Dr. Kesar, who was recently promoted to Associate Professor, received the Eugene Michels New Investigator Award from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). This award recognizes physical therapists who have engaged in independent research efforts within 10 years of completing their doctoral degree or post-doctoral training, and whose research makes significant impact on the physical therapy profession. This national recognition is a testament to Dr. Kesar’s research accomplishments and prominence. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Kesar has demonstrated a focused and independent research trajectory elucidating biomechanical and neural correlates underlying treatments for rehabilitating post-stroke gait dysfunction. She has over 42 peer-reviewed publications on gait retraining, stroke gait biomechanics, non-invasive stimulation, and training-induced plasticity in lower limb muscles. Her work revealed advantages of novel functional electrical stimulation patterns and paradigms. Her NIH-funded K-award evaluated non-invasive methods to rigorously probe neuromotor control of lower extremity musculature using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS), and combinatorial methods. Her ongoing NIH-funded R01 grant award investigates the time courses and neuromechanics processes underlying recovery of locomotor function in response to clinically-relevant gait treatments. A parallel research path evaluates real-time biofeedback and innovative gaming interfaces for stroke gait retraining. By understanding how, why, and for whom gait retraining is effective, her long-term research goal is to maximize locomotor recovery post-stroke. The division congratulates Dr. Kesar on this recognition!
Clay Watson (Class of 2000), is the Past President of the Homecare and Hospice Association of Utah. He has been instrumental in several significant Therapy initiatives related to home health over the past several years, starting with a state rule change that now allows Physical Therapist Assistants and COTA’s to treat Medicaid patients in the home.
Clay is part of the Utah Falls Prevention Alliance, which is a state sponsored program with industry leaders working to reduce falls in the state. Clay worked with Sally Aerts, PT, co-chair of the Alliance, on several grants using non-transport EMS falls data to intercept people before they have an injurious fall.
Part of the Falls Prevention Alliance effort led to current legislation funding a Home Health Order Hub. This will allow home health agencies to send orders to our statewide HIE into the workflow of Primary Care Providers. Getting physicians to sign orders is notoriously difficult and they hope to streamline the process by placing orders into the PCP’s workflow. The project is gaining national attention and may finally be the solution to improving convenience and response time for order returns- something that has become even more critical with the PDGM changes.
In recognition of his efforts, Clay was recently awarded the Excellence in Home Health Leadership Award by the Home Health Section of the APTA at CSM 2020.
We congratulate Clay on this award!
Clay is the owner of Western Summit Rehabilitation LLC in Salt Lake City, Utah, and lives there with his wife and four children. Clay an avid rock climber who loves to do first ascents!