DPT/MPH Student Selected for International Exchange Study


Lori Northcraft, a DPT/MPH student currently at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health completing her MPH year, has been selected as 1 of 7 fellows who will be participating in an all-expenses paid trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico this March. She will be visiting the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica-INSP (National Public Health Institute) of Mexico where she will complete an intensive week of lectures, field site visits and laboratory tours, all in Spanish. Lori will have the opportunity to learning about Mexico’s most pressing public health issues—obesity, HIV/AIDS, and cervical cancer/reproductive health. Additionally, she has requested to particularly learn about rehabilitative and farmworker health issues which will tie into her thesis related to migrant farmworkers (mostly from Mexico) in South Georgia.

Congratulations, Lori! We look forward to hearing about your trip once you return.

Emory Student Winner of APTA Private Practice Section Contest

thomasNate won a trip to the Private Practice Section’s Annual Conference to be held in Orlando, Florida, on November 5-8. Nate’s essay on “The future of private practice physical therapy and why I want to be involved” will be printed in the conference materials as well as in the Private Practice Section newsletter. Nate also will moderate some of the events and presentations at the conference.

Congratulations to Nate for this achievement!

Division of Physical Therapy 1st Annual White Coat Ceremony

The Emory University Division of Physical Therapy held its first annual White Coat Ceremony on September 6th, 2008, in Glen Memorial Sanctuary. The ceremony marks the student’s transition from the study of preclinical to clinical health sciences and also initiates them in physical therapy ethics.

Dr. J. William Eley, Executive Associate Dean/Medical Education and Student Affairs, Emory University School of Medicine, opened the program with Welcoming Remarks, and Dr. Carol E. Coogler, Professor Emeritus, Department of Rehabilitation, gave the Keynote Address. The White Coats were presented to the Division of Physical Therapy Classes of 2010 and 2011 by Dr. Susan J. Herdman, Professor and Director and Dr. Zoher Kapasi, Associate Professor and Associate Director, Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. David T. Burke, Professor and Chair, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, provided the Closing Remarks for the program.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Dr. Susan Herdman led the students in a recitation of the APTA “Code of Ethics.” A reception followed the ceremony.


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2008 September – Service of Gratitude Ceremony

After a semester of learning about human anatomy through dissection and exploration, the first year DPT students at Emory hold a Ceremony of Gratitude to honor the people who donated their bodies for study. It is a simple ceremony and takes a form each first year class wishes it to take. The Ceremony is meant to celebrate all aspects of life and so it is always different, always surprising, at times joyful and at times reflective. This year, with song, poem, piano, dancing, and yes, even with struggles with juggling to music and with making a yo-yo fly, the students brought their talents, humor, love and their thanks to this Ceremony.


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Dr. Jeanne Charles

Dr. Jeanne Charles has recently been awarded a K12 career development award through the Comprehensive Opportunities in Rehabilitation Research Training (CORRT). CORRT is a consortium of seven universities whose focus of study fosters diverse rehabilitation interests including: tissue pathophysiology, regenerative medicine, behavioral and social adaptation, movement science, cognitive processes environment, occupational science, and activity and participation across a number of neurological and musculoskeletal diseases. The participating institutions include three leading universities: Washington University School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, University of Delaware and four partnering universities: Emory University, John Hopkins University, University of Miami, and University of Iowa. As a CORRT scholar, Dr. Charles will work with a mentoring team (Drs. Steven Wolf, Andrew Butler, and Barbara Weissman) to further develop her research interests in the sensorimotor control of the upper extremities in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy and in pediatric functional neuroimaging. Comprehensive Opportunities in Rehabilitation Research Training is Funded by: the National Center of Medical Rehabilitation, The National of Child health and Human Development, National of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health.

The Interdisciplinary Comprehensive Arm Rehabilitation Evaluation (ICARE) for Stroke Initiative (R01NS056256) has been funded by the National Instititute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health, effective July 1, 2008.

Wolf I Care Abstract

The Interdisciplinary Comprehensive Arm Rehabilitation Evaluation (ICARE) for Stroke Initiative (R01NS056256) has been funded by the National Instititute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health, effective July 1, 2008. This 5-year $12.4 million grant will be headed by Carolee Winstein, Ph.D., PT, FAPTA at the University of Southern California, Department of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. Steven L. Wolf, Ph.D., PT, FAPTA (Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine) and Alex W. Dromerick, MD (National Rehabilitation Hospital and Georgetown School of Medicine) are co-Principal Investigators.

The primary objective of I-CARE is to improve outpatient therapy for arm paresis after stroke. This Phase III, single blind, multi-center, randomized control trial will investigate the effectiveness of ASAP (Accelerated Skill Acquisition Program), a focused, intense, evidence-based, upper extremity rehabilitation program. ASAP combines aspects of constraint-induced therapy, skill-based/impairment-mitigating task-specific training with embedded motivational enhancements and includes 30 hours of one-on-one therapy initiated during the early post-acute outpatient interval (1-3 months) after stroke.
This randomized clinical trial (RCT) has one primary aim: Compare ASAP to a dose equivalent usual and customary occupational therapy (high dose) group. There are two secondary aims: a) Compare ASAP to a true (monitoring only) usual and customary therapy group (low dose) and b) Compare the high dose usual and customary occupational therapy group to the low dose usual and customary occupational therapy group.

