Gannon University Celebrates National Physical Therapy Month

Posted: October 23, 2017

This October, Gannon University is celebrating National Physical Therapy Month in recognition of the contributions made by physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. 

Events during PT Month are organized and staffed by students in Gannon's pre-physical therapy and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs.  On October 5, The PT Club for undergraduate pre-physical therapy students, hosted a screening of a documentary film, "The Crash Reel."  The film follows one-time Olympic snowboarding hopeful Kevin Pierce's recovery from a traumatic brain injury suffered weeks before the start of the Olympics.  

PT Day of Service on Oct. 6 was organized by third-year students Ashley Brown and Lindsey Karzenoski to provide PT services and wellness exams at the Mental Health Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania to persons who are homeless.   

The Gannon Community Physical Rehabilitation Clinic will host an open house for area health care providers and community leaders Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Recreation and Wellness Center, 130 W. Fourth St. Students will conduct a presentation to highlight the clinic's goals, vision and mission, and clinic tours will be provided.   

The clinic is a student-run, pro bono physical therapy clinic that provides physical therapy services in the Erie community to persons who are underinsured and uninsured.  It is staffed by Gannon University DPT students and all patient care is supervised by Assistant Professor Carolyn Galleher, PT, DHS, Andrea Kessler, PT, Ed.D., DPT, OTR/L and Courtney Roca, PT, DPT, both instructors of physical therapy. 

Students are invited to participate in a bowling fundraiser Oct. 25 at Eastway Lanes and to participate in dress-down days during the month to benefit the Community Physical Rehabilitation Clinic.   

With 180 students enrolled, Gannon University's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is one of the largest at the University. 

The DPT program at Gannon University's Erie, Pennsylvania campus has an outstanding record of student success. For the 2016-17 Academic Year, Gannon students achieved a 93% overall pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Licensure Examination (NPTE). 

A new DPT program at Gannon's Ruskin, Florida campus enrolled its first cohort of 30 students this summer. The DPT program joins the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) and Masters in Athletic Training programs in Ruskin. To accommodate the DPT program and future growth at the Ruskin campus, renovations are underway and plans are being considered for future construction. 

"Physical therapy is a profession that emphasizes the art of patient care," Kessler said.  "It's great to be a part of a profession that promotes health through movement, assists people in healing and function, and is committed to evidence-based practice." 

National Physical Therapy Month was created by the American Physical Therapy Association and celebrated each October to recognize how physical therapists and physical therapist assistants help transform society by restoring and improving motion in people's lives.