Elon shines at the APTA North Carolina Fall Conference

The APTA North Carolina annual Fall Conference a huge success in Wilmington! Elon alumni, students, faculty attended, presented, and won awards!

Assistant Professor Mary Kay Hannah, president of the North Carolina Physical Therapy Association, presided over the association’s Fall Conference held in Wilmington on Oct. 3 and 4, 2019.

The gathering included a three-day conference with 43 90-minute classes, 41 posters, 23 vendors, Quiz Bowl, keynote luncheon, annual association business meeting, special interest group meetings and the annual awards ceremony.  At the business meeting, Hannah announced a new nationwide branding initiative within the American Physical Therapy Association. The existing name of the North Carolina Physical Therapy Association will be retired and the state association will now be known as APTA North Carolina.

The Elon Doctor of Physical Therapy Education program was well-represented by faculty, students and alumni organizing, presenting and attending. Elon conference highlights include a competitive quiz bowl team during a fun and entertaining PT trivia night. Assistant Professor Melissa Scales, Mary Kay Hannah, alumna Hannah Buckingham DPT ‘19, and alumnus and Clinical Instructor Randy Lazicki DPT ‘08 beat five teams in the nine-team field.

Professor Bill Andrews presented an interesting 1.5-hour course entitled: “Neurologic Physical Therapy from 10,000 feet – Implications for Individual Practice” that exemplified the high-level, engaging, relevant and evidence-based classes offered at the conference.

Scales deserves recognition for serving on the all-import committee that vetted and selected the educational courses. Lazicki deserves kudos for leading the crucial Scholarship and Loan Committee that holds an annual fundraiser at the conference and gives out its awards.

Two research posters were selected for presentation with eight Elon authors: “Development of a pre-participation screen for collegiate athletes:  A needs analysis” by Buckingham, Lazicki and Assistant Professor Shefali Christopher, and “Need for acute-care concussion screening for older adults following trauma: a theory report” by Rebecca Chisholm DPT’21, Madeline Upham DPT ’21, Brock Phillips DPT ’21, Assistant Professor Crystal Ramsey and Professor Charity Johansson.

During the annual awards ceremony, two of the three student awards were won by Elon students, with these students selected from a pool of students representing 10 physical therapy schools in the state.

Michelle Jamin DPT ’19, left, with Assistant Professor Mary Kay Hannah after being presented with the Ben F. Massey Jr. Student Scholarship award.

Michelle Jamin DPT ’19 won the Ben F. Massey Jr. Student Scholarship award from the Scholarship and Loan Committee in recognition of her current work and future potential to contribute to the profession.

During the last two years of her Elon Doctor of Physical Therapy program, Jamin served on the DPTE Student Leadership Awards Committee, served on a review committee for the Journal of Student Physical Therapy Research, volunteered in the HOPE pro bono PT Clinic, founded the student special interest group in the Academy of clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Management, and served as the vice-chair of the NCPTA Student Special Interest Group including planning two National Advocacy Day dinners. She was instrumental in forming the Federal Section Amputation Care Student Focus Group.

The APTA North Carolina Outstanding PT Student Award went to Kaylee Pobocik DPT ‘19 whose academic and service excellence showed why she deserved this award. Pobocik serves on the APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors and previously served on the APTA national Student Conclave Committee. On the local level, she served as the vice chair of the state Student Special Interest Group and the HOPE pro bono PT clinic.

While in the DPT program, Pobocik completed her undergraduate research project on salivary melatonin responses that was ultimately published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance earlier this year.  Pobocik presented research findings at the 2019 national conference in Washington D.C where she won the 2019 APTA Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Section Student Research Award.  Elon’s program is very proud of Jamin and Pobocik.

Assistant Professor Mary Kay Hannah was recognized for her strong leadership and advocacy in the state on behalf of the profession.

Mary Kay Hannah was recognized with a special award for her strong leadership and advocacy over six years, leading to the passage of N.C. General Assembly House Bill 548 allowing physical therapists to perform spinal manipulation without a physician referral.  The immediate past president of APTA North Carolina, Kyle Covington, surprised her with a specially framed original copy of the bill signed by Gov. Roy Cooper. The timing was perfect because the law went into effect four days earlier on Oct. 1.

Elon DPTE was proud to be a big part of the 2019 APTA North Carolina annual Fall Conference. Watch for Elon ‘s Doctor of Physical Therapy Education program at the 2020 conference next year in Winston-Salem.