Four hundred physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students from across the state attended the Annual Conference at Elon on Oct. 13 and 14.
The American Physical Therapy Association North Carolina (APTA NC) held its annual conference in Schar Hall, home to the Elon University School of Communications, on Oct. 13 and 14.
Snow Atrium sparkled with a room full of exhibitors and sponsors, thanks to Sponsors Chair Emily Marshall-Reaves. Physical therapy pictures and announcements were scrolling on the huge digital screen, thanks to conference chair and Education Director Gina Medifindt. The room buzzed with excitement and networking of old friends and new-found colleagues over catered coffee, snacks, and lunches.
In addition to exhibitors, attendees learned information at tables representing the Diversity-Equity-Inclusion (DEI) committee, the Neurological Special Interest Group (SIG), the Student SIG, and competed to win gorgeous baskets at the Student Scholarship Committee raffle.
Marcus Roll, assistant professor at Duke University and chair of the education classes, arranged an outstanding program of evidence-based, cutting-edge and clinically useful presentations. With topics ranging from physical therapy for people with heart and lung transplantations to non-sports-related concussions to rehab for patients with amputation to multiple presentations on various pelvic floor topics.
With four tracks of courses across five timeframes over two days, this APTA NC Annual Conference offered something for everyone. Programming included 23 platform presentations across five sessions, vetted and managed by Jack Magill. Ten-minute platform presentations not only provide a brief highlight of research hot off the presses, but also gives budding researchers and students a chance to present.
In addition to managing platform presentations, Jack Magill, assistant professor of physical therapy education at Elon University, headed the extensive display of sixty research posters that highlighted physical therapy research across topics from pediatrics to geriatrics, from orthopedics to neurology, from bench science to surveys, and from case reports to randomized controlled trials. The Poster Research Committee recognized three posters as 2023 Distinguished Abstracts.
Mary Kay Hannah, associate professor of physical therapy education at Elon University and president of APTA NC, led the Annual Membership meeting on Friday, highlighting the standardized operations of the state Association. In addition to passing motions to update the Chapter ByLaws and announcing the upcoming slate of elections, two students presented this year’s winning Community Impact Challenge projects hosted by the DEI committee. Sheldon Smith from Winston-Salem State University wowed the members in the audience with a three-day mentorship program with middle-school African-American boys to expose them to the profession of physical therapy. Atkinson Pilsch from East Carolina University impressed with a presentation of an education and exercise class for people with Parkinson’s Disease in rural eastern North Carolina.
Jackie Polk, assistant professor at Wingate University and Awards Committee chair, prepared a celebratory Awards Ceremony on Saturday, presented by the chapter president. After announcing North Carolina physical therapists who won national APTA awards, Hannah announced the winners of the Falls Prevention Challenge, an annual community service event hosted by the Falls Prevention SIG, chaired by Jerri Shephard, Acute Rehab Manager in Kernersville.
Stephanie Milosovic and Erin Jacobson of the Student Scholarship Committee stood in for the Chair, Moyo Tillery, who could not be there, to joyfully announce the six renewed student scholarships, handing out extra-large-sized checks to the winners. One scholarship is kindly funded annually by the Keskula Family, sponsored by Doug Keskula, full professor at Western Carolina University. This year, Keskula’s wife, assistant professor at Western Carolina University, presented the Keskula Family Scholarship during the awards ceremony, coincidentally won by a WCU student.
The Awards Ceremony concluded with the coveted APTA NC annual awards and an exciting raffle drawing for scholarship fundraising.
Of special Elon DPT note: Third-year Elon student Deanna DeMarco won the Outstanding PT Student Award and the Ben F. Massey, Jr Scholarship.
McKinley Pollack, chair of the Early Professionals SIG, presented on this year’s new APTA NC mentorship program in a session titled, “More to Mentors: Coaching, Creating, Collaborating, and Other Keys to Successful Mentorship.” Late last year, registration opened for the first iteration of this successful program. Approximately 40 members signed up to serve as mentors and the same number signed up to be mentored. The program matched mentors and mentees, provided guidelines to meet once a month, and provided professional webinars along the way. Registration is now open for the mentorship program for 2024.