360 adults, within one to three months of stroke onset, with mild to moderate upper extremity impairment will be randomized. The primary outcome is a performance-based arm function test, Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) at one year after participation. Secondary outcomes include patients’ self-perception of paretic hand function, a domain of the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS) and the full SIS. Specific subgroup analyses will explore important moderating factors including duration from onset, stroke type, and motor impairment.
Given the trend toward diminished total reimbursable time for stroke rehabilitation, the ultimate goal for the ICARE Trial is to provide evidence toward an optimal allocation of therapy services within the approved number of treatment sessions that will reduce disability, lessen the societal burden, and provide a standardized evidence-based treatment useful for the rehabilitation clinician and future clinical trialist.

Seven Doctor of Physical Therapy students, two physical therapy faculty members and one physical therapist from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta joined the South Georgia Farmworkers Health Project (SGFHP) lead by Emory’s Physician Assistant program.

South Georgia Farmworkers Health Project


Seven Doctor of Physical Therapy students, two physical therapy faculty members and one physical therapist from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta joined the South Georgia Farmworkers Health Project (SGFHP) lead by Emory’s Physician Assistant program. The students and faculty spent one week around Valdosta this summer participating in mobile medical clinic teams to serve transient and seasonal farmworkers in community-based sites. One student summed up the essence of our current service learning experiences. “The SGFHP brings together healthcare workers from all different disciplines and gives us the opportunity to learn from each other in a setting that is far more educational than any classroom.”

Emory DPT students set up the blue “PT Tent” near farmworker housing for an afternoon SGFHP clinic. Other tents house PAs, physicians, and social workers on the team.

Steve Wolf, PT, PhD, FAPTA

Steve Wolf, PT, PhD, FAPTA will be presented the John P. Maley Award from the Section on Research for his outstanding contributions to leadership in research in physical therapy. Steve sustained and made phenomenal contribution as a researcher.

2008 Emory DPT Graduate Gives a Poster Presentation at CSM 2009

csmposter2Yumi Ueda Hutchins, a 2008 Emory DPT graduate, presented her research project at the 2009 CSM in Las Vegas. The title of the project was:

“Heel Lifts Increase Medial Gastrocnemius and Tibialis Anterior Muscle Activity Between Heel Strike and Heel Off During Gait in Subjects with Limited Ankle Dorsiflexion”. M.J. Johanson, PhD, PT, OCS, J.C. Allen, DPT, M. Matsumoto, DPT, Y. Ueda, DPT, K.M. Wilcher, DPT, were coauthors of the paper.

Bruce Greenfield, PT, PhD, OCS

Bruce Greenfield, PT, PhD, OCS will be presented the Stanford Award by the Journal of Physical Therapy Education.

Division of Physical Therapy faculty member Marie Johanson, PhD, PT, OCS, presented a paper titled “Influences of Gender and Stretching Exercises on Gastrocnemius Muscle Activity During Gait” at the 4th International Conference on Fitness, Health, & Active Living, which is jointly held for the Panhellenic Association of Sports Economists and Managers (PASEM) and The Sports Research Unit of the Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER) in Athens, Greece, May 8th, 2008 (conference May 8-11).

Sarah Blanton, PT, DPT, NCS

Sarah Blanton, PT, DPT, NCS was appointed Honorary Research Fellow, Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences. St. George’s, University of London in November, 2007. In March, 2008 she presented several talks in London, including:

– Translating Evidence into Practice: The Role of the Clinician in Clinical Trials
– Constraint-Induced Therapy – Updates and Future Perspectives.

Emory is offering a new DPT-MPH joint degree

Emory University Board of Trustees recently approved a joint DPT-MPH degree (Doctor of Physical Therapy and Masters of Public Health), a joint collaboration between the School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health.

Emory is home to a highly ranked DPT program (8th in the nation per US News and World Report) and a highly ranked School of Public Health (7th in the nation per US News and World Report) in the nation. There are few, if any, DPT programs in the nation that offer dual degrees. Thus, this is an example of an innovative program offered at Emory and shows the collaboration between the School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health.

Physical therapy practice has traditionally fallen under the heading of tertiary prevention. In the evolving healthcare environment, physical therapy practice is expanding into primary and secondary prevention activities. Physical therapists maximize physical abilities and functioning by working with groups as well as individuals. In addition to evaluating and treating individual patients, physical therapists also spend time educating the public. Additionally, physical therapists are becoming leaders in health care policy. As physical therapists’ roles and responsibilities have increased, so have their educational needs and desires. The combined DPT/MPH degree will provide future physical therapists with the opportunity to develop unique perspectives and skills. This new combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities will enable Emory dual degree graduates to impact healthcare and public health in innovative ways.