UNE well represented at national physical therapy conference

Nine of 14 faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy (PT) recently attended the annual American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Combined Sections Meetings in Denver, joining nearly 13,000 attendees in sharing research and scholarship related to the profession.

The meetings were held Feb. 12 to 15 and featured a number of specialty-specific sessions, programs, and over 1,000 poster presentations.

At the meetings, Physical Therapy Program Director and Associate Professor Jennifer Audette, D.P.T., Ph.D., was elected and sworn in as director of social responsibility and global health for the Board of the Health Policy Administration (HPA) the Catalyst, a professional association for physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students. This will be Audette’s second term as director.

Additionally, Assistant Clinical Professor Matthew Somma, P.T., D.P.T., MTC, CSCS, was honored by APTA for his exemplary service to the state of Maine as the Maine APTA chapter president.

In addition to representing UNE, Scott Stackhouse, P.T., Ph.D., associate professor, sat at the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (FPTR) booth in the conference’s exhibition hall. The FPTR funds physical therapy research through grants, scholarships, and fellowships, and it supported Stackhouse’s early research training.

Amy Litterini, P.T., D.P.T., associate clinical professor and chair of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) Oncologic Specialty Council, honored the council’s inaugural class of specialists during a recognition ceremony. Litterini welcomed UNE alum Taryne Thomas ’15 (Physical Therapy) as an ABPTS board-certified oncologic specialist.

Three faculty from PT presented posters related to their research:

  • Jim Cavanaugh, P.T., Ph.D., professor and neurologic clinical specialist emeritus, presented the poster “How Well Do Clinical Walking Measures Predict Natural Walking Behavior in Parkinson Disease?” The presentation was part of Cavanaugh’s ongoing research with collaborators from Boston University and Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Erin Hartigan, P.T., D.P.T., Ph.D., ATC, associate professor, presented her research poster, “Drop Jump Landing Biomechanics Differ between Women with & without Self-Reported Stress Urinary Incontinence,” on behalf of her co-authors Adrienne McAuley, P.T., D.P.T., M.Ed., OCS, assistant clinical professor; Mike Lawrence, M.S., Motion Analysis Laboratory manager; and Mary DeSilva, Sc.D., M.S., M.S.F.S., associate research professor.
    • The poster discussed the preliminary findings from an APTA Section on Women’s Health Grant that was secured in 2017. Findings indicate that drop-jump landing biomechanics differ between women with and without self-reported stress urinary incontinence, a condition characterized by the involuntary leaking of urine during coughing, sneezing, or physical activity.
  • Assistant Professor Marissa Lyon, P.T., D.P.T., NCS, presented ongoing research on the role of standardized balance measures in the decision-making process of physical therapists in a poster titled, “Keeping it all in balance: The role of outcome measures in clinical decision-making.”

Two faculty – Alia Sullivan, P.T., D.P.T., GCS, associate clinical professor and director of clinical education, and Tara Paradie, P.T., M.S., assistant clinical professor and assistant director of clinical education – spent time networking and building relationships with national physical therapy companies who partner with UNE for local clinical education.

Sullivan and Paradie also attended several meetings to discuss the future of clinical education and the viability of international clinical education in countries such as Belize and Italy and networked with other professionals who are providing global health education to students.

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