D.P.T. Class of 2022 Community Service Projects Adapt to the Virtual World
D.P.T. Class of 2022 took to Zoom to share their community service project presentations with the NYMC community on December 7.
Each year over the first spring and second summer and fall semesters, the Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) students, now in their second-year, work in groups to plan and carry out one of three community service projects to provide a physical therapy related service to address a local or underserved community need. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced students to re-evaluate their Race for Rehab, Health and Wellness and Global Outreach projects that were in progress and quickly adapt to the virtual world. With determination and without hesitation, the D.P.T. Class of 2022 completed their projects and made an impact in spades.
The Race for Rehab group knew the 22nd annual race to benefit Achilles International would go on even though a 5K race on the Valhalla would not be possible in October. They decided to hold a virtual race giving participants the option of completing the race in their location of choice, anytime between October 11 and October 18 and logging their time on the Race for Rehab website. All told, 29 participants and 10 Achilles athletes, including one-hand cyclist, completed the race and the winners were announced via a video shared on October 18. The virtual race raised $4,100 for Achilles International. Students plan to continue to offer a virtual option for future races for individuals who might not be able to participate on a particular race day, increasing the participant base.
The Health and Wellness group who typically provide screenings and share educational materials and physical activity tips at community events transitioned their project from in-person to online. They turned to social media to share workout videos dedicated to topics such as balance, posture, stretching and strength training and physical activity tips for how to stay motivated during the pandemic and how to modify a workout according to fitness level. The Health and Wellness group created a warm-up video for the Race for Rehab and during fall prevention week in September, the group offered a fall risk assessment. They also developed an exercise video and flyer to promote physical activity for the Sisters at Mary Knolls who found themselves less active during the pandemic.
The Global Outreach group adopted the motto, think globally, act locally, and focused their efforts on the crises of racism and the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. They decided to raise money for 100 Black Men of America, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to the intellectual development of youth and the economic empowerment of the African American community. They also joined forces with Mask Transit, a grassroots organization founded by medical students in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to distribute masks and educational materials to vulnerable community members. The Global Outreach students found themselves working on a new skill they never imagined they would learn during their physical therapy education—sewing. They mastered the craft and turned out more than 200 hand-made face masks that were distributed in the community.
“At the essence of physical therapy practice is humanitarianism, a concept sorely tested in 2020. It was truly wonderful to see all that these students accomplished to better the situation of others despite the many challenges. Each project in its own way brought forth much-needed positivity to this year,” said Catherine L. Curtis, P.T., M.A., Ed.M., Ed.D., assistant professor of physical therapy, who moderated the D.P.T. Class of 2022 Community Service Project Presentations.
22nd Annual Race for Rehab Team
Faculty Advisors: Janet Dolot, P.T., D.P.T., Dr.P.H. ’14, assistant professor of clinical physical therapy, Susan Ronan, P.T., D.P.T., M.S., assistant professor of physical therapy, and Anthony M. Sozzo, M.S.Ed., M.A., associate dean for student affairs and director of student financial planning and student activities
Global Outreach Team
Faculty Advisors: Catherine L. Curtis, P.T., M.A., Ed.M., Ed.D., assistant professor of physical therapy, and Gale Lavinder, P.T. Ed.D., assistant professor of physical therapy
Health and Wellness Team
Faculty Advisor: S. Nikki Gawronski, P.T., D.P.T., assistant professor of physical therapy