Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Research Fund to Benefit Students and Faculty

A long-time Rockhurst PT partner has generously created a fund that will support student and faculty research in the Department of Physical Therapy Education at Rockhurst University. The International Spine and Pain Institute (ISPI) made two contributions of $1,000 in spring 2010 to create the ISPI Research Fund. That fund will be available to students and faculty through grants that they can use to purchase equipment, obtain supplies and otherwise fund the completion and dissemination of research projects that support the scholarship mission of the department and the profession.

ISPI was founded and is operated by Adriaan Louw (M.App.Sc (Physio), GCRM (Australia), CSMT - Chief Executive Officer) and Colleen Louw (MPT, MEd, CSMT - Chief Operating Officer). Colleen is a graduate of the Rockhurst Physical Therapy program and Adriaan is a long-time adjunct instructor for the department.

ISPI presents high quality continuing education for physical therapists both nationally and internationally. ISPI courses are available in traditional seminar format as well as online offerings. Learn more about ISPI at www.ispinstitute.com.

Many thanks to Adriaan and Colleen for their strong and continuing support of the students and faculty in the Rockhurst Physical Therapy Program!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

PT Faculty Member Joins Haiti Relief Effort

Catherine Thompson, PT, PhD (Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Rockhurst University), recently returned from over two weeks in Haiti where she helped earthquake victims and others in need of therapy services.

Working alongside other Global Therapy Group therapists (Sandy Thode, PT, and Lynn Ford Heley, OTR), Catherine provided a wide range of services at the Haitian Community Hospital near Port-au-Prince (one of the few hospitals in the area that survived the earthquake), at local orphanages, and at the Bethel Guest House where she stayed.

The “Physiotherapy Clinic” at the Haitian Community Hospital is located adjacent to the hospital on a cement slab covered with large tarps.  This outside clinic is appropriate as many patients are still experiencing post-traumatic stress and fear going into buildings that could collapse.  While the earthquake occurred on January 12th, few patients have received needed therapy services to manage their amputated limbs, their chronic edema, and other injuries.

The group was able to offer direct access to therapy services, including developmental therapy and adaptive equipment for children with motor delays, gait training for patients post-trauma, and skin care for debilitated inpatients.  All the patients and their families were amazingly compliant and Catherine reports that they all made remarkable progress during her short stay.

Solutions to problems were often simple, yet effective.  In one case, a cardboard box was cut out to create a lap tray/postural support for one young boy with cerebral palsy.

The Global Therapy Group has many interesting stories about the clinic that can be found at their blog:  globaltherapygroup1.blogspot.com.  Also, the group is seeking experienced therapists to help with these efforts.  If you know of anyone who would like to help with this effort, please have them contact:  www.globaltherapygroup.org.

Catherine Thompson (right) with her therapy colleagues and their interpreters.

Jonathan and his parents pose with their newly adapted wheelchair.