Kathleen Geist DPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMPT elected to become Vice-President of PTAG (Physical Therapy Association of Georgia)

The Division of physical Therapy is delighted to announce that Kathleen Geist DPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMPT has been elected to become the Vice-President of PTAG (Physical Therapy Association of Georgia)! This election is a testament to Dr. Geist’s long service to PTAG and her commitment to address the relevant issues in Physical Therapy at the State level. As the VP Dr. Geist will be responsible for the organization and implementation of Chapter programs and membership meetings and shall have the ability to appoint a chair to coordinate the educational activities and programs of the Chapter and its members.

Dr. Geist was also elected to serve as the VP of the Orthopaedic Residency and Fellowship Special Interest Group! The Orthopaedic Residency and Fellowship Special Interest Group (ORF-SIG) serves the Section as an educational and practice resource for members and provides educational programming to Section membership. The leadership team of the ORF-SIG identifies changes in legislation and reimbursement at state and national levels and provides materials to share practice information and areas of concern to members and stakeholders. In addition, the ORF-SIG promotes both scientific foundation and interdisciplinary study within the SIG domain.

She is also a member of the Practice Committee of the Orthopaedic Section which comprises of eight members who work collaboratively to provide advice and counsel to the Orthopaedic Section Board regarding the regulation and scope of orthopaedic practice, promote the exchange of information and educate the Section members pertaining to legislative affairs and clinical practice. The Practice Committee serves as a resource for Section members regarding questions related to orthopaedic physical therapy practice and residency/fellowship educational materials.

Sarah Blanton PT, DPT receives the APTA’s inaugural Societal Impact Award!

The Division of Physical Therapy congratulates Sarah Blanton PT, DPT on receiving the APTA’s inaugural Societal Impact Award! This award recognizes her expertise and continuous contributions to our community, the association and the profession at large. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Blanton helped to establish the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation, the first journal of humanities in rehab that has garnered impactful contributions from Who’s Who in the world of Medical Humanities.

Established in 2017, the APTA Societal Impact Award fosters the association’s outward-facing vision and highlights the impact of physical therapy in improving quality of life. The award recognizes leaders within APTA’s member community who demonstrate commitment and dedication to addressing issues related to societal welfare. This award specifically recognizes individuals who exemplify the compassionate nature of the physical therapy profession by exhibiting a distinguished commitment toward philanthropic initiatives, raising public awareness on key societal issues, and demonstrating how physical therapy can be applied to address these issues.

Volunteerism and Service Learning: The DPT Student’s Recent Trip to the Dominican Republic

The Emory Physical Therapy team of four students, one faculty and three alumna recently concluded their trip to the Dominican Republic. The group of students and faculty arrived in the Dominican on March 4, with 4 wheelchairs, 17 walkers, 10 canes, 2 pairs of crutches, and several boxes of other needed medical supplies. During their stay the team visited more than one local hospitals and clinics to evaluate patients and provide care.

Typically, Physical therapy (PT) is considered a “luxury” in the country and is only available to the patients through private insurance which tends to expensive. Thereby, making PT unaffordable to majority of the population. The DPT students worked in teams to conduct home and clinic visits to maximize the number of patients they could serve. The students, met with the local health workers, nurses and doctors who work in these communities. The local care providers were eager to share information about the community, their research and unique patient cases. The team from Emory treated patients of all age groups ranging from 6 months to 82 years old with a wide variety of diagnosis from fractures to a patient with cerebral palsy.

To prepare for the visit the community health workers had created a list of patients they felt would benefit from physical therapy evaluations and interventions. The local health care teams helped to plan the evaluations at the clinic and at the patient’s home depending on the patient’s health conditions. This pre visit planning assisted the Emory team to utilize their time efficiently to provide patient care in each of the communities during their weeklong trip. Among the patients, the students saw, they particularly recall the child with cerebral palsy who was provided with a new wheel chair to replace his broken one.

In addition, Dr, Pullen and one of the students, Clarissa Myers, followed up with the patients seen by the previous group of students who visited the Dominican last year. They were pleased to see the improvements. Particularly, with a woman who had progressed from a near non-ambulatory status to walking in her home without any assistive device.

Overall, the team of students and faculty provided care for nearly 135 patients and distributed medical supplies to a number of clinics and patients.

