MU DPT Alumus and Faculty Recognized at the National Level
Three members of the Marymount University family will be honored with awards June 28, 2018 during the American Physical Therapy Association Conference (APTA) and Exposition in Orlando, Florida:
Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Programs
- Dr. Diana G. Venskus, an associate professor of physical therapy, will receive the Humanitarian Award. The recognition honors individuals who exemplify the compassionate nature of the profession and actively demonstrate a commitment to humanity and selflessness in addressing health concerns. She directs the Physical Therapy Clinic at the Arlington Free Clinic, an academic-community service-learning partnership that integrates student-learning goals and community physical therapy needs in a pro bono service delivery model. She earned her bachelor’s degree at George Mason University, her master’s degree at George Washington University and her Ph.D. at Virginia Commonwealth University.
- An alumna, Dr. Secili DeStefano, ’01, ’07, who earned her master’s degree and doctorate from Marymount, will receive the Lucy Blair Service Award, which honors members whose contributions to APTA are of exceptional quality or value. She works at the Reston location of Bodies in Motion Physical Therapy where she administers premium care to a large, diverse population of outpatient orthopedic patients.
- Dr. Rebecca H. Leonard, an adjunct faculty member, will receive the Henry O. and Florence P. Kendall Practice Award, which honors a physical therapy professional who embodies a commitment to developing physical therapy as a caring profession. The director and owner of Early Intervention Associates earned her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Connecticut, her master’s degree from Marshall University and her doctor of physical therapy from Rocky Mountain University.
- In August 2016, an interprofessional team of four faculty, including two from the Physical Therapy Department, Dr. Cathy Elrod and Dr. Diana Venskus, received a $480,000 federal grant from the Administration on Aging to embed evidence-based falls prevention programs across Northern Virginia. The goal of the grant is to establish Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL), A Matter of Balance (AMOB), and Otago Exercise programs in the region. Staying physically active and exercising regularly are key contributors to minimizing the risk of falling. A network of agencies and organizations is also being built to sustain and continue the reach of these programs once the grant is over. Students have the opportunity to interact with the community in a variety of ways to assist in these fall prevention activities. For more information please visit the Northern Virginia Falls Prevention Alliance website.
Global Perspective Service Learning Opportunities
- The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program offers a unique service learning opportunity for physical therapist students to experience a culture different from their own. DPT students can spend the final 2 weeks of the 8-week clinical practicum as members of volunteer teams providing physical therapy and other general health services to under-served populations abroad. For the last several years, students have travelled to Costa Rica in Central America.
Students experience variations in individual, social, political, economic and health values while delivering physical therapy services. Direct access to patients and minimal resources for patient management typical of rural settings challenge their decision-making and creativity as developing practitioners. Appreciation for global health concerns and a requirement to contribute to health and well being of a disadvantaged population are included among the clinical practice outcomes.
MU DPT Student Wins Triathlon
- MU DPT Class of 2020 student and member of the MU Triathlon team, Bryan Pashiagian, took first place in the collegiate male division and 10th place overall at the USAT Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Regional Sprint (Smithfield Sprint Triathlon, April 7th, 2018, Smithfield, VA).
Medstar NRH Rehabilitation Network, Marymount University
- In June 2014, Marymount University (MU) entered into a partnership with Medstar NRH Rehabilitation Network (MNRN). MNRN will operate a physical therapy clinic in the same building as the Department of Physical Therapy allowing for an enriching environment for MU physical therapy students to gain valuable clinical education experience.
Pursue It at Marymount University!
- Dr. Victor Washington did just that when he decided to continue his education at Marymount University. He graduated in 2011 with his Doctorate in Physical Therapy and here is what he had to say about his experience.
“I found my passion for physical therapy during my recovery at Walter Reed Medical Center after a tour in Iraq. After graduating with my DPT, I started my career inpost-acute rehabilitation facility. I knew I wanted to innovate the delivery of physical therapy services, so I founded Theralution, a mobile physical therapy practice. The required Physical Therapy Management course at MU was a tremendous training ground for running a business. The class project took us through every step of starting your own practice from the ground up – a perfect foundation.”