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Part IV: Launching My Own Practice, Creating Driftwood with Tamra Wroblesky, PT, DPT

Posted on: December 11th, 2017 by SOWHeditor No Comments

Missed Part III? Read Part III here.

We sat down with Tamra Wroblesky, 29, recently named Emerging Leader of the Year by the APTA. She is no stranger to the Section on Women’s Health, as she was Student Special Interest Group President in her last year of school, represented the Section at several conferences, marched on Capitol Hill, and is currently on the Name Change Task Force. In her two years since graduating PT school from Thomas Jefferson University, she opened up Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy with Alison Ankiewicz, her last clinical instructor, and a celebrated pelvic physical therapist in central NJ with over 20 years of experience. In less than two years, Tamra and Alison have grown their reputation and their practice, by hiring three more pelvic therapists to their team and providing quality care to Central and Jersey Shore residents.

Launching Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy

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It was a predestined match- meeting Alison was the single best thing that happened to me, and I know she would say the same. From the first day we met, we complimented each other perfectly. Alison had a history of childhood leukemia, so she and I both had a personal connection to chronic pain and suffering. She is the most compassionate person (besides my mother) that I have met, and I saw it in the way she treated her patients.

When I was her student, Alison was currently renting a room from another physical therapist, and had a waiting list a mile long. We saw a great need for a large facility dedicated to pelvic health in Central NJ and on the Jersey shore. One evening, she turned to me in the parking lot and asked if I was interested in going into business together. Needless to say, I didn’t need any convincing- it was off to the races! I tackled everything head on: finishing my final rotation, studying for my boards so I could take them early, looking for office space, coding our website, registering our business, setting up payroll, finding equipment on Craigslist, painting our new space with my parents. I tried to do everything I could while Alison continued to work full time to support us and I was waiting for my license.

I loved Alison even more for fueling my enthusiasm for opening up a pelvic wellness center and not doing everything the traditional way. She didn’t bat an eye when I said I wanted to get a squat rack for our office and higher level fitness equipment. I’ll be the first to admit that I selfishly wanted them to blow off steam after work, however, it ended up being great foresight as I have worked with several weightlifters and crossfitters since opening our doors.

What I wish I knew before starting a practice…

I wish I had read the Emyth Revisited by Michael Gerber before opening our practice. I probably wouldn’t have listened to him because I am stubborn, but maybe I would have made changes sooner. Many physical therapists are perpetually bad at owning practices because we are trained as therapists and not as business owners. Make sure you learn about the power of efficiency and delegation. As I said, when we first opened, we took on everything: laundry, cleaning, promotional materials, office painting, payroll, human resources, our financial records, our website… It was a lot, but I wouldn’t go back and change it because I find it empowering to know how to do all those things.

We have delegated some of the tasks and will continue to delegate more, but we also know what to do when things go wrong. You don’t need to get an MBA degree to become good at business. Read books, listen to podcasts on your way to work, and find a mentor to help answer your questions. Learn about the importance of search engine optimization and why you don’t need to overpay someone to work on your SEO, you can do it yourself! Learn about business credit cards and how you can sign up and receive bonuses- I was able to earn us an extra $1,000 in our opening months which we used for a lot of our equipment and supplies.

 

Stay tuned for “Part V:  The Next 5 Years”

tamraheadshot

Author

Tamra Wroblesky, PT, DPT, is co-owner and pelvic health physical therapist at Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy in Ocean City, NJ. She was the former SSIG president of the SoWH and is on the Name Change Task Force. Prior to moving her pelvic pain advocacy to the treatment room, she shared her recovery from pelvic pain on her blog, Sky Circles, and in Pelvic Pain Explained, a book about pelvic health physical therapy. In addition, her pelvic pain story has been featured on MTV’s mini-documentary show “Real Life.” [[email protected]]

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Part III: My 1st Year in Practice, Creating Driftwood with Tamra Wroblesky, PT, DPT

Posted on: December 4th, 2017 by SOWHeditor No Comments

 

Missed Part II? Read Part II here.

