The official newsletter of the University of Miamiâ€™s Department of Physical Therapy
Pictured above: Dr. Lauren Lagaron serves as a clinical instructor as second year DPT students James Denis and Katie Dabrowski demonstrate manual muscle techniques to first year student Miles Slay. More on page 5!
In this Issue: 2
A Letter from our Director Hear from Associate Professor and Department Chair, Dr. Neva Kirk-Sanchez
Incoming: The Class of 2020 Join UMâ€™s DPT Program in welcoming a new class of future therapists
LAGO: Local and Global Outreach See how this pro-bono clinic is impacting our community
NEXT Conference and Expo! Students share their experience at the annual PT convention And the Award Goes to....
C/O 2019 White Coat Ceremony A new league of students have donned their coats
Research Spotlight: Dr. Joyce Gomes-Osman Learn what innovations are at work in the physical therapy department
The Link: Student Connections
Representation & Recognition
A Letter from our Chair:
Dr. Neva Kirk-Sanchez Associate Professor & Chair, DPT Program Director
I feel so fortunate to have taken over as Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy in March 2015, following in the footsteps of Dr. Sherri Hayes, who led the department through 28 years of growth and development. As a double graduate of UMPT (MSPT ’90, PhD ’01), I am looking forward to leading this department through their next stage of growth. I am so happy to share in this issue some of the amazing accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff, and other members of the UMPT family. Our academic DPT program continues to be ranked as one of the top 10 in the country, welcoming students from all over the globe and from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. In this issue, you can meet our incoming class of 2020, learn about a few of the exceptional students who joined the UMPT family this year, and you can learn (read up on) about some of their incredible service projects. We are thrilled to report that we have successfully completed our self-study and site visit for the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and have been once again fully accredited for the next 10 years. Dozens of students, faculty, alumni, and employers participated in our site visit, and we want to extend our thanks to the UMPT family at home and from all over the country for their contribution to this daunting task! Our clinical division has showed tremendous growth in the last few years, with thanks to our clinical team, and the leadership of Dr. Teresa Glynn, Vice Chair for Clinical Services. We continue to provide excellent physical therapy care to patients, at University of Miami Hospital and our six satellite clinics. Our clinical programs delivered over 100,000 patient visits in the last year and we continue to expand our services and develop specialty programs such as oncology rehab and vestibular rehab! We are also delighted about the outcomes of our LAGO (Local and Global Outreach) pro-bono clinic. In this issue, you can read more about our success in this clinic and how our students, faculty, clinicians, and residents work together to provide services to underinsured people in our community. We are so proud to announce the inauguration of our Sports Physical Therapy Residency program in August of this year, which follows in the footsteps of our Pediatrics and Orthopedic residency programs developed in 2013 and 2015. Our PhD and research programs also continue to grow, with ten PhD students currently enrolled. Our PhD students have shown great success in our professional community presenting papers and receiving awards and grants at the state, national and international level. Along with this growth, our research programs have grown as well, with our faculty members receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the NCAA, and a number of other foundations and institutions. I am honored to lead the incredible group of people who make up the UMPT family, and to share their accomplishments as we continue to grow. Congratulations to all of them!
The Road to DPT
The journey begins for the DPT Class of 2020 Meet the class of 2020! This cohort is marked by scholarship from a variety of academic backgrounds, with students having earned their bachelor’s degrees in areas from Pscyhology and Spanish to Exercise Physiology and History. Representing different undergraduate alma maters from across the country, students in the class of 2020 have arrived in Miami from as far as Washington, Vermont, North Dakota, Nebraska, Florida, Georgia, and then some. Baabak Mostoufi, the class of 2020 president, says he’s seen growth in every individual since starting the program last May. “Many of us thought that when we got here it would come as naturally as undergrad,” he said, “but the first anatomy exam was really a wake up call! People learned that there’s nothing wrong in asking for help, that it actually shows strength. I see my classmates being more comfortable with everybody. The shy people have really broken out and have a willingness to speak up for what they have to say.”
Joe Girardi earned his BS in Exercise Physiology from the University of Miami while playing football during his undergraduate studies. He then went on to earn his MS in Exercise Science from the University of Louisiana Monroe before working as a strength and conditioning coach. In this role, he oversaw the entire department while working primarily with the Football Team, Men's and Women's Basketball Teams, Men's and Women's Golf Teams, and Women's Tennis Team at University of Louisiana Monroe. “I want to be as qualified as I can be in order to try and help athletes both prevent and rehab injuries to the safest extent to return to what they love to do.” Contributing to his selection of UM’s DPT program, Joe cites his ‘Cane family legacy, as well as the national ranking of this program, 24/7 access to the Plumer Building, and the familial atmosphere.
