Student-Led Service Learning Emphasized During Two Community Events

The Emory University Division of Physical Therapy Purposeful Learning and Activities for Youth (PLAY) Committee is a student-led organization that designs and implements purposeful activities, family-centered events, and education in the Greater Atlanta area with the purpose of promoting health and wellness for children with special needs and their families.

This fall, in partnership with Easter Seals of North Georgia and GiGi’s Playhouse, the PLAY committee executed the 2016 Trick or Treat Trot and the 4th Annual Fall Fit Fest, respectively.

In October, the PLAY committee provided its expertise in intentional play at the established Trick or Treat Trot. We were invited to participate in the 6th annual race to provide activities for children with special needs and their families. The 4th Annual Fall Fit Fest was held in November at Chastain Horse Park. During this event, children with Down Syndrome and their families enjoyed interacting with horses, climbing through an obstacle course, practicing yoga poses, and designing crafts with healthy foods.

Due to the volunteer support of 75 Emory Doctor of Physical Therapy students, the events successfully reached more than 125 children and their families. Volunteers helped emphasize parent education at each station, allowing the families to learn more about the principles of gross and fine motor skills and how to incorporate them at home and in the community. The parents and children left the event feeling inspired and prepared to integrate these events into their daily lives.

Student-led service learning provides student volunteers with the opportunity to consider their role in the community and build confidence for their future practices through development of clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills. The events planned with both community partners, GiGi’s Playhouse and Easter Seals of North Georgia, provide Emory DPT students the opportunity to gain a better understanding of pediatric communities enriching their engagement in related academic courses.

Below are a few of the photos from these events.

PTAG 2016: PLAY Committee Poster Presentation

(L-R Rachel Christie – Class of 2017, Nathalie Rosales-Class of 2017, Leah Hinson Mountain – Class of 2017)

On October 1, three members of the Purposeful Learning and Activities for Youth (PLAY) Committee – Rachel Christie, Nathalie Rosales, and Leah Hinson – presented a poster at the Physical Therapy Association of Georgia (PTAG) Insight Fall Meeting in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The PLAY Committee’s mission is to design and implement purposeful activities, family-centered events, and education in the Greater Atlanta area with the purpose of promoting health and wellness for children with special needs and their families. Through this poster presentation, the PLAY committee demonstrated how student-led community-based events can be used to educate caregivers on the importance of intentional play for children with special needs as well as provide Doctor of Physical Therapy students with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of pediatric communities.

Through various events coordinated by the PLAY Committee, Emory DPT students have the opportunity to collaborate to help underserved communities, while helping build confidence for their future practices through development of clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills. Based on student survey, DPT students demonstrated an improved ability to work with children and families as well as to facilitate pediatric activities in a controlled environment.

The PLAY committee hosted two events this fall: Trick or Treat Trot with Easter Seals of North Georgia (October 29) and the 4th Annual Fall Fit Fest with GiGi’s Playhouse (November 6).

DPT Professor Emeritus June Garber and her husband on Storycorps on WABE NPR

storycorpsgarber_102516This heartwarming story that aired on WABE NPR in a StoryCorps interview on October 25, 2016 is one of a series of articles that will be part of the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation (JHR) piece next spring. You can listen to the story by clicking this link.

June Garber (Professor Emeritus) with the Division of Physical Therapy is featured with her husband, Les Garber, a stroke survivor.

This is a very moving story of stroke survival and love for one another!

Oct. 29 is World Stroke Day, a day to raise awareness of the condition and to underscore high stroke rates. Close to 800,000 Americans have a stroke per year.

Emory Healthcare establishes cardiac rehab program in China


Emory Faculty members paid a visit to their medical colleagues in the Jilin Province of Northeast China


(L-R: Laurence Sperling, MD, Xaioping Meng, MD, David Burke, MD and Kathy Lee Bishop)

Emory Rehab Chairman, Dr. David Burke and DPT Professor, Dr. Kathy Lee Bishop lent their medical expertise and knowledge to develop the first ever cardiac rehabilitation system in the Jilin Province of Northeast China. The Cardiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation Center (CCRC) opened at the Affiliated Hospital to Changhun University of Chinese Medicine after a collaborative three-year effort. Emory Faculty were invited speakers at the first China-U.S. Cardiac Rehabilitation Forum at the 7th Jilin Provincial Atherosclerosis Conference.