SoWH Blog Series | Posted Every Monday, Nov 20 - Dec.18, 2017
Welcome to the five-part blog series featuring Tamra Wroblesky, 29, recently named Emerging Leader of the Year by the APTA. She is no stranger to the Section on Women’s Health, as she was Student Special Interest Group President in her last year of school, represented the Section at several conferences, marched on Capitol Hill, and is currently on the Name Change Task Force. In her two years since graduating PT school from Thomas Jefferson University, she opened up Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy with Alison Ankiewicz, her last clinical instructor, and a celebrated pelvic physical therapist in central NJ with over 20 years of experience. In less than two years, Tamra and Alison have grown their reputation and their practice, by hiring three more pelvic therapists to their team and providing quality care to Central and Jersey Shore residents.

 

My 1st Year in Practice & Helpful Tips for Early-Professionals

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As a new professional, you have the ability to bring enthusiasm and energy into your physical therapy practice and your coworkers and colleagues will respond to that. Come into work every day with a big smile and new ideas for ways to reach your patients. You need to be able to connect with them on an emotional level and understand what plan of care will work for them. My biggest mistake early on was giving my patients too many exercises for home. I had all these ways to make them better and tried to show them everything I knew. For most patients, this is horribly overwhelming and they need slow and steady progressions of care. I’d like to share a few tips with you.

1. Simplify the homework! Look for the best “bang for your buck” exercises. For example, I love giving out modified lizard pose with thoracic rotation 10x each side because in one exercise I can affect adductors, hip flexors, and thoracic mobility. I have also recently launched an Inner Dynamics PT Youtube channel so I can record free content and provide another learning medium for our patients. Use technology to your advantage! We don’t have to handwrite out programs all the time. Get creative and use the power of the Internet to increase efficiency. In the next few weeks our new website will launch that will include all our videos and other resources.

2. Always surround yourself with people smarter than you and make sure to take care of yourself. I tell all my patients that when Alison and I first opened our practice, all my pelvic pain returned and I was miserable and stressed. Alison and I did not schedule lunch breaks our first year of practice, we cleaned our own office, and we took home the laundry every night. We were so good at taking care of everyone but ourselves. I am starting to find a balance that works for me. We now have at least 30 minutes for lunch, and I try to sneak outside for part of it to get some sunshine. I just signed myself up for a massage membership so I go once a month. I changed my hours to start at 9 am so I can get my workout in before I treat anyone. I scheduled several vacations this past year so I have time away from the office to disconnect and be in nature. Self love is imperative! Put the oxygen mask on yourself before you turn and help others.

Staying Active After Graduation

As an early-professional PT, I made sure to keep my momentum after I graduated, and despite being knee-deep in opening up Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy with Alison, I continued to stay active in the SOWH. I volunteered to be a member of the Name Change Task Force and continued to attend CSM. I kept networking at conference happy hours and met as many pelvic therapists as possible. I was sent by the SOWH to the March on Capitol Hill in DC to lobby for positive changes for therapists and our patients. I finished up my coursework with Pelvic Floor II and III, and took many other courses to bolster my knowledge base for my patients.

Learn more about Section on Women’s Health continuing education courses in pelvic and obstetric health physical therapy.

I also got involved with weightlifter Katie M., otherwise known as “The Lifting Librarian” by treating her coccyx pain and incontinence issues, and then last year sponsored and traveled with her to University Nationals in Florida, where she took home 6 gold medals. She and I remain close and are working together to try and change the myth in weightlifting and crossfit circles that peeing during workouts is acceptable. Stay tuned, we have a high profile article coming out soon! Through Katie, I had the opportunity to meet Michael McKenna, a fabulous weightlifting coach based out of Stewartstown, PA who motivated me to get my USA Weightlifting 1 Certification. He also recently invited me down for a Pelvic Health for Performance seminar at his gym, where I got the opportunity to teach and help many higher level athletes.”

