DPT students implement professional community service projects
To cap the spring semester, second-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students presented six social entrepreneurship initiatives to bring their professional skills into community service.
The projects were the culmination of Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Will Kolb’s 864 Health Policy and Administration class and were semester-long group projects which teamed the DPT students with a community partner to negotiate, plan and implement a health-related service or product to fill a community health need as determined by the students and their mentors.
According to Kolb, the exercise prepared the students for the challenges of leadership and benefitted the students’ community or profession of physical therapy. The projects culminated in a mock grant presentation on May 2.
The projects were:
- Creation of a wellness advocacy exercise program for the Bradley Free Clinic (BFC), in conjunction with Judy Cusumano of the Jefferson College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant faculty and Mark Lainoff, BFC clinical services director.
- Development of a prosthetic education program and video series for new users in Honduras on behalf of Hope to Walk, in conjunction with Dr. Michael Mabry and co-founder Phil Johnson.
- Proposed business and start-up plan for a Neuro Outpatient Clinic to be affiliated with Carilion Clinic, in conjunction with Carilion Clinic DPT Kellen Smith.
- Implementation of an individual adaptive kayaking program with WheelLove, a support group for those impacted by a major life event to enable them to enjoy companionship, educational opportunities and mentorship, in conjunction with Carilion Clinic’s Smith.
- Creation of the RUDPT Advocacy Team to develop and implement a local advocacy program on behalf of the American Physical Therapy Association, the PT professional association, mentored by Kolb.
- Development of “Gains NOT Pains” for the use of the Selective Functional Movement Screen within a fitness club as a direct access entry point for physical therapy, mentored by Kolb and DPT Dustin Spivey of Roanoke’s Lucas Therapies.
Lainoff of the Bradley Free Clinic characterized the value of the more than 100 hours invested by the RU DPT team, saying, “Our health education and literacy programs can only go so far given resource constraints. The Radford DPT students showed that the program is feasible and that continuing it would make a significant contribution.”