Perhaps, the uniqueness of this international experience is best captured by our students, Ann, Caitlyn, Clarissa, and Kim who said that they “ (We)are very grateful for the opportunity to serve these patients, but most importantly we have all come home from this trip with a great appreciation and understanding for culture and community. The patients we saw blessed us in so many ways and taught us things that we could never learn in the classroom or clinic back in the states. This experience challenged our minds, creativity, and hearts in the greatest ways possible. “

The students and Dr. Sara Pullen would like to thank everyone for their contribution and support, which made purchasing the much-needed medical supplies and equipment possible! These medical equipment and supplies went to people who truly needed them, and have helped to change their lives for the better. The students and the faculty are also grateful for the local assistance as that allowed the team to be organized and to help as many patients as they could. They acknowledge their local host Ms. Rosa and Ms. Iris for their warm hospitality and for making their stay a great experience in the Dominican Republic! The current students and the faculty also thanks DPT alumni, Courtney Asker DPT 2017, Tiernan Damas DPT 2017and Lucia Rodriguez Vargas DPT 2013, who voluntarily joined from different parts of the country to experience this service learning opportunity. Their commitment to the alma-matter is appreciated.

The international service work specifically connects the students PT training with the service learning component of the Emory DPT program. See more about Volunteerism and Service Learning here.

Caitlin Behler, Clarissa Myers, Ann Colonna, Carmen Tejada, Lucia Rodriguez-Vargas, Dr. Pullen, Rosa Ipania Burgos, Kim Dietrich, Dhaysi Batista Berroa

Caitlin Behler, Clarissa Myers, Ann Colonna, Carmen Tejada, Lucia Rodriguez-Vargas, Dr. Pullen, Rosa Ipania Burgos, Kim Dietrich, Dhaysi Batista Berroa

Tiernan Damas, Dr. Pullen, Lucia Rodriguez-Vargas, Danilo, Kim Dietrich, Courtney Asker, Clarissa Myers, Caitlin Behling, Ann Colonna

Tiernan Damas, Dr. Pullen, Lucia Rodriguez-Vargas, Danilo, Kim Dietrich, Courtney Asker, Clarissa Myers, Caitlin Behling, Ann Colonna

Dr. Pullen (holding X-ray), Kim Dietrich

Dr. Pullen (holding X-ray), Kim Dietrich

service learning

Dominican Republic, March 2018

Emory University Alumni Reception at the CSM – Feb. 23, 2018

Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel; Canal Room, 3rd floor, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

General Medicine CI Meeting and Continuing Education Presentation: Promoting clinical reasoning in complex medical environments: Feb 27, 2018

Tami Phillips, PT, DPT, MBA

Tuesday February 27, 2018
5:30 – 8:30 pm
(Following the Clinical Instructors Meeting 4:00 – 5:30 pm)
Emory School of Medicine
James B. Williams Medical Education Building, Room 130
1648 Pierce Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
Emory University
.3 CEUs


4:00 – 5:30 pm
**CI Meeting**

5:30 – 8:30 pm
Presentation & Light Dinner

**Before this course begins at 5:30pm in the James B. Williams Medical Education Building room 130, there is a meeting for ONLY Emory General Medical Conditions Clinical who are taking a PT student during the Spring 2018 semester. Use the link below to register for both the CI Meeting and the CEU course. **


Emory University or Healthcare Employee: Free
Current or Recent Emory DPT CI or CCCE (2013-2018): Free
Current Emory, Select or VNHS Employee: Free
Unaffiliated Physical Therapist: $40

Cash or check payments for “Unaffiliated Therapists” will be taken at the door on the day of the course. Checks should be payable to “Emory University.” Upon request, an emailed receipt will be sent after the course.

Registration Deadline:

Friday, February 23, 2018, 12:00 pm

Registration Link: https://form.jotform.com/80255687684167


Interprofessional Simulation Conference November 14-15, 2017

The 2nd Interprofessional Simulation conference , a joint effort with the Emory University, Division of Physical Therapy, the SOM, the SON, the PA program and EHC was held on Nov. 14-15 on the Emory campus. The conference organizers collaborated using the premise of simulation-based learning both in academic and in situ (at the bedside) to improve patient focused care and safety. One hundred and twelve individuals including guest speakers attended the conference coming from as far as Hawaii to Massachusetts. The attendees represented academic faculty as well as health care practitioners in the areas of physical therapy, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistants, physicians, occupational therapists and speech therapists. The attendees represented both academic institutions and clinical practice/healthcare. 15 guest speakers represented an interprofessional panel of experts from the University of Buffalo, Northeastern University, Drexel University, University of Miami, University of Minnesota, Emory University and Emory Healthcare. Participant discovery and scholarly work was represented by 24 posters selected by a peer-reviewed process, displayed at the conference. Several exhibitor/vendors also participated.

The Day 1 program focused on 6 key aspects of interprofessional simulation:

  • the why and how of interprofessional simulation as well as communication;
  • simulation across the continuum: moving from student to clinician;
  • the importance of incorporating the patient and family;
  • the art of the debrief;
  • measurement of skill and competency: determining proficiency;
  • scholarship and discovery: striving for excellence.