Stay tuned for “Part IV: Launching a Physical Therapy Clinic”

tamraheadshot

Author

Tamra Wroblesky, PT, DPT, is co-owner and pelvic health physical therapist at Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy in Ocean City, NJ. She was the former SSIG president of the SoWH and is on the Name Change Task Force. Prior to moving her pelvic pain advocacy to the treatment room, she shared her recovery from pelvic pain on her blog, Sky Circles, and in Pelvic Pain Explained, a book about pelvic health physical therapy. In addition, her pelvic pain story has been featured on MTV’s mini-documentary show “Real Life.” [[email protected]]

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Perspective on Women’s Health Physical Therapy Services in Japan by Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Dr. Yumie Ikeda

Posted on: November 29th, 2017 by SOWHeditor No Comments

 

YumieYumie Ikeda is an obstetrician and gynecologist who specializes in women’s health. She sees many patients in her line of work who have health problems associated with menstruation and menopause, many of which also have chronic pelvic pain. Dr. Ikeda was invited to participate in the  Section on Women’s Health continuing education courses that were hosted in Tokyo, Japan in May 2017. Below is Dr. Ikeda’s account on her course experience from the eyes of an OBGYN practitioner and her perspective on the status of women’s health physical therapy services in Japan.

Section on Women’s Health-American Physical Therapy Association (SOWH) is a professional association of over 3,000 physical therapists treating patients with pelvic and abdominal health issues worldwide. Members provide the latest evidence-based physical therapy services to everyone from childbearing women to peri-menopausal mothers, young athletes to men with incontinence or other pelvic health complications. In addition to top-quality continuing education, certification, and Clinical Practice Guidelines, the Section provides the Journal on Women’s Health Physical Therapy, PT Locator directory, lab training in pelvic and abdominal health physical therapy, career resources, and networking.

SoWH has hosted the Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Level 1 course and the Fundamental Topics of Pregnancy & Postpartum Physical Therapy in Tokyo, Japan, which were attended by 40 Japanese physical therapists.

Key Takeaways from the SoWH Courses in Japan

The first Section on Women’s Health course in Japan in 2017 was my first time meeting dedicated Japanese physical therapists who are interested in Women’s Health. I met many patients cared by physical therapists when I visited the women’s health department at the Mayo Clinic in 2012, and I felt sorry that Japanese patients could not get physical therapy services. The contents of the SoWH course I have attended was so interesting and useful – however also meeting the physical therapists at the course made it even a more memorable experience for me. This experience was encouraging for me, I met so many Japanese physical therapists that want to help patients despite the barriers to practice women’s health physical therapy in Japan.

When taking the courses, I was very interested in chronic pelvic pain because I have a lot of patients that experience it. After attending the course, I was able to apply new skills immediately – I made a diagnosis of myofascial pelvic pain based on the intra-vaginal examination techniques I’ve learned at the course.

The most impressive part was seeing the course participants experience their first ever intra-vaginal examination. I went through the gynecology residency in Japan, I remember I had to do my first pelvic examination on a real patient before I had enough confidence in my skills. Still now, we (even OBGYN doctors) have only books and plastic models to learn how to conduct a pelvic exam.

I envy the physical therapists at these courses that had the opportunity to practice pelvic exams before seeing real patients. It inspired me to brush up on my pelvic exam teaching approach at a Japan gynecology residency.

 

Current Status of Women’s Health Physical Therapy in Japan

Women’s health physical therapy should be based on the continuous care for all stages of life. I have to say Japan has not successfully imported the concept of reproductive health and rights. Japan has a really nice health care system and insurance system and we do not have much of a gender gap in terms of accessibility. However, our national insurance covers disease-care, not prevention, which is one of the reasons why women’s health and reproductive health physical therapy is still an unfamiliar concept in Japan.

Currently, physical therapists in Japan can only work with patients after patients obtain a prescription from their medical doctors. Physical therapists in Japan can not work independently in the Japanese healthcare system.

 

Future of Women’s Health Physical Therapy in Japan

The medical team approach is now very common in community hospitals in Japan, so it will be easy to start perinatal physical therapy if the compensation issues get addressed. I think that it will take time for physical therapists to include intra-vaginal examinations in their diagnosis and healthcare practices. The Japanese OB society is uncomfortable about non-OBGYN medical practitioners conducting pelvic examinations, as even very few primary care doctors and ER doctors conduct pelvic exams. I think that OB doctors will enjoy working with physical therapists one day once the connection between the two fields is educationally established and taught to both professionals.

It will be important for physical therapists to establish a good connection with the society of OB doctors in Japan. This relationship will help spread awareness about women’s health physical therapy and evidence-based physical therapy research in the medical field so that women’s health physical therapy is a welcomed concept and becomes part of healthcare services offered in the nation.