The APTA NC president thanks a veritable village of people without which this amazing conference could not have happened. First and foremost, APTA NC Executive Director Pauline Flesch with administrative assistance from Dawn LeBlanc and Jenna Owens and Education Director, Gina Medifindt. Next, Gina’s Conference Committee — Marcus Roll, Jack Magill, Emily Marshall-Reaves and Crystal Burnett. Thanks to APTA NC Communications Director, Rosie Carnizares, for pre-conference advertising and during conference social media. Thanks to the APTA NC Board of Directors and other leaders in the Association for support of the biggest event of the year. Thanks to Kenn Gaither, dean of the School of Communications, for use of Schar Hall. And finally, last but not least, special thanks to Alyssa Donahue, administrator to the School of Communications, without whom the conference could not have proceeded, much less succeeded.
2023 APTA NC Annual Awards Winners
· Outstanding PT Student – Deanna DeMarco, Elon Univ
· Outstanding PT Assistant – Tiffany Needham
· Outstanding PT – Jason Harloff
· Olive V. Wortman Service Award – Dora Gosselin
· Founder’s Lecturer Award – Michelle Green
2023 APTA NC Student Scholarship Winners
· Ben F. Massey Jr Scholarship – Deanna DeMarco, Elon
· Advocacy Student Scholarship – Emma Kosbab, Duke
· Diversity Student Scholarship – Cipryana Mack, Wingate
· Keskula Family Scholarship – Kali Beck, WCU
· Leadership Excellence Student Scholarship – Morria Heilman, Duke
· Student Delegate Scholarship – Melissa Escudero, HPU
2023 Distinguished Research Abstracts (Research Poster Winner)
· Impacts of real-world haptic gait retraining on patient reported outcomes by Weiandt, Migel, Lederle, Reavis, and Wikstrom (UNC)
· Joint contact force reliability and minimal detectable change by Stutton, Willson, and Meardon (ECU)
· Effects of hand arm bimanual intensive therapy (HABIT) on the perception of hand use in real-world bimanual performance in children with unilateral cerebral palsy by McBryde, Lysaght, Holland, Gardas, Kirkman, Burroughs, Willson, and Surkar (ECU)
2023 Community Impact Challenge presenters
· Project PT: Reconstructing Physical Therapy, a mentorship program to introduce African-American boys to physical therapy – Sheldon Smith, WSSU
· Pirates Keeping it Physical for Parkinson’s- an exercise and education program for people with Parkinson’s Disease in rural NC – Atkinson Pilsch, ECU
2023 Falls Prevention Challenge Winners
· Falls Prevention Video Submission, ECU
· Falls Prevention Activity Submission, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute
2023 Educational Programming
What’s up down there? Opening the door to bladder, bowel and sexual health
· Jaclyn Polk, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, Barbara Green, PT, MSPT, Ana Karim, PT, PYT
Heel Pain, No Gain: Navigating the Latest Concepts in Mid-Portion Achilles Tendinopathy Evaluation and Treatment
· Stephanie Palacios, PT, DPT, Shane Mathew, PT, DPT
· Jamal Edwards, PT, DPT
· Kyle Stapleton, PT, DPT
Cardiopulmonary Transplant Across the Continuum: Physical Therapy Implications of Heart and Lung Transplantation
· Hannah McHugh, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy, Jennifer Aronson, PT, DPT
High-Intensity Gait Training: Clinical Implementation for Neuro Patients
· Michelle Green PT, DPT
How Much is Enough? Dosing Balance Exercise to Achieve Reduced Fall Risk
· Leslie Allison, PT, PhD, Lori Schrodt, PT, PhD
Functional Neurologic Disorder: Advances and Retreats in the Battle for Control
· Kimberly Lemmons, PT, DPT, Jill Nappi-Kaehler, PT, DPT
Translating Research to Practice: Postpartum Return to Running from Sports and Pelvic Health Perspectives
· Stacey Head, PT, WCS, CLT, ATC, Yana I. Ginzburg, PT, DPT, SCS
Diversity Dialogues: Unconscious Bias Impact on Professional Experiences
· Calvin Hung, PT, FACHE, Deidra Charity, PT, DPT
Therapy Considerations for Older Adults Across the Continuum of Cancer Care
· Brittany Jones PT, DPT, GCS, Laura Schwark PT, MPT, GCS
It’s More Than Just a Game: Non-Sports-Related Concussion
· Ben Ramger, PT, DPT, Elizabeth Nixon, PT, DPT
Implementing Results of Cardiopulmonary Diagnostic Tests into PT Practice
· Claire Fanto, PT, DPT; Board-Certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialist
Maximizing Performance in the Competitive Older Athlete with Chronic ACL-deficiency
· Wendy Viviers, PT, DPT, MPhil. Board-certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist. South African Sports Clinical Specialist
