Gannon University Students Celebrate Physical Therapy Month Through Service

PT Month PT OlympicsPosted: November 19, 2013

Veterans Day is traditionally celebrated in November, but for students and faculty in Gannon University's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, Physical Therapy Month in October was a perfect opportunity to celebrate by helping the veterans in Erie's Soldiers' and Sailors' Home.

Led by Kristine Legters, D. Sc., associate professor and chairperson of physical therapy, the graduate students conducted fund-raising events to benefit residents of the facility for needy and disabled former-military personnel requiring medical, clinical and nursing assistance.

With the rigorous coursework and practicums mandated by the program, DPT students are time- challenged. Nonetheless, they came through with a series of fundraising projects, one per week sandwiched around Gannon's fall break, each of which had a specific purpose.

These included donations to buy items of basic need for the Home's residents: wheelchair cupholders, bars of soap, decks of cards and men's white socks. These donations were raised during "jeans days," days on which the normal dress code required of DPT students was relaxed for students making a donation.

PT Month was bracketed by two events, a Pizza Night for Gannon students at the beginning, and at the end of the month, the PT Olympics. In that event, teams of four PT students competed for one hour in a variety of events with a physical therapy orientation.

"I'm not sure that there has ever been as much cheering occurring in the Morosky building, ever," Legters said of the Olympics.

The month's activities raised $70 for wheelchair cup holders--one quarter at a time--36 decks of cards and 44 pairs of socks were donated, along with 59 bars of soap.

"Overall, the students really enjoyed making a meaningful contribution in an easy way. We were very pleased with how well this event went, and the Soldiers and Sailors Home was very, very appreciative of the effort," Legters said.