Japan has a rapid aging population due to the birthrate decline. How to maintain the health of the aging population is one of the most important issues Japan is facing at this time. Japan needs to offer more physical therapy services for its growing aging population and needs to begin offering women’s health physical therapy services for its perinatal women.

 

 


 

 

 

Part II: My SPT Days, Creating Driftwood with Tamra Wroblesky, PT, DPT

Posted on: November 27th, 2017 by SOWHeditor No Comments

 

Missed Part I? Read Part 1 here.

SoWH Blog Series | Posted Every Monday, Nov 20 - Dec.18, 2017
Welcome to the five-part blog series featuring Tamra Wroblesky, 29, recently named Emerging Leader of the Year by the APTA. She is no stranger to the Section on Women’s Health, as she was Student Special Interest Group President in her last year of school, represented the Section at several conferences, marched on Capitol Hill, and is currently on the Name Change Task Force. In her two years since graduating PT school from Thomas Jefferson University, she opened up Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy with Alison Ankiewicz, her last clinical instructor, and a celebrated pelvic physical therapist in central NJ with over 20 years of experience. In less than two years, Tamra and Alison have grown their reputation and their practice, by hiring three more pelvic therapists to their team and providing quality care to Central and Jersey Shore residents.

Pursuing a Career in Physical Therapy: My SPT Days

IMG_8736 (1)When I was a first year student, I was still settling into a rigorous academic program and was working as a live-in nanny to pay for my housing, so I didn’t get involved with much of anything. When I was in my second year of school, I attended NSC in Indiana, introduced myself to the Student Special Interest Group, and became the Director of Programming. I coordinated the happy hours for the Section on Women’s Health at many different events, and got to meet wonderful and inspirational pelvic therapists that would answer any of my questions. My third year in school, I became president of the SSIG and attended more conferences representing the SOWH, further strengthening my networking with all the therapists I have previously met. I won the SOWH scholarship to attend CSM and was able to attend great programming about women and pelvic health.

During my last year in school, I also took Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Level 1 for continuing education, as my school had little to no information about pelvic health. I also was contacted by Elizabeth Rummer and Stephanie Prendergast to write about my story for their upcoming book, “Pelvic Pain Explained.”

 

Words of Wisdom for Graduating Students

Be adaptable. Our field and our knowledge is constantly evolving. Most of what I learned in school just two years ago is horribly outdated. I love the environment we have at IDPT because a therapist is always coming in with a new research study or case report, or we’re watching new exercise videos on social media to become more creative. Never get comfortable, challenge yourself, and think outside the box.”

Stay tuned for “Part III: My First Year in Practice”

tamraheadshot

Author

Tamra Wroblesky, PT, DPT, is co-owner and pelvic health physical therapist at Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy in Ocean City, NJ. She was the former SSIG president of the SoWH and is on the Name Change Task Force. Prior to moving her pelvic pain advocacy to the treatment room, she shared her recovery from pelvic pain on her blog, Sky Circles, and in Pelvic Pain Explained, a book about pelvic health physical therapy. In addition, her pelvic pain story has been featured on MTV’s mini-documentary show “Real Life.” [[email protected]]

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Part I: Pursuing a Career in Physical Therapy, Creating Driftwood with Tamra Wroblesky, PT, DPT

Posted on: November 20th, 2017 by SOWHeditor No Comments
SoWH Blog Series | Posted Every Monday, Nov 20 - Dec.18, 2017
Welcome to the five-part blog series featuring Tamra Wroblesky, 29, recently named Emerging Leader of the Year by the APTA. She is no stranger to the Section on Women’s Health, as she was Student Special Interest Group President in her last year of school, represented the Section at several conferences, marched on Capitol Hill, and is currently on the Name Change Task Force. In her two years since graduating PT school from Thomas Jefferson University, she opened up Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy with Alison Ankiewicz, her last clinical instructor, and a celebrated pelvic physical therapist in central NJ with over 20 years of experience. In less than two years, Tamra and Alison have grown their reputation and their practice, by hiring three more pelvic therapists to their team and providing quality care to Central and Jersey Shore residents.