Day 2 focused on hands on group activities for development of assessment tools and scenarios for the interprofessional simulation. Day 2 was held at the Emory Center for Experimental Learning (ExCEL) highlighting both the Simulation Center and Clinical Skills Center.

Dr. Teddy Potter

Dr. Teddy Potter 1# Keynote Speaker: the Why of Simulation.

Day 1 Session 3

Day 1: Session 3 – Putting the Patient and Family in Interprofessional Simulation. Sharlene Toney RN Facilitator, Pam Cosper RN, JoBeth Nicoll PFA, David Carpenter RN

Day 2

Day 2: Building the interprofessional simulation scenario. Dr. Patricia Ohtake Facilitator & Sandy Ockers OA


Reception. Keynote speaker- Jill Morgan RN and planning committee: Lisa Marie Wands, Jade Cruz, Sharlene Toney, Jill Morgan, Sandy Ockers, Kathy Lee Bishop

Marie Johanson, PT, PhD, to receive the Emory University School of Medicine Dean’s Teaching Award.

Marie Johanson, PT, PhD, Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist was selected to receive the Emory University School of Medicine Dean’s Teaching Award for the academic year 2016-2017. The award recognizes superior teaching of medical and allied health professional students, the dedication and skill in teaching, and mentoring students in the classroom and the clinic. Dr. Johanson will receive the award at the Faculty Recognition Reception along with the fellow awardees.

Emory University receives $4.5 million in USAID!

Emory has received a $4.5 million four year grant from USAID to establish the profession of Physical Therapy in the country of Georgia. The grant will be used to establish a PT training center in the Emory Kobaladze Learning Center in Tbilisi, and to establish a clinic in Tbilisi and Batumi, the second largest city on the Black Sea. The grant will also help to establish a network of clinics throughout the country. Currently, Georgia has no nursing homes or other similar facilities to treat patients with strokes, amputations, motor vehicle accidents, landmine injuries, dementia and Parkinsonism. These patients are cared for by caregivers at home. The grant will be to train these home caregivers. The use of Information Technology to improve the quality of life of the disabled people will be explored. Following the lead of a group in the US., Tbilisi State Medical University is an important partner of the grant. They will supply the clinical facilities in Tbilisi and will be involved in the teaching process. The Emory group includes Dr. Archil Undilashvili, MD MPH MBA MHA FACP from the Emory School of Medicine as Chief of Party, Zoher Kapasi, PT, PhD, MBA and Marie Johanson, PT, PhD, Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist from the Division of Physical Therapy, Gordon Churchward, PhD. from the Dean’s office and Kenneth Walker, MD, from the Department of Medicine.

Emory team visited Tiblisis State

The Emory team visited the Tiblisi State Medical University in Georgia.

Celebrating student accomplishments

Emory University students recognized at the Foundation for Physical Therapy’s events at the 2017 NEXT Conference for their dedication and support to the foundation!

The Foundation for Physical Therapy presented Emory University’s PT Program with Honorable Mention for their fundraising efforts through the 2016-2017 VCU-Marquette Challenge. Honorable Mention is awarded to schools who show dedication to the Challenge by raising $3,000 or more.

Physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students from across the country were recognized for their fundraising efforts through the 2016-2017 VCU-Marquette Challenge at APTA’s NEXT Conference and Exposition in Boston, MA on June 22nd. Top fundraising schools were announced during the Challenge Awards Luncheon co-hosted by Marquette University and sponsored by Performance Health. Students also received recognition during the Foundation’s 2017 Boston PT Party. Students from 146 schools raised $340,986 to support physical therapy research. There was a record number of returning schools from last year’s “The List,” almost doubling retention to 70%.

Mercer University took top honors, winning first place and naming rights for the next Challenge by raising $45,220. The 2017-2018 Mercer-Marquette Challenge kicks off at the National Student Conclave in Portland, Oregon on October 19th.

About the Foundation for Physical Therapy

The Foundation for Physical Therapy was established in 1979 as a national, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality and delivery of physical therapy care by providing support for scientifically based and clinically relevant physical therapy research and doctoral scholarships and fellowships.

Over the past 38 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships, and post-professional doctoral scholarships to more than 590 emerging scientists. Foundation-funded researchers have gone on to receive an estimated $753 million in external funding from the National Institutes of Health and other sources. Many of today’s leading and emerging physical therapist researc

Richard Nichols Named Honorary APTA Member

T. Richard Nichols, PhD, became an honorary member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) on June 21 by a unanimous vote of the APTA House of Delegates. Nichols is an internationally recognized scholar whose research has contributed to the advancement of scientific knowledge related to the control of movement. Per the proclamation proposing his honorary membership, Nichols has been “a stalwart advisor” to the association and to academic programs “that teach future physical therapists and advanced physical therapist clinicians.”