Lucie Marie Stagg has served as a military officer from 1987 until 2017 and received numerous awards and decorations for her service and personal achievements. In addition to her military education, Lucie Marie Stagg earned her BS in Mechanical Systems Engineering from United States Military Academy, West Point (1987), her MS in Administration from Central Michigan University (1998), and her MS in Strategic Studies, United States Army War College (2008). “I saw in this field the potential to take my core competencies of leadership, insight, problem solving and personal experience to build a life after the military with purpose and meaning.” “I don’t believe I have ever been as fascinated with an experience as I was with anatomy. And biomechanics and gait analysis! Don’t get me started. I love love love the experience……except the testing.” “My classmates are the other best part of this experience so far. They make me laugh so much with their enthusiasm and drama. It is just fun to see people experiencing life’s big moments for the first time and to hear their unfiltered generational perspectives.”
After earning his Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Ohio State University in 2009, Anderson Russell played in the NFL from 2010-2014. He then practiced as real estate agent in the South Florida area for over a year. “I decided to pursue a career in physical therapy because this field has had a direct impact on a good majority of my life. I did numerous stints of rehab, prehab, strength and conditioning etc., throughout my football career from ages 12-29.” “The biggest factor that contributed to my decision to attend the University of Miami was the sense of family I felt when I came to interview. I feel like the professors truly want the students to succeed in the program and go above and beyond in ensuring that we do so.”
L AGO Local and Global Outreach
With service in mind, students in the University of Miamiʼs DPT program have the unique opportunity to get hands-on practice through the LAGO pro-bono physical therapy clinic By: Araceli Sanchez and Marthy Brave In September of 2015, the University of Miami Physical Therapy program further established itself as a leading supporter of disadvantaged communities with the introduction of the Local and Global Outreach program, or LAGO, a pro-bono clinic that strives to provide physical therapy services to those who would not be able to afford it otherwise. The clinical services at LAGO are not only extended to the underserved areas of Miami-Dade, but actually began with serving impoverished communities in the countries of Costa Rica and Haiti. The impetus for LAGO came long before 2015, when students expressed their eagerness to create a global outreach program after they saw the devastating effects of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The students learned that members of the UMPT faculty were able to offer their support and services, and a collaboration took root. This sparked the vision of a global
outreach program through which students studying in the physical therapy program would be able to help underserved communities. Later in 2014, a group of students participated in a mission trip to the Central American country of Costa Rica, fostering the foundations of the outreach program. The following year, UMPT established a weekly clinic providing physical therapy to local communities near the University of Miami in need of service and care. Each of the initiatives, whether international or local, use candidates from the UMPT doctoral degree program. In fact, the DPT program has incorporated the local outreach program into the curriculum by making student participation possible through an elective course. On Tuesday and
Thursday evenings, students enrolled in the program are taking the information learned in classes and applying it to real patients while simultaneously helping underserved members of their communities. The LAGO clinic is currently established at the University of Miami Hospital near downtown Miami. The program operates under the direction of Dr. Teresa Glynn, DPT, who has served to oversee the growth and development of clinical services through UMPT. Dr. Glynn coordinates involvement of the supervisory clinical instructors, many of whom are professors, residents, and UHealth physical therapists. Students also play a leadership role in the LAGO pro-bono clinic, not only as student therapists, but as coordinators. The incumbent coordinators, third-years Bradley Vogel and Johanna Segura, have been guiding their second-year successors, Briana Harris and Kaleigh Botill, in administration and management plans for the continuity of the program. Their in-depth role grants these students the ability and opportunity to deepen their appreciation for the delivery of quality care. “I thought that being a leader in a pro-bono clinic would be a great way for me to advocate for community service,” Segura said. “I’m privileged enough to be able to see these awesome little moments that happen in the
As students, weʼre making functional improvements in our patients.
clinic, for the patient, because they’re finally getting pain relief or connecting with someone who cares about their health, and for the students, because they’re learning and they’re making a difference in someone’s life.” For a novice student physical therapist, it can seem like a daunting task to administer care to patients. Participation in the LAGO program has been reflected through changes in the student therapists. According to Briana Harris, most students start out very apprehensive with the initial transition into the semi-autonomous role of thera-
pist. But as the sessions progress, they begin to develop a sense of pride. “[The students] move a lot faster,” Harris said, “you can tell they’re just really learning about what it’s like to be a clinician, even as a student, and they start to realize how much they know.” Having been unable to access physical therapy services for several months or even years, many patients arrive to LAGO pro-bono clinic with chronic pain. “It gets to the point where it limits them so severely in their day to day life,” Vogel said, “that we’re just trying to teach them how to manage their pain and perform their daily tasks
Second year DPT student, Angel Ceballos, monitors the strengthening intervention for a patient who has hemiparesis.