Please follow the link below to read the entire article in the Emory News Center written by Ms. Mary Beth Spence, Senior Manager, Media Relations about this wonderful collaboration.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Faculty honored in 2016 Researcher Appreciation Day


Dr. Steve Wolf


Dr. Randy Trumbower


We are very pleased to announce that two faculty members from our Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Rehab Medicine, have been selected to be honored at the Research Appreciation Day by Emory School of Medicine. These honorees were nominated by their peers and colleagues for their groundbreaking research, development of new technologies, and continued pursuit of novel and innovative ideas.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Randy Trumbower and Dr. Steve Wolf for this unique distinction!

You can learn more about Dr. Wolf and Dr. Trumbower’s research and all the featured researchers by clicking on the link below.

Ainsely Rossi, PT, DPT, OCS

Congratulations to Dr. Ainsley Rossi & DPT Students who earned 1st Place in the Georgia Publix Marathon’s Hydration Station and Food Station Challenge

The DPT Program is happy to announce that we earned FIRST PLACE in the hydration station challenge and the food station challenge for the Georgia Publix Marathon Race that was held several weekends ago! For our student’s enormously loud & extremely enthusiastic efforts on a very early Sunday morning, we have earned a $1,500 donation to the Good Samaritan Clinic in Atlanta.

Thank you to our students and Dr. Rossi, in particular, for leading the effort for us and organizing our students and their work each year.

Thank you all for your help and Congratulations for this stupendous effort!

“DPT Program Receives Funding Grant to offer a University Course Disability, Resilience & the Mortal Self” in Spring of 2017

The Center for Faculty Development and Excellence has funded a $2,000 grant to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program to offer a University Course entitled “Disability, Resilience and the Mortal Self” in Spring of 2017. The principal faculty members involved in submitting the proposal are Drs. Sarah Blanton, Bruce Greenfield, Zoher Kapasi and Aaron Stutz (at Oxford College). Dr. Greenfield took the lead in this submission and builds on the Coalition of Liberal Arts (CoLA) Spring of 2016 course in which a number of faculty showcased their labs earlier this year. We enjoyed wonderful participation from Emory and Oxford College students and also attracted very prominent faculty on our campus as guest speakers in this course. We believe the success of this course has led to additional funding to offer “Disability, Resilience and the Mortal Self” Spring of 2017 as a university course next year.

Please join us in congratulating the faculty members in submitting a compelling course proposal that has successfully garnered this funding.

1st Frank S. Blanton, Jr., MD Humanities in Rehabilitation Scholarship Award Presented

The DPT Program is excited to announce the recipient of the first Annual Frank S. Blanton, Jr. MD Scholarship Award. The 2016 Award was presented to Stephanie Larson, who is a doctoral student in the Emory English Department and the first graduate Managing Editor of the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation (JHR). The very first Blanton Award Banquet was hosted in the home of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright of Wit, Margaret Edson. Attendees of the banquet included Sarah Blanton, DPT, NCS, faculty member and daughter of the late Dr. Frank S. Blanton, Jr., Jamie Larson, the recipient’s mother, Emma Goldberg, DPT/MPH student, Laura Otis, PhD, Professor, Emory English Department and McArthur Fellow, and Linda Merrill, PhD, Emory Art History Department. Created by his family, this scholarship honors the life and impact of Dr. Blanton by supporting an annual position for a graduate assistant to serve on the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation.

Congratulations to Stephanie Larson as the first recipient of this wonderful award!

For more information about this award, please visit the sponsorship page.

Those interested in sponsoring the scholarship (giving yearly a set amount) or a one-time donation, please go to Emory Online Giving.


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Class of 2019

The faculty, staff and students, welcomes the Division Physical Therapy Class of 2019. We are excited to start this new academic year with our newly matriculated class of 2019 represented by 75 students from 24 states, 57 Universities and 20 majors. This diverse class is made up of 31% males. Need to update items highlighted from last year’s numbers.class2019

Emory University PT Students Recognized by Foundation for Physical Therapy

The Foundation for Physical Therapy recognized Emory University’s PT Program with the Award of Merit for the 2015-2016 Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge. This Award of Merit is given to schools that show immense dedication to the Challenge by raising $6,000 or more. The Emory DPT raised a total of $7,825.17. Our students were recognized for their fundraising efforts through the 2015-2016 Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge at APTA’s NEXT Conference and Exposition in Nashville, TN on June 9th.

The Challenge is the largest annual student-driven fundraising effort for the Foundation for Physical Therapy. The money raised by PT and PTA students helps fund scholarships and grants that advance patient care. Additionally the Challenge also supports the rigorous scientific review process for all Foundation grants and scholarships. Since its inception in 1989, 264 schools have participated in raising over $3.3 million for physical therapy research.



Pictured L-R, Molly Tarter, Foundation Board of Trustees President, Barbara Connolly, PT, DPT, EdD, FAPTA, Leah Hinson