Amputation Pathway: A Journey from Acute Care to the Community
· Meredith Merchant, PT, DPT, Jennifer Brown, MS, OTR/L
Biopsychosocial Care: Clinical Implementation of Psychological Phenotypes in Patients with Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis
· Ashley Kinsey, PT, DPT Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy, Olivia DeSena Fleming, PT, DPT Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
Setting the Foundation for Rehabilitation in the Acute Setting Post Stroke
· Tiffany Love PT, DPT, CBIS, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy, Alysha Fuller PT, DPT, CBIS, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy
Post-Prostatectomy: Leaking the Evidence
· Matt Harville, PT, DPT
More to Mentors: Coaching, Creating, Collaborating, and Other Keys to Successful Mentorship
· McKinley Pollock, PT, DPT, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Lisa Grant, PT, DPT, ATC, Board-Certified Sports Clinical Specialist, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Calvin Hung, PT, FACHE
Managing Burnout in the PT Profession
· Jodi Miller PT, DPT, Timothy Miller PT, DPT, EdD, Geriatric Clinical Specialist Emeritus
Captain Jeff and The Winter Shoulder: Evidenced-Based Diagnostic and Treatment Strategies for Adhesive Capsulitis
· Bart Satterfield, PT, DPT
The Shoulder Symptom Modification Procedure
· Jonathan Washatka, PT, DPT, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
When Your Patient is Expecting: Pregnancy and Postpartum Training for the Outpatient MSK Therapist
· Amanda Heath, PT, DPT Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health Physical Therapy/Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Oncologic Physical Therapy Certified Lymphedema Therapist, Valerie Adams, PT, DPT Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health Physical Therapy/ Certified Lymphedema Therapist, Jennifer ThorntonJones, PT, Board-Certified Specialist in Women’s Health Physical Therapy and Oncologic Physical Therapy
Exercise to Support Fontan Circulation: An Area for Increased PT Services
· Nora Guge, PT, DPT, Ilana Osten, PT, DPT
Pathokinesiologists, HealthCare’s Movement Experts
· Brent Anderson PT, PhD, OCS
Collaborative Practice in Physical Therapy Education: How to Effectively Design Interprofessional Experiences in Didactic and Clinical Education
· Debbie Prouty, MPT, EdD, GCS, Jaclyn Polk, PT, DPT, OCS
Sexual Health in Cancer Survivors
· Amanda Heath, PT, DPT, Justine Wiltsie, PT, DPT, Zachary Tally, PT, DPT, board-certified clinical specialist in oncologic physical therapy
Case-Based Implementation Strategies for the Clinical Practice Guideline for People with Parkinson Disease
· Christina Criminger-Morris PT, PhD, CEEAA, Board Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist, Cherie Grunenberg, PT, DPT, CBIS, Chelsie Miller, PT, DPT
They are a 5/5, now what? Applying Motor Learning to Advance Functional Performance
· Michelle Green PT, DPT
Trauma-Informed Care: Special Considerations for the Pediatric and Pelvic Health Physical Therapist
· Mary Swiggum, PT, PhD, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy, Jaclyn Polk, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
Mitigating Fall Risk and Fall Related Injuries: The Role of Cognition and Pharmacology
· Michael McGregor PT, DPT Certified Health Coach and Emma Williams, PharmD, CPP Geriatric Clinical Pharmacist
Ultrasound Imaging in Contemporary Orthopedic Physical Therapy Practice
· Nathan J. Savage, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, ECS, RMSK
Aging In Place: Fad or Fantastic? A primer on Aging in Place Principles and solutions for Physical Therapy Professionals
· Alison Starkey PT MBA MHA
How to Thrive on Your Clinical Education Experiences
· Jodi Miller PT, DPT, Timothy Miller PT, DPT, EdD, Geriatric Clinical Specialist Emeritus
Considerations of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for populations with Autoimmune/Rheumatic co-Morbidities
· Joel Robert Thompson, PT DPT MA CLT
Unraveling the Magic Hands: An In-Depth Look at the Mechanisms Behind Manual Therapy
· Kyle Stapleton, PT, DPT Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, Nicholas LeBlond, PT, DPT Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, Matt Hillsinger PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
Are the Quadriceps ACL Agonists?
· Phil Caraher PT, DPT, MS, OCS, CSCS
Utilization of pain science education in pelvic health
· Nicole Hodges, PT, DPT, ATC Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health Physical Therapy