The 4th Annual APTA NC Student Special Interest Group-Led Student Conclave was held Saturday, March 20.
About 125 students from DPT and PTA programs across North Carolina gathered virtually on StreamYard on Saturday, March 20, 2021 for the 4th Annual APTA NC Student Special Interest Group – Led Student Conclave. The event was organized by McKinley Pollock (Campbell University, DPT Class of 2021), APTA NC SSIG Chair, and Krista Nunn (Elon University, DPT Class of 2021), APTA NC Director of Student Involvement, along with the APTA NC SSIG Student Conclave Project Committee.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still heavily influencing everyday life on a global scale, this year’s Student Conclave theme was focused on the future of physical therapy (PT) in a constantly changing healthcare world. The presentations highlighted developing advances of PT. Karlyn Jackson, Grant Bitzer, and Sabrina Fogleman presented anecdotal and research experience with, “Physical Therapy Management of COVID-19 Patients.”. Dr. Lance Mabry presented his research interest and passion,“Diagnostic Imaging in Physical Therapy: Past, Present, and Future”. APTA NC President Mary Kay Hannah of Elon, along with Ginger Garner and N.C. lobbyist Alex Miller presented on advocacy in the physical therapy profession. During this presentation, there was an interactive activity that provided students the opportunity to contact local state representatives of PT and PTA students across North Carolina by emailing them to advocate for the profession.
This year’s Student Conclave would not have been possible without Jimmy McKay and his team running the “behind the scenes” on Streamyard, a new cutting-edge streaming service. In addition, McKay shared his own personal experience and atypical journey within the field of PT, including his experience as a radio host turned PT and how he combined the two experiences to carve his own unique place in the profession. Students thoroughly enjoyed hearing from McKay, the host of the popular podcast, “PT Pintcast.”
One benefit of hosting the Student Conclave virtually this year was being able to include presenters from across the country. A student stated, “I honestly liked it being online and felt it was more convenient, but also so that speakers from around the country could speak.” Carol Ann Nelson did just that with her presentation “Destination Rehab: Taking Physical Therapy Outdoors,” speaking from her home in Central Oregon. Nelson’s presentation gave the students an inside look into ways to apply neurologic PT sessions in outdoor parks, the snow, on hiking trails, or even on paddleboards.
In addition, John Seip, Peter Drinkwine and Sarah Jackson presented, “Physical Therapy Practice in the Emergency Department”. Students especially were grateful for this opportunity to hear from this group as PT is becoming prominent in the emergency room setting.
In addition, the APTA NC SSIG’s Community Service Project Committee planned two service events for the week leading up to Student Conclave. Students donated to a food drive benefiting multiple local food pantries in close proximity to PT and PTA programs across the state, as well as a virtual 5K benefiting the Special Olympics of North Carolina. One attendee stated, “The Special Olympics is such a great organization and one that I would love to see in future service events, especially if we can volunteer with them in person in addition to raising money.”
Last, the night prior to the conclave, the SSIG hosted a Virtual Pub Night including trivia and bingo events, where the SSIG was able to raffle off gift cards as prizes thanks to the sponsors Pivot Physical Therapy, Novant Health, and Confluent Health. This event was an opportunity for students to meet other students from various the 9 PT assistant programs and ten doctoral PT programs in NC.
Next year’s APTA NC SSIG 5th Annual Student Conclave is scheduled to be held at Campbell University and we all hope it will be in-person!