. Marie Johanson received the “Teacher of the Year” Award from Physical Therapy Association of Georgia (PTAG). The announcement and presentation of the award was made at the recent PTAG meeting in Dahlonega.

This award is recognition of the excellence with which Dr. Johanson pursues her teaching and a reflection of the teaching excellence within our program.

Congratulations to Dr. Johanson on receiving this distinct honor.

Faculty Member Receives Emory University School of Medicine Dean’s Teaching Award

Patricia Nichols Assistant Professor, Physiology Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Medicine

Patricia Nichols
Assistant Professor, Physiology
Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Medicine

Patricia Nichols, Assistant Professor, received Emory University School of Medicine Dean’s Teaching Award for the academic year 2010-11. She is one of eight faculty given this award from over 20 eligible candidates. The conferral of this award signifies that her students and colleagues hold her in the very highest esteem for her dedication and skill in teaching our students.

Congratulations Pat! You make us all proud!

Two More Students Accepted to Dual-Degree Programs

Two students from the Class of 2014 have been accepted into the dual-degree programs offered through Emory’s Doctor of PhysicalTherapy Program. Christine Pieton will be entering the DPT-MBA program, and Lilly Webster will be entering the DPT-MPH program. Congratulations!

Lilly Webster, SPT, Class of 2014 DPT/MPH Dual Degree Candidate

Lilly Webster, SPT, Class of 2014
DPT/MPH Dual Degree Candidate

 Christine Pieton, SPT, Class of 2014 DPT/MBA Dual Degree Candidate

Christine Pieton, SPT, Class of 2014
DPT/MBA Dual Degree Candidate

For more information about our dual-degree programs, see

DPT-MBA Program

DPT-MPH Program



Service Learning Spotlight: Hispanic Health Fair

2011_svc-15On a sunny Saturday in early October, nine first and second-year DPT students accompanied Dr. Pullen to the Hispanic Health Fair at the North DeKalb Health Center. As we drove into the Health Center parking lot arrival an hour before the fair was scheduled to start, we were met by a long line of hopeful fair attendees stretching from the health center entrance all the way down to the street – a clear indication of the necessity of a community health event such as this. After a quick set-up of a sun shade tent, tables, chairs and printed materials, fair attendees began to approach our physical therapy station. It was soon quite evident that we would be extremely busy that day – as word spread that there were physical therapy services on-site, people arrived in droves. Students worked as a cohesive team to register individuals, take brief patient histories and then provide the appropriate education regarding aches and pains and ergonomically correct lifting techniques. Students also taught a “Back Class” which involved demonstrations on how to employ proper techniques when lifting and carrying heavy loads and included enthusiastic crowd participation! We saw nearly 50 nearly exclusively Spanish-speaking individuals ranging from age 10 to 68 over a 3 hour period and were able to provide education and practical advice regarding back pain, ergonomics and maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle.


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All students gained valuable experience in treating a medically underserved population, working in a non-traditional environment and providing education to a diverse array of individuals. Although health fair organizers had initially predicted that approximately 200 individuals would attend the fair, over 400 people registered and received pro bono services in the areas of primary care, women’s health, flu vaccines and physical therapy. Students were enthusiastic about returning next year to volunteer at this important community health event.


The Hispanic Health Fair is sponsored by the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia and the Department of Multicultural Affairs, and aims to provide free health services to the Latino population in the greater Atlanta area. Emory DPT students attended the fair as part of the Service Learning Program which is supported in part by the Office of University-Community Partnerships.

Service of Gratitude – Held on Friday, September 9, 2011 at Canon Chapel


Gratitude to honor the gift of cadavers they received to pursue their studies in anatomy. This non-denominational service was held at Emory’s Canon Chapel and was attended by the DPT Program faculty and students along with families and friends of the students.

Students presented poems and gave testimonials from people who decided to donate their bodies to research as an offering of their gratitude. On behalf of the faculty, Dr. Zoher Kapasi, course director for anatomy and Director of the DPT Program, spoke at the service. Reverend Susan Henry-Crowe, Dean of Chapel & Religion, led the service with opening remarks and following a lighting of candles, concluded with closing reflections.


The Service of Gratitude is held every year at the end of the Anatomy course and is organized by the students. The service reinforces the values of caring and giving within our DPT students as they proceed in their training to become Doctors of Physical Therapy.


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Dr. Sara Pullen Awarded Two Grants from the Emory Office of University-Community Partnerships

Faculty member Sara Pullen, PT, DPT, MPH, has been awarded two grants from the Emory Office of University-Community Partnerships: the Faculty Fellows Program and the Community-Engaged Learning Initiatives Grant. These grants will be used to enhance the experiences and research within the Emory DPT Service Learning Program.