DPT Faculty Member, Dr. Sara Pullen, quoted in Emory School of Medicine Alumni Newsletter

The Emory School Of Medicine Alumni Newsletter, Making Rounds, Fall 2014 featured an article on Service Learning efforts with the South Georgia Farmworker Health Project.

Dr. Pullen, Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine in the Emory Division of Physical Therapy, is quoted nicely in, “In the Field with the South Georgia Farmworker Health Project”. This article speaks to the importance of physical therapy in the project and as a whole in an IPE context. Additionally, it gives great visibility to the DPT Program within the School Of Medicine. Read the entire article here.

Local Service Learning Projects

One of the missions of the Service Learning Program is to provide assistance to communities and organizations in the local Atlanta Metro area. Some of these projects include:

Health Day for the Homeless

DPT students join a group of over 400 hundred volunteers to serve approximately 1000 homeless adults and children at this important event. Student volunteers address some common health issues among the homeless population such as pain from sleeping on the ground, foot/knee issues from walking with poor footwear and generalized aches and pains.

Hispanic Health Fair

Students volunteer at a health fair in the Buford Highway corridor area of Atlanta at a health fair serving the Latino community. DPT students provide general education regarding back pain, ergonomics and proper lifting techniques.

Emory Autism Center

In this collaboration between the DPT program and the Emory Autism Center DPT students create and implement group health education/physical activity workshops. In addition, student volunteers are paired with a “buddy” with Autism Spectrum Disorder with whom they will create an individualized fitness plan.

League of Hope-Emory DPT Haiti Project

39 students came to initial meeting for project which will involve creating a PT/PT Tech training program for 2009 earthquake victims as well as educational materials for prosthetic training

Obesity prevention program

Students create and implement a health and wellness program focused on the reduction and prevention of childhood obesity at underserved Atlanta schools.

The Westside Health Fair

Each April, students organize and implement fall risk screens for the elderly at a local health fair in downtown Atlanta. Our services are much needed in this area, as falls among the elderly population are a major risk for injury.

Sports Screening for High School Athletes

In the spring semester, students have the opportunity to assist an orthopedic/sports physical therapist in performing free one-day sports screenings to help determine injury risk for high school athletes. In this project, students have the opportunity to become involved in the local community and to learn new screening tools for athletes.

AileyCamp Atlanta

AileyCamp is an innovative summer and nationally acclaimed youth program conceived by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater that combines dance instruction with personal development and creative communication classes for metro-Atlanta middle school students, ages 11 to 14. Each June, students create an interactive workshop and handouts on injury prevention and hygiene which they present to approximately 100 campers in June on the opening day of camp.

The Getting2Tri National Paratriathlon Training Camp

DPT students volunteer at this intensive 3-day event for all International Triathlon Union (ITU) classes of physically challenged athletes, called “paratriathletes”, ages 18 and older. Students serve as personal assistants to the athletes and help with organizational aspects of the training camp.

Druid Hills Night Shelter

Students create and implement educational health-related workshops for residents of this downtown Atlanta homeless shelter.

Ponce de Leon Center

Students research, prepare and put into action an exercise program for clients at one of the largest, most comprehensive facilities dedicated to the treatment of HIV/AIDS in the United States.

The South Georgia Farmworkers Health Project

The Farmworker Project is a cornerstone of the Emory Service Learning Program. Members of the 2nd and 3rd year DPT classes, faculty and alumni volunteer their time each summer providing pro bono PT services to migrant farmworkers in Bainbridge and Valdosta, Georgia as part of a medical team including physicians, physician assistants and nurses. The Farmworker project consists of traveling clinics which are set up each day at a new worker camp or mobile home community to attend to needs of this vastly underserved population. Students work with trained physical therapists to evaluate and treat farmworkers for common injuries such as low back pain, knee and shoulder injuries. In addition, students conduct a “back class” on proper body mechanics for lifting, throwing and catching heavy boxes of farm produce. Clinics start early in the morning and run as late as midnight, with the clinic sites changing daily based on local needs.