 

What made me pursue a career in physical therapy…

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When I was a college freshman and only 18 years old, I experienced severe pelvic pain that seemed to come out of nowhere. I went to gynecologists, the emergency room, countless specialists but no one could tell me what was wrong with me. My pain became chronic, and all of college I had difficulty sitting through my classes and being a functional human being. During those tumultuous four years, I turned to writing as an outlet and started my blog [email protected] based off my favorite Rumi poem:

 

“Birds make great sky-circles

of their freedom.

How do they learn it?

They fall, and falling,

they are given wings.”

-Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)

 

My blog was one of the first that talked about taboo issues such as vaginal, pelvic pain or pain with sex. It grew in readership, and had close to 60,000 views. One night a woman sent me an email begging me to go see a women’s health physical therapist out in San Francisco instead of having a vulvectomy. I cancelled my surgery, booked my plane ticket, and flew out with my mother to see Elizabeth Rummer and Stephanie Prendergast. They were the first ones to give me a comprehensive evaluation and showed me the possible connection with hips, especially with my history as a college tennis player. I returned home with more answers, received two labral surgeries for each hip, and began several bouts of pelvic physical therapy, as well as countless injections by specialists. I went to both good and bad pelvic PTs and desperately wanted to have better access to someone close by.

I realized I needed to go back to school and become a pelvic physical therapist. I needed to become a stronger voice in the pelvic community for all these women and men who have been misdiagnosed and misheard. To this day, I am still mystified how many people show up in my clinic after years of searching, and have relatively easy “fixes.” The knowledge out there about pelvic health in the United States is still horrifically outdated. It might be better around major cities, but in the suburbs and rural areas I have traveled, it is very poor. I recently put on a Pelvic Health for Performance workshop at a weightlifting gym in Pennsylvania and so many women were incontinent. Some of them had symptoms for over 10 years and we just changed their breathwork and awareness of certain muscles and they were no longer leaking! Things like that push me to learn more about our field and become a better practitioner because we are indispensable.

 

Stay tuned for “Part II: My SPT Experience”

tamraheadshot

Author

Tamra Wroblesky, PT, DPT, is co-owner and pelvic health physical therapist at Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy in Ocean City, NJ. She was the former SSIG president of the SoWH and is on the Name Change Task Force. Prior to moving her pelvic pain advocacy to the treatment room, she shared her recovery from pelvic pain on her blog, Sky Circles, and in Pelvic Pain Explained, a book about pelvic health physical therapy. In addition, her pelvic pain story has been featured on MTV’s mini-documentary show “Real Life.” [[email protected]]

 

 

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Section on Women’s Health Announces the 2018 CSM Early-Professional Scholarship Winner

Posted on: November 2nd, 2017 by SOWHeditor No Comments

natalife kierIn October 2017, Section on Women’s Health for the first time ever announced a scholarship opportunity that was specifically offered to early-professional members. As part of the scholarship, the selected candidate would receive one early-bird Combined Sections Meeting conference registration and three hotel nights in New Orleans, Louisiana in February 2018. Section on Women’s Health was very impressed by the number and quality of the applications received during the October submission window. Physical therapists with zero to five years of physical therapy practice experience applied for this opportunity and after long consideration, the top candidate was finally selected to receive the scholarship. Section on Women’s Health proudly welcomes Natalie Kiefer, PT, DPT of Warm Springs, Oregon to attend 2018 Combined Sections Meeting as the 2018 CSM Early-Professional Scholarship recipient.

Stay tuned for Christina’s post-CSM report on her experience!

About Natalie Kiefer

Natalie Kiefer, PT, DPT, has been practicing as a physical therapist for just over one year. While in graduate school at Pacific University in Hillsboro, Oregon, Natalie participated as one of a handful of PT students in the country receiving a scholarship from the Indian Health Service scholarship program. Through her commitment to this program, Natalie began working after graduation for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, a Native American community in Central Oregon. In Warm Springs, there have never been physical therapy services available on the reservation, making access to therapy services in the community very limited. Natalie became the only full-time physical therapist, with supplemental staff coverage as needed contracted from a clinic in a nearby town. Because of the rural nature of their service, Natalie saw a huge variety of conditions. It became more apparent after being open for the first 6 months. Natalie’s staff needed to be prepared to treat any condition within the PT’s scope of practice.

