Promising new treatment to help people with spine injuries walk better

A study conducted at Emory’s Center for Rehabilitation Medicine shows short periods of breathing low oxygen levels can help some patients with spinal cord injuries walk better.

The research was published in the Nov. 27, 2013 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Read more and see video.

Emory University Alumni Reception

Wednesday, January 23rd. 6:30-8:30pm at the San Diego Hilton, San Diego CA. See Flyer.

DPT Faculty member receives award from American Heart Association

blantonCongratulations to DPT Faculty member, Dr. Sarah Blanton, for receiving a 2-year career development award from the American Heart Association. The title of her grant is: A Preliminary Test of a Carepartner-Integrated Telehealth Rehabilitation Program for Persons with Stroke. To underscore the significance of Sarah’s achievement in this challenging funding climate, the association funded a total of 12 applications out of 67 applications reviewed, resulting in a 17.91% success rate for applications. Congratulations again to Dr. Blanton!

Emory stroke team part of NIH network

Emory University School of Medicine, in close collaboration with the Marcus Stroke & Neuroscience Center, will be part of a network of 25 regional coordinating centers from across the nation supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to revolutionize stroke clinical research by addressing new discoveries in prevention, treatment and recovery. Read more.

Emory DPT Continuing Education Program organized and hosted a nationally recognized event

Emory University’s Physical Therapy School has a history of providing educational opportunities that challenge and promote visionary thinking and innovative leadership within the physical therapy profession. This October 12-13, 2013 was no exception, with Emory DPT’s Continuing Education Program organizing and hosting a nationally recognized event: “Exploring the Role of Physical Therapy in the Treatment and Prevention of Childhood Obesity: Clinical Practice, Educational Curriculum and Research Agendas.” The Symposium’s purpose was to discuss the physical therapist’s role as part of a collaborative response to optimize movement and quality of life for children confronted with obesity and to generate recommendations to guide physical therapy curriculum, research agendas, clinical practice and health care policy. To this end, pioneering practitioners within the physical therapy, nutrition and health policy/public health professions were invited to share their passion and practice for how our profession could join and collaborate with others in the fight against this epidemic.

Dr. Paul Rockar, President of the APTA, gave Saturday’s opening remarks and highlighted our profession’s responsibility, as well as our specific expertise in movement science and exercise prescription, in working with patients and families confronted with obesity. The remainder of Saturday was spent absorbing information provided by a panel of dynamic Faculty, inclusive of Dr. Cheryl Resnik, Director of University of Southern California’s School of Physical Therapy and “Fit Families” program, and Dr. Stephanie Walsh, Wellness Director of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s “Strong4Life” program, both of whom shared innovative models of interdisciplinary clinics that utilize community resources and collaboration between healthcare professionals to address community health and nutrition needs. Dr. Katie Brown, Education Director for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, shared the Academy’s vision and resources and was instrumental in identifying areas in which PTs could collaborate with nutritionists in treating and preventing obesity. Additionally, participants heard from several, leading PT researchers, Drs. Brian Wrotniak, Margaret O’Neil, Ira Gorman and Thube Kolobe, each of whom have dedicated their careers to working within this complex issue.

Sunday’s agenda was dedicated to break out sessions and discussion groups, and attendees gathered in groups to address the specific topics of research, clinical practice, educational curriculum and health policy/advocacy. Participants were challenged to share their ideas, current projects and future vision for where our profession may head in combatting both childhood obesity and health/wellness and prevention, and each break out session concluded with the creation of formalized action plans and strategies. These action plans were combined and discussed during Sunday’s concluding session and will serve as recommendations for how our profession should progress in increasing both our awareness and knowledge of this issue and visibility and collaboration within our practice settings. Additionally, attendees were asked to take specific, leadership responsibility, and each created a “commitment contract,” outlining his or her professional goals as they pertain to obesity, health/wellness or prevention.

