Soon to be Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy

Sarah Deacon

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Sarah Deacon
Nominated for Position: SSIG – President Elect
B.A. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder 2011

Professional Awards and Contributions: 
For examples of published work, refer to the 2015 Medicare Hospital Quality
Chartbook, or the Hospital-Wide All-Cause Readmission Measure Version 4.0:
2015 Measure Updates and Specifications Report on


  • “Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Fall Risk” in-service presented to Physical Rehabilitation staff at Middlesex Hospital 9/14/2018
  • “Dentists: Injury Prevention and Ergonomics” presentation to UConn dental students 09/19/2017
  • Student Panelist at the University of Maryland annual McNair Conference (March 2012)
  • Palliative Care Research Day (2011), University of Colorado School of
Medicine. 2 Posters (see below)
  • 2011 SACNAS National Conference (October 2011), San Jose, CA, over 3000 attendees. Poster: Preliminary findings: Investigating Latino Communication
Preferences for End-of-Life Care Planning
  • McNair Research Day (August 2011), CU Boulder, Oral presentation:Preliminary data analysis: Apoyo con Cariño, A Patient Navigator Intervention to Improve Palliative Care for Seriously Ill Older Latinos
Previous Involvement in SoWH:
I joined the Section on Women’s Health during my first semester of physical therapy school (summer 2016), after becoming aware of the specialty and reading literature on the profound benefits it provides for patient function and dignity. In February of 2018 I attended CSM in New Orleans, where I attended the pre-conference update on the evidence for urinary incontinence by Kari Bo, and then spent the conference at the diverse SoWH education sessions. It was my pleasure to attend the SoWH Business Meeting there, where I was able to contribute my thoughts on the proposed name change. At the Student SIG meet & greet, I connected with other future colleagues, including the current student officers. In the coming weeks, I will take two continuing education courses through the SoWH.

Previous Involvement in the APTA or State Chapter or other Sections: 
In addition to attending the 2018 CSM as described above, since starting my Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Connecticut I have been active with the state Chapter by attending the Connecticut annual APTA conference (2016 and 2017), a CT APTA continuing education course on postconcussive syndrome, the 2018 National Legislative day at the CT state  capital, and the 2018 CT National Advocacy Dinner.

Personal Statement:
Pelvic health physical therapists are uniquely poised to address unmet needs for patients across the age and gender spectrum. With over 50% of noninstitutionalized Americans over the age of 65 experiencing incontinence of bladder and/or bowel (CDC, 2014), a recent study found that half of older community dwelling women with urinary incontinence believed that no treatment is available and that this is a normal part of aging (Pahwa, 2016). We have the opportunity to improve quality of life and help reduce risk of falls associated with pelvic floor dysfunction for our aging population, provided we can educate the public that our services are available. At the other end of the age spectrum, we can provide conservative treatment for the children with urinary incontinence generating 7% of pediatric outpatient referrals (Schaeffer, 2013) and the children with constipation comprising nearly 5% of pediatrician visits (NIH NIDDK). Additionally, we can provide needed services for gender nonconforming and transgender individuals throughout many stages of gender-confirming healthcare interventions, provided that we educate ourselves on the healthcare challenges facing this population. Having previously worked in the development and implementation of national healthcare quality measures, I bring experience with the process and administrative support needed for these endeavors. As the Section on Women’s Health Student Special Interest Group (SSIG) Secretary, I will utilize my administrative skills and experience to provide the SSIG with detailed and accessible records and archives as we represent and support our student colleagues in entering this valuable profession to provide these essential services.


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