Several of our faculty are members of the APTA of MA educational committee. This includes including Dr. Debbie Bangs, Dr. Pam Donlan, Dr. Marie Corkery, Dr. Ann Golub-Victor, and Dr. Steve Yen (Debbie Bangs as the chairperson of the committee and Pamela Donlan as the co-chairperson). The educational committee works throughout the year generating a theme for the annual conference, reviewing educational sessions, platform, and poster submissions, securing keynote speaker/s, creating a schedule for the day, and collaborating with vendors and APTA special interest groups (SIG’s) that will be featured and presenting information. The conference is a dynamic event, with contemporary, evidence-based and informative educational programming. This year, there were over 350 attendees and it was a day packed with innovative topics, big reveals, and a ton of networking and fun. Dr. Eric Folmar, our Associate Chair, started the day by revealing the new APTA Massachusetts Logo, a part of APTA’s Strategic Plan for a more unified look. “By creating a more unified brand, we strengthen our voice and our ability to represent and advocate for our members, the physical therapy profession, and the people we serve.” Later, Dr. Debra Bangs was presented with the Mary MacDonald Distinguished Service Award for her leadership and service to expand the success of the APTA of MA annual conference. Drs. Marie Corkery and Steve Yen (as well as their student collaborators Alexandra Avilov, SPT; Blake Asis, SPT; Ryan Kim, SPT; Matthew O’Brien, SPT; Alex Pinto, SPT; Emily Stearns, SPT) received Special Recognition for Excellence in Research. Dr. David Nolan presented “Integrating Clinical Practice Guidelines into Management of Select Foot & Ankle Pathology” and Dr. Emma Taylor (a graduate of the Northeastern-MGH Sports Residency) presented a platform “Rehabilitation of a Post-operative Achilles Tendon Repair Following Failed Conservative Management”. Northeastern has a strong presence in the state chapter of the APTA and we are looking forward to see what the future brings.
David Nolan has been a volunteer at Boston Marathon for 17 years and has been coordinating the PT team for 10 years. He is responsible for a team of over 90 PTs, and PT students providing medical care to the runners at the finish line in 2 medical tents as well as Elite medical. He is part of the medical leadership for BAA Boston Marathon and involved in regular meetings that typically start in December/January to plan medical coverage and education of medical volunteers on race day.
On September 10th, Dr Iversen together with roughly 100 patients and various health care team members joined forces to advocate for quality care for patients with Arthritis. Arthritis is the most prevalent chronic health condition in the world and within the U.S. health care policies greatly impact access to care. In a recent survey of 1517 U.S. adults with arthritis, more than 63% of patients reported having to wait more than 30 days to see a rheumatologist. Though the majority of patients have health insurance, 57% reported they still do not have access to their medications and those that do, pay more than $1000.00 in out of pocket expenses. Despite, responding well to a medication, under the STEP THERAPY legislature, 47% of patients had to forgo a medication recommended by their rheumatologist until they failed less potent drugs, resulting in joint destruction, loss of income and substantial pain.
Dr. Iversen met with Representatives Kennedy, Markey and the health care staff for MA Senators to lobby for the following bills:
· The EMPOWER for Health Act (H.R. 2781) to increase the number of pediatric subspecialists practicing in underserved areas by providing loan repayment assistance for healthcare professionals who agree to work at least two years in pediatrics;
· The REDI Act (H.R. 1554) would amend the Higher Education Act to defer the accumulation of interest on student loans for those who serve in a medical internship or residency program. This legislation is designed to make medical education more affordable in an effort to expand the workforce; and
· The Safe Step Act of 2019 (H.R. 2279) would place parameters around the use of step therapy and provide an exceptions process for any medication step therapy protocol.
Since 2016, Dr. Alycia Markowski has lent her medical expertise to supporting Heroes In Transition (HIT) by serving as the medical coordinator for its annual Ruck4HIT. This event consists of 10 teams of 80 runners achieve their goal of running 220 miles across Cape Cod during the grueling 36-hour relay race. While Dr. Alycia Markowski never served in the military, she knows firsthand just how important Heroes In Transition’s work is. She spent four years at the Albany VA where she helped integrate injured veterans back into civilian life. Dr. Markowski is so passionate about Heroes’ mission –- it focuses on the whole person, not unlike her role as a physical therapist. As part of the faculty in the physical therapist program at Northeastern University, Dr. Markowski has invited some of her students to serve on her PT team, gaining practical experience on how to treat injuries from leg cramps to ankle sprains to muscle pulls to ruck rash” that may arise from the one-of-a-kind endurance event. Two years ago, Dr. Josh Avery and Blithen Davis, two of her former students, were part of that team; they were so inspired by the event that they decided to actually run the Ruck4HIT on team Ruck-Habilitation last year. While the PT team may not get the fanfare that the runners do, Heroes In Transition Executive Director Nicole Spencer said they are a vital piece to the event. “We couldn’t do the Ruck4HIT without them,” Spencer said. “They ensure the safety of our participants and that small injuries don’t become bigger ones. We can lean on them to know when we can keep pushing and when we should pull back.” As long as the Ruck4HIT continues, Dr. Markowski, who also serves on Heroes In Transition’s Board of Directors, sees a need for a small, dedicated squad of physical therapists to be on the race route to keep runners safe. “I definitely believe the last few years the team has made a positive impact in most people’s runs,” she said. To understand why she is so committed to the Ruck4HIT and Heroes In Transition, one only need look at what she loves about her profession: “The enjoyment you get in helping other people achieve their goals,” she said. So on the first weekend in May, Dr. Markowski will lead her team again to support Heroes’ mission and express her gratitude to those who serve.
AmpSurf is an adaptive surf clinic that provides disabled veterans, adults and children focus on their abilities not their disabilities. To do this, it provides participants with disabilities the opportunity to learn how to surf. This past summer, in collaboration with the physical therapy staff of the West Roxbury VA Hospital, members of the PT club volunteered to assist this project. Not only was the satisfaction of helping participants ride waves incomparable, it was a great interactive event for the members of the club as well. This unique opportunity gave our students the chance to see the effect adaptive sports can have on this population and to work alongside the VA physical therapy staff.
This year marks the 10th year Northeastern Physical Therapy is volunteering for the Pan Mass Challenge, one of the largest fundraising athletics events. Since 1980, the PMC’s partnership with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has generated a staggering $654 million to foster adult and pediatric patient care and research at the Institute. Over 6,300 riders and 4,000 volunteers raised over $56 million in 2018 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. This year 59 NUPT students, 30 alumni and 4 faculty are volunteering their time to perform 15-minute recovery massages on the riders for an 8+-hour period. This year we have ~ 200 individuals overall volunteering in the massage therapy area. Lead faculty members Dr. Maureen Watkins and Dr. Alycia Markowski have been organizing this effort for the past ten years. Dr. Chris Cesario and Dr. MaryKate Murray will also join the faculty-led volunteer opportunity. This opportunity encourages students to join alumni and faculty for a chance to improve their therapeutic massage techniques, receive additional faculty-led training while learning first-hand the benefits of donating their time and their skills for a great cause. The Northeastern University Physical Therapy department believes volunteerism plays an important role in the profession and this is just one example of the wonderful contributions the students and faculty are making to our communities. Alumni always welcome! Would you like join us next year? Please contact Maureen Watkins at [email protected] For more information about pan mass please go to their website at: https://www.pmc.org