The energy and communication initialized during this Symposium was groundbreaking, and Faculty and attendees are planning to correspond over the next year, as they keep one another accountable on their individual and collective goals. Currently, a panel of involved Faculty are in the planning stages of writing a journal article that will address the action plans and recommendations generated from the Symposium, and Leaders will convene at CSM in 2014 to discuss further how to maintain the momentum and vision collected during this October weekend. If you would like additional information regarding the Symposium, or would like to join our efforts in promoting the physical therapist’s role in the treatment and prevention of childhood obesity, please contact Dr. Sarah Blanton at or Dr. Jenifer Markley at

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Emory DPT Students Support the National Parkinson Foundation

Moving Day® is the National Parkinson Foundation’s annual fundraising walk event. This year it was hosted in Atlanta with a goal to raise $100,000.00 to benefit the Foundation. It is a fun and inspiring fundraising event that unites families, friends and communities both large and small in the fight against Parkinson’s disease. This celebration of movement featured a family friendly walk course, a kids area, a caregivers relaxation tent and a special Movement Pavilion featuring yoga, dance, Tai Chi, Pilates, etc. all proven to help manage the symptoms of PD. This year the event raised $136,855.09! Emory University’s third year DPT students, Anjali Malviya and Mackenzie Olson chose to walk the 5k, while third year DPT students Holly Compton, Meg Harris, and Lauren Rossbach worked at a booth in the Movement Pavilion to recruit participants for their ongoing research into the benefits of Adapted Tango for Parkinson’s patients.


Good Samaritan Health Center Back to School Clinic and Block Party

2013-backtoschool1The Good Samaritan Health Center Back to School Clinic and Block Party was held on Saturday, August 3rd, outside the Good Samaritan Health Center of Atlanta building. Five DPT students volunteered along with Rob Riesing, PT, DPT, and Becca Grant, PT, DPT, PCS, to provide a Backpack Clinic for the children in attendance. At the Backpack Clinic station the students educated children and their parents on the appropriate placement and weight of backpacks to prevent back pain and injury. The children tried “racing to class” with both with a heavy pack and then with a pack of the appropriate weight to compare. The APTA and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommend that children carry no more than 10-15% of their body weight in their backpacks. The children were weighed and 10-15% of their body weight was calculated and recorded for their parents’ reference in preparation for return to school. The event was a great success. DPT students and children enjoyed the learning experience.



DPT Faculty Member completes requirements for recognition as FAAOMPT

geist_thThe Emory DPT Program announces with great pleasure that Dr. Kathleen Geist has successfully completed the requirements for recognition as a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT) in September. The “Fellow” is a physical therapist who has demonstrated advanced clinical, analytical, and hands-on skills in the treatment of musculoskeletal orthopedic disorders and is internationally recognized for their competence and expertise in the practice of manual physical therapy. Our “hats off” to Dr. Geist who pursued this credential over the last several months while serving as a full time faculty member and shepherding the Emory Orthopaedic Residency Program to a successful accreditation. Join us in congratulating Dr. Kathleen Geist, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT!

DPT Students accept Marquette Challenge Award of Merit and Biggest Stretch Award at APTA Annual Conference

 L-R: Elizabeth Griffith, Michael J. Mueller, Physical Therapy Foundation/Board of Trustees, Katie Moise

L-R: Elizabeth Griffith, Michael J. Mueller, Physical Therapy Foundation/Board of Trustees, Katie Moise

DPT Students, Katie Moise and Elizabeth Griffith, attended the APTA Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, UT. They had the privilege of accepting both the Award of Merit and the Biggest Stretch Award won in the Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge for 2012-2013. Elizabeth and Katie, co-chairs of the Class of 2015 Philanthropy Committee, accepted the awards on behalf of the Emory DPT Program which raised $8,748.54 in donations for the challenge.

VEDA is proud to announce that Dr. Susan Herdman, PT, PhD, FAPTA has been awarded the title, 2013 Balance Awareness Week Honorary Chair.

herdman-newsDr. Herdman has been a member of VEDA since 1993 and serves on VEDA’s Board of Medical & Scientific Advisors. Dr. Herdman is the director of vestibular rehabilitation at the Dizziness & Balance Center at Emory University, and is known internationally for her work in vestibular rehabilitation. Her courses in vestibular rehabilitation have become an industry standard.

Dr. Herdman strongly supports VEDA, and asks you to join her by making a contribution to her personal campaign page: Copy and paste the following address

The goal of Balance Awareness Week is to help people recognize the symptoms of a vestibular disorder. Through increased awareness among patients and professionals we can better advocate for improved training and diagnostic protocols, and increased coverage of vestibular disorders by insurance companies. Together we can make a difference!

Thanks for all you do to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from inner ear balance problems!


Tony Staser, Development Director