In every case that Natalie had come across, the patients have not received any physical therapy treatment and have either immediately begun using medications or have had pelvic surgeries, if their condition was addressed at all. 

Natalie had a passion for women’s health for a while, stemming from her previous experience working as a Fertility Care Practitioner, educating women on their health and fertility. During her time there, Natalie heard many women reporting pelvic health issues that were not addressed because they did not know about the scope of pelvic health physical therapy.

“Similarly, in my work as a physical therapist in Warm Springs, women have reported other issues to me usually while I am treating their shoulder, knee, or something else unrelated. Women would tell me about experiencing pelvic pain, incontinence, prolapse, and other issues, ” says Natalie.

In every case that Natalie had come across, the patients have not received any physical therapy treatment and have either immediately begun using medications or have had pelvic surgeries, if their condition was addressed at all. With a brewing passion for helping these women access the healthcare they need, Natalie has recently joined the Section on Women’s Health and attended the Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Level 1 and Level 2 courses all while in her third trimester of pregnancy.

Natalie is excited to get started on her journey to becoming a specialist in pelvic health physical therapy to improve the health outcomes and quality of life of the patients that she works with in the rural community. “This service is desperately needed, and no other therapist that comes to the clinic is equipped or comfortable with treating these conditions,” says Natalie.

Since Natalie’s daily work schedule consists of being the only full-time physical therapy at her clinic on the reservation, she has little access to daily mentorship from more experiences physical therapist colleagues. In addition to that, the closest physical therapists that offer pelvic health services are over an hour away. Natalie is thrilled to attend the 2018 APTA Combined Sections Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana to connect more deeply to the rest of the physical therapy community of experienced providers and to seek mentorship that can help her serve this historically underserved population more appropriately.

 

Watch Natalie’s Video Submission

 

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Section on Women’s Health and Orthopaedic Section Announce Webinar: MSK RTUS in Women’s Health & Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Practice

Posted on: October 31st, 2017 by SOWHeditor No Comments

 

The Women’s Health and Orthopaedic Sections are jointly announcing “AIUM/APTA Webinar: MSK RTUS in Women’s Health & Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Practice” on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST as presented by Carrie Pagliano, PT, DPT, OCS, WCS, MTC and Megan Poll PT, DPT, OCS.

This webinar is the result of the combined efforts of the American Institute for Ultrasound in Medicine and the APTA.  A course description and objectives along with free registration for the webinar are available at https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/vl1NBMirJ5muO?domain=attendee.gotowebinar.com

The AIUM and APTA have established a growing relationship in which physical therapists are now part of their recognized effort toward the use of ultrasound imaging in health care practice.

Earlier this year, Mohini Rawat, DPT, ECS, OCS, RMSK presented “AIUM/APTA Webinar: Value of Ultrasound Imaging in Peripheral Nerve Pathology.”  This webinar remains available on AIUM’s Youtube channel at https://youtu.be/UJWk-zRnVsM?list=PLv2wH8bQy6ZIsScsBqJiwX4u8Kx3ZFNpe

 

Patricia I. Wolfe , PT, MS President, Section on Women’s Health
 Steve McDavitt, PT DPT MS FAAOMPT FAPTA President, Orthopaedic Section

 

 

 


 

 

 

Section on Women’s Health Announces the 2018 CSM Student Scholarship Winner

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by SOWHeditor No Comments

 

Section on Women’s Health has received many wonderful submissions from student physical therapists around the nation. We thank everyone that applied and encourage everyone to stay tuned for more opportunities for student members from the Section! We are proud and delighted to welcome Christina Vivit, SPT, to the 2018 APTA Combined Sections Meeting, on a free CSM conference registration. Christina will be volunteering at the SoWH booth, attending the SoWH General Business Meeting/Town Hall, and will be assisting the SoWH Director of Programming, Carina Siracusa, in coordinating opportunities for more student involvement at CSM in New Orleans, LA in February 2018. Stay tuned for Christina’s post-CSM report on her experience!

