Date: May 28, 2008
Contact: Lindsay Gladstone
Governors State University
Phone: (708) 534-7090
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, IL, May 28, 2008 – Community outreach has always been an integral part of the physical therapy program at Governors State University.
“Service to the community is very important. The more information we share and the more people we help, then the better off everyone is,” said Dr. David Diers, professor of physical therapy at GSU.
Diers, Dr. Dale Schuit, another professor of physical therapy at GSU, and Kyle Waterson, representing METT Physical Therapy in Chicago Heights, presented a continuing education unit on the care and treatment of runners at a recent meeting of the Illinois Physical Therapy Association, East Central District. More than 40 physical therapists attended the meeting at GSU.
“We presented information on running mechanics and the muscular activity associated with running, so therapists can understand the movements and tissue stresses that occur with running activity and that can result in injury with overuse. This information will help them deal with these injuries in their practices and explain the injuries to the runner,” explained Schuit.
“We also discussed proper training for runners so that therapists can guide them not to over train, which causes injuries. A physical therapist’s goal is to teach runners how to train for maximum improvement without hurting themselves,” added Diers.
Volunteers from the Physical Therapy Student Association accompanied GSU lecturer Joyce Sligar on a completely different community outreach program. They visited St. Benedict Elementary School in Blue Island where they screened children for scoliosis to determine if they needed a referral to their physician for further examination.
“Scoliosis is a progressive side bending of the spine. The goal of early screening is to diagnose it while the bones are still growing so treatment can begin. It is a condition that could be overlooked,” explained Sligar. “We were asked by Phyllis Levine, PT, co-owner of Functional Therapy and Rehabilitation in Homer Glen, to help screen the elementary school children.”
Idris Omosanya of Lansing, Michelle Gibbons of Chicago, and Nina Terrell of Park Forest each felt that they and the children benefitted from the screening process.
“I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, where there is no privilege of such a screening process. It was a wonderful learning experience,” said Omosanya.
“I learned a lot about scoliosis screening and what we as future physical therapists need to focus on when developing interventions for rehabilitation,” added Terrell. “It gave me a chance to interact with children. It was an eye opener.”
In addition to helping the schoolchildren, the experience also benefitted the physical therapy students. According to Sligar, “It gave them the chance to do service for the community and to reinforce what they have learned. It was a great experience.”
For more information about the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Governors State University, call (708) 534-7290.