Health Promotion & Wellness Strategies Applied to Neurorehabilitation
This online course provides the foundational knowledge and the tools physical therapists and physical therapist assistants need to help clients with neurologic conditions maximize rehabilitation outcomes and thrive in their daily lives. It outlines the role of physical therapy in health promotion and wellness addressing physical activity, sleep, nutrition, stress management, screening for depression, anxiety, polypharmacy, abuse and violence, and promoting smoking cessation. It provides introductory information on behavior change theories, motivational interviewing, and outcome measures for physical fitness and physical activity. Finally, through various learning activities and the provision of multiple resources, it supports and challenges participants to apply information learned to optimize practice and the health and well-being of individuals living with neurologic conditions.
1. Recognize the physical therapists’ and physical therapist assistants’ role in educating clients on topics that promote health and wellness, including sleep hygiene, nutrition, and stress management.
2. Synthesize concepts from motivational interviewing and theories of health behavior change as a means of maximizing success in engaging clients with chronic neurologic conditions in activities that promote health & wellness.
3. Integrate and apply information learned in this online course to content discussed in the CSM 2019 pre-conference course and regional traveling course “Health Promotion and Wellness Strategies Applied to Neurorehabilitation” and in clinical practice.
Course Launched December 2018
Elissa Held Bradford
PT, PhD, NCS, MSCS
Elissa Held Bradford, PT, PhD, NCS, MSCS is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training at Saint Louis University. Dr. Held Bradford earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science in 2000 and a Master in Physical Therapy in 2002 both from Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO and her PhD in Health Promotion and Wellness from Rocky Mountain University, Provo, UT in 2015. She is a practicing physical therapist with over 15 years of clinical experience in outpatient neurologic rehabilitation, most notably with individuals living with multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. She has a Board Certification in Neurologic Physical Therapy and is a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist. She has presented information related to multiple sclerosis, wellness, clinical reasoning, and visual analysis of human movement at local, national and international conferences. Her research is in the areas of health promotion and health outcomes in neurodegenerative disease, neurorehabilitation, clinical reasoning and movement analysis. Dr. Held Bradford is co-chair of the Academy of Neurology Physical Therapy Health Promotion and Wellness Task Force.
PT, MSPT, NCS
Kimberly Miczak, PT, MSPT, NCS is the Program Coordinator and Director for the Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program at MossRehab in Elkins Park, PA. Ms. Miczak earned a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from Ithaca College in 2002 and has a Board Certification in Neurologic Physical Therapy. She has 16 years of experience working with persons with traumatic brain injury in various settings including residential, inpatient rehabilitation, and outpatient rehabilitation. Her areas of special interest include movement disorders after acquired brain injury, maladaptive behaviors after acquired brain injury, as well as promotion of health and wellness for survivors of traumatic brain injury. Ms. Miczak has spoken on topics related to the use of exercise to address cognitive and behavioral dysfunction. Additionally, she has spoken to various audiences regarding the implications of cognitive dysfunction to physical therapy assessment, intervention, and outcomes. As the Neurological PT Residency director at MossRehab Hospital, she is involved with curriculum development and delivery of content. She is a member of the APTA Academy of Physical Therapy Education, and recently presented a sponsored webinar related to challenging situations for mentors. As a member of the ANPT Health & Wellness task force, Ms. Miczak chaired the subcommittee charged with addressing Resources for Clinicians related to health & wellness, which ultimately evolved to the inception of the Synapse online course ‘Health and Wellness Strategies Applied to Neurorehabilitation’ and the 2-day CSM pre-conference course.
PT, DPT, PhD, NCS
Miriam Rafferty, PT, DPT, PhD, NCS is a Research Scientist II and physical therapist at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (SRALab). She earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Washington University in St. Louis, her Board Certification in Neurologic Physical Therapy while working at SRALab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), and her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her postdoctoral research training at Northwestern University was in health services research and implementation science. Her current work studies the implementation of early interdisciplinary rehabilitation interventions for people with Parkinson’s disease and other conditions. Dr. Rafferty has taught courses on Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. She has been funded by the Foundation for Physical Therapy, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Institute of Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, the Parkinson’s Foundation and the Davis Phinney Foundation. Her work is published in Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, and Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. Dr. Rafferty is co-chair of the ANPT Health Promotion and Wellness Task Force.
RupalM Patel, PT,PhD is an Associate Professor in the School of Physical Therapy atTexas Woman’s University (TWU) in Houston, Texas. Dr. Patel received herBachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Physical Therapy from TWU in Denton,Texas in 1990 and her transitional Master of Science degree in Physical Therapyfrom TWU in Houston in 1991. Dr. Patel received her PhD in HealthPromotion and Wellness from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions inProvo, Utah in 2016. Her dissertation focused on community based, culturallytargeted lifestyle modification programs to reduce risk factors for diabetesfor an at-risk population. Dr. Patel coordinates the two health promotion andwellness courses in the entry-level DPT curriculum at TWU, one