 

About Christina

vivitChristina Vivit, SPT, is a second-year DPT student at Saint Louis University (DPT Candidate, Class of 2019) in St. Louis, Missouri, with interests in becoming a women’s health physical therapist.

Christina specifically chose this area of physical therapy as she believes that it encompasses her personal, clinical, and professional interests. Christina strongly values getting to know and understand individuals in the most holistic way possible.

“As an Asian-American, I can empathize with patients who possess various cultural, psychosocial, and even physical boundaries to obtaining help for gender health issues or even simply feeling comfortable with expressing concerns related to sensitive health topics. Furthermore, the field of women’s health allows me to not only help vulnerable individuals feel more comfortable and autonomous with their bodies, but also highlights the delicate and essential nature of understanding our patients to get them to better health and functionality,” says Christina.

Christina’s interests in women’s health physical therapy have led her to various volunteer and professional experiences involving preventative health education, research, and observation. These experiences helped Christina gain integral communication skills that are necessary to grow as a compassionate, understanding, and encouraging women’s health physical therapist. She is currently involved in:

  • monthly empowering small group sessions to educate about pelvic floor education, proper toileting habits, menstrual education and hygiene product use, benefits to exercise and hydration, and proper ways of carrying a baby to avoid pain.
  • community health fairs within the  International Institute and Community Action Agency of St. Louis, which extends community integration services to new immigrants and refugees of St. Louis. Both organizations extend a wide range of opportunities and aim to improve accessibility for immigrants, refugees, and low-income individuals in St. Louis.
  • at-home ESL tutoring through the Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Program of St. Louis for a refugee woman in the community
  • Saint Louis University’s DPT program representative for the Missouri Physical Therapy Association’s Missouri Student Special Interest Group (MSSIG).

 

Launching a Preventative Health Education Program

Christina was awarded a $1,000 grant from the SLU Center for Service and Community Engagement which she used to launch A Step Up to Preventative Care for Ladies and Babies at Our Lady’s Inn, a preventative 8-week health education program  at Our Lady’s Inn, a maternal shelter for pregnant and postpartum women living in homelessness in St. Louis, MO. This program featured a weekly preventative health topic class and two to three days of individual and group meetings with mothers involved in the program. These meetings emphasized the importance of short and long-term goal setting and encouraged women to start taking a more active role in their health. This experience allowed Christina to obtain a better understanding of these women and form meaningful interpersonal relationships.

 

Research and Writing

Christina is the study administrator and research team member of a chronic pelvic pain management study that is currently in the IRB submission process. Her research team includes a urogynecologist, a women’s health physical therapist, and a women’s health nurse practitioner at SSM St. Mary’s Hospital at the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health in St. Louis.

Christina is also a principal investigator in a paper she is writing with a pediatric physical therapist and obstetrician that examines the current habits and barriers to a preventative health lifestyle for pregnant and postpartum women living in homelessness along with implications of interprofessional roles in preventative health education.

In March 2017, Christina  submitted a guest blog on the Section on Women’s Health website that discussed reversing cultural taboos on the discussion of feminine health topics through education and understanding others from a cultural competency standpoint. Missed her blog post? Check it out at Breaking Cultural Taboos about Feminine Health.

Christina has completed 60 hours of observation in women’s health physical therapy and has recently completed the Section on Women’s Health Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Level 1 course.

 

Future Goals

Christina’s future goals include:

  • running for a leadership position with the Section on Women’s Health Student Special Interest Group (SSIG).
  • attend more APTA conferences to get to know others with shared interest and involvement in women’s health.
  • engaging in a women’s health physical therapy clinical rotation.
  • apply to a women’s health residency during her third year of PT school.
  • advocate for the underserved population to improve accessibility to physical therapy services for these individuals
  • continue being a member of the APTA and Section on Women’s Health to stay up-to-date on new research, educational opportunities, and opportunities to engage with fellow colleagues.