at a more reasonable level.” Moreover, the data appears to support the effectiveness of the care provided through the pro-bono clinic. “We submitted a research study for next year’s CSM conference,” Segura said, “[it’s] an outcome measure study based on the LEFS and pain before and after intervention. We have objective data demonstrating that as students we’re making functional improvements in our patients.” Vogel describes the impact this has on the quality of life of the individual patients. “Even patients who are not able to experience complete pain relief still feel great, even if they bump down their VAS scores from a 7 to a 4, they’re still really happy with that because just that little difference in their pain is significant. They haven’t had their pain that low in years, and it gives them enough wiggle room to walk around the house, to reach up their shelves, to grab things… so that’s what it’s really about.” The data collected under study demonstrated improvements in all patients. What’s next for LAGO? “I’m really excited about the future of pro-bono,” Harris said, “there are fundraising plans for LAGO initiatives, and hopefully we’ll be able to provide more of our patients with the orthotics and braces that they need, which will really help them in the long run.” Orthotics and splints can amount to be quite costly, but these students already have begun to assist patients in acquiring them. Vogel shares in that excitement, and hopes the future holds an expansion of LAGO to treating patients beyond our immediate community to extend the impact of the service program.
Conference Recap By: Marthy Brave
The annual APTA NEXT Conference & Exposition offers students the opportunity to participate in many interactive sessions and programs highlighting the innovations making headway in the field of physical therapy. This past June, students from the University of Miami’s DPT Program attended the conference in Boston, Massachusetts and came back with a re-ignited passion for the profession. Heather Shannon, currently in her second year in the DPT program, attended lectures on topics in neurology, which align with her current interests. “My favorite workshop, the pediatric low back pain lecture,” Shannon began, “really tied in what we learned in our therapeutic exercise course by giving us creative interventions that relate to sports such as gymnastics or baseball, football or basketball, and ways to be creative with the kids and make them more moti-
vated in therapy.” Shannon also enjoyed participating in a locomotor training lecture. “[It] was interesting in that a lot of it was threaded into theories that we learned in our neurophysiology class with Dr. Gomes-Osman, so it was cool that we had a base of what we had already learned and just
added layers on top of it.” Second-year Jessica Boady attended lectures related to orthopedic rehab innovations. Boady expressed that many of the discussions she participated in at the NEXT Conference referenced previous studies conducted by University of Miami faculty members within
From (L) to (R): Briana Harris, Charles Swingle, Chloe Krueger, Erin Hale, Heidi Meyer, Jessica Boady, Adrianna Ortega, Melinda Robinson, Heather Shannon
the Department of Physical Therapy. “It was cool to recognize those names and see that the research that other people are using were actually done by people who are teaching us,” Boady said. Heidi Meyer, also a current second-year student, reflected on the up and coming technological advances she was able to learn about at the exhibit booths set up for the conference. “There were new inventions for the physical therapy world such as lofstrand crutches that eliminated the need for stability on the forearm with a different hand-held device,” Meyer said, “just really cool innovations in the field that you’d only see at a conference like that.” Some of the events highlighted from the NEXT Conference 2017 were sessions focusing on creative mobility technology, relieving pain through mindful-
ness, and discussions on the shifting perspective of the role of physical therapists throughout the span of a career. “This experience opened up my eyes to see how much more is out there that I never even knew,” Boady said, “and even though we all have different interests, we could all interact with each other and share what we learned, which was really cool.” The conference also served to educate attendees on the enduring and transformative impact physical therapy can have on unexpected populations. Shannon described her experience in attending a session on the role of physical therapists in managing police officers, firefighters, and military service members who are recovering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. “Physical therapists affect them physically as well as emotionally and psychologically,” Shannon said,
And the Award Goes to... On June 22, 2017, the Foundation for Physical Therapy presented the University of Miami with the Award of Distinction for the 2016-2017 VCU-Marquette Challenge. The Award of Distinction is given to schools who show enthusiastic support and dedication to the Challenge by raising $20,000 or more. Notably, students at the University of Miami raised $22,081. The money raised by PT and PTA students through the Challenge 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. Congratulations to our UM Department of Physical Therapy, and shout out to our student representatives, Erin Hale, Angel Ceballos, Melinda Robinson, and Adrianna Ortega, for spearheading our programʼs fundraising efforts!
“which people don’t typically associate with physical therapy.” Meyer found her academic background to be a considerable asset in enhancing her experience at the conference. “One thing I really took home from it was how awesome our program is,” Meyer said, “because there were so many lectures for new innovative topics and techniques that [we] had already learned in class. It made me feel like we are getting an amazing education here if we already knew about these things that were considered new and innovative at NEXT.” The NEXT conference allotted students the chance to experience the latest research focusing on how to change society and improve the quality of life through optimal movement. As stated by Shannon, “this really motivates you to go out there and be the best physical therapist that you possibly can.”
Class of 2019
White Coat Ceremony
The class of 2019 was ushered through an academic rite of passage on July 17, 2017. The annual White Coat Ceremony is a symbolic act acknowledging the students’ beginning transition into a competent clinician. The coat serves as an emblem of professionalism and the trust that each doctoral student must earn from patients. Dr. Lori Gusman, who has been chairing the White Coat Ceremony for the past 10 years, emphasized the team effort that goes into planning such an event, right down to selection of the key note speaker. “With faculty and staff involvement,” Dr. Gusman states regarding coordination for the ceremony, “the collaboration has made it effortless.” Jhelane Vega, Associate Director of Admissions, coordinated meetings with students on various occasions leading up to the ceremony to discuss the logistics. “It isn’t easy corralling two DPT
classes and faculty, but it always comes together perfectly.” Vega recalls meeting and communicating with the current students when they were applicants. “The first year in the program is always demanding as the students learn all of the foundational skills to prepare them for their first clinical experience. It is truly remarkable to see the transition that they make in just the first year.” Dr. Drevyn, the faculty advisor for the class of 2019, describes the transformation she sees in the students. “I’ve definitely seen [them] take more initiative in owning learning experiences,” a trait she states is important to carry into the clinic to make the transition from being a passive observer to an active learner. Reflecting on the preparedness of the class of 2019 to enter the clinic in this new role, Dr. Drevyn was extremely confident in the capabilities of the students.
“A year ago I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a PT. To those insecurities I had: Joining UM was and will be the best decision I make and I will be a PT. The journey to becoming a DPT is long, hard, and ever changing. Nothing is set in stone and life will constantly challenge you. But none of that was as hard as overcoming my biggest obstacle, which was: me, and my doubts about whether I could do it.” -Angel Ceballos “As young as 14, I really always had this tunnel vision to optimize my ability to get into a great PT school, and really most everything I did centered around that. I think this ceremony will allow me to take a moment to see how far I have gotten and really celebrate with my loved ones all that I have accomplished. Having my family there is what makes this so special, I owe everything to them!” -Olivia Muro
According to Dr. Gusman, this class is “phenomenally bright.” These students have practiced in front of professors, and as they make their transition from classroom to clinic, Dr. Gusman’s hope is that students realize that while practicing under their clinical instructors, freezing or being unsure allows for future reflection. This message of resilience was echoed by the words of keynote speaker and UM DPT alumni, Dr. Marcos Davy, PT, DPT. The second year students were set to complete the first of four eight-week clinical internships in outpatient orthopedics at clinical sites throughout South Florida and several states, including California, Maryland, New York, and Georgia. The students returned to the classroom on October 16th with “renewed clinical insight,” as described by Amber Horn. Indeed, the students had to readjust back to the classroom setting, but with a greater appreciation for the impact they will have on their past and future patients.
White Coat Welcome By: Kelli Fraga
The White Coat Welcome is a great tradition we have at UM DPT. The day before the ceremony we have an intimate event where families can spend quality time with their soon-to-be coated student while meeting their classmates and professors. As per tradition, the task of panning the event lies in the hands of the third-years. I was so excited to take on the planning and try to make it the best year yet. I wanted to make the event more representative of our Miami culture and slightly more formal. Where better to fill this idea than Monty's? Planning included setup with the venue, menu, decorations, invitations, managing guest list, game planning and, of course, coordination the day of the event. I couldn't have done it without the collaboration with faculty and my fellow third-years Kevin Padin, Johanna Segura, Timmy Crann, and Amanda Clifton. In making this as big and successful as possible, we’re able to feed the proceeds to the LAGO program to support our student volunteer programs. I hope everyone had a wonderful time and that the tradition of having it at Monty's stays alive.
“I feel it is helping me set an example for those in my family coming after me. Being an African-American male, growing up most kids want to play professional sports or be an entertainer so I’m hoping that I can be one more health professional that they can see showing them that there are other ways to make an impact to their community.” -Michael Cromartie “It is an absolute honor to have the ones who raised me to be the woman I am today watching me receive my white coat. This white coat belongs to my entire family, not just me. I accept the great social responsibility this white coat symbolizes and I feel confident that UM DPT has prepared me for clinical success and to be able to touch the lives of many.” -Lauren Palmero