 

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SOWH in Japan (Part 3 of 3): Interview with Fumiaki Isshiki

Posted on: October 16th, 2017 by SOWHeditor No Comments

 

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Fumiaki Isshiki, PT, DPT, MS, Movement System Fellow, is a physical therapist practicing at a private outpatient clinic in California that specializes in orthopedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Isshiki received his B.S. in Physical Therapy at Kobagakuin University in Japan, his MS in Physical Therapy at the University of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and his DPT at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California. He completed the Movement System Fellowship at Washington Unviersity in St. Louis, Louisiana. Dr. Isshiki has been integral in the initiation of Section on Women’s Health’s Pelvic Health Physical Therapy education program in Tokyo, Japan in May of 2017.

 

Dr. Isshiki, what made you pursue physical therapy?

When I was a junior in high school, I had two professional baseball team doctors that addressed my shoulder and ankle injuries but did not prescribe any physical therapy to me. As you can imagine, I could not play baseball as much as I wanted to, even though I was able to play until college. Since then, my dream was to create a facility where athletes could regain their full mobility and get back to the playing field. When I was applying to medical schools, I learned of the physical therapy profession and field. I was so happy that pursuing the physical therapy field was possible in Japan, however I was unhappy to find out that physical therapy was not well known to local people. My next dream was to contribute to the growth of physical therapy education in Japan which would help more practitioners provide physical therapy services to those who need it.

 

What made you want to bring physical therapy education to Japan? What drives your passion for educating others?

I want patients to get the best physical therapy treatment. Unfortunately, I feel a huge gap in the physical therapy education in Japan. The medical system in Japan is lead by physicians. We, as physical therapists, need to prove the effectiveness of what we are doing and show everyone exactly what we do and can do. Education is a big key in further developing physical therapy field in Japan.

 

What were your takeaways/experience from the Japan courses?

I teach a lot of continuing education courses in Japan. However, I’ve never seen participants get drastically trained within 6 days. It was actually shocking and I learned a lot from the SoWH instructors who to teach not only the knowledge concepts but also share their strong passion with the participants. At the end of the courses, I really felt that this small group of 40 participants had a lot of potential to contribute to women’s health physical therapy in Japan.

What did you like most about your experience in hosting the SoWH courses in Japan?

The best experience I had was in getting connected with the SoWH and the course participants. Section on Women’s Health had a wonderful team. The courses in Japan would have not happened if the team from SoWH did not support me.  Also, all the participants that attended the courses showed so much strong passion towards learning and their professions. It is always a great feeling when you are surrounded by highly motivated individuals.

 

What do you envision for the future of Japan’s physical therapists and the physical therapy field?

Due to the socialized medical system in Japan, I envision that the growth of physical therapy will reduce the cost of medical expenses for the country. This will lead to a huge contribution to the country. Japan has high population of older men and women compared to the population of younger generations. Physical therapy will not only contribute to the better care of the older population but also would encourage women to conceive and get the care they need from a physical therapist.  Providing women’s health physical therapy services will make women more comfortable about sharing and addressing their health concerns before their pregnancy, during their pregnancy, and after giving birth.

 

Are you interested in taking a Pelvic Health Physical Therapy or Pregnancy & Postpartum Physical Therapy course in Japan?

Stay tuned for the 2018 SoWH course schedule! 

Visit: www.womenshealthapta.org/education2018

 

 

 


 

 

 

First Impressions by Meg Cochran, SoWH’s Guest at Women in PT Summit 2017

Posted on: October 13th, 2017 by SOWHeditor No Comments

 

Meg Cochran, PT, DPT, recently attended the Women in PT Summit in New York City on September 23, 2017. Meg was the winner of the Section on Women’s Health hosted video contest and was able to get free registration to attend Women in PT Summit, travel coverage, and a mentorship meeting with Carrie Pagliano, Vice President of Section on Women’s Health (incoming President in February 2018). In this video, Meg recounts her initial impressions of her Women in PT Summit experience and being the Section on Women’s Health’s guest.

 

Missed the latest posts about Section on Women’s Health and Women in PT Summit? Check out:

 

 

Meg Swindoll Cochran, PT, DPT is a recent graduate of Texas State University and is currently practicing in her hometown of Oxford, MS. She is working at Baptist Memorial Hospital- North Mississippi half inpatient/half outpatient and is growing a Pelvic Health Department that she began after graduation. Meg has been married to her husband, Chris, for 3 and half years, and they have two boxer dogs, Sage and Ox.

 

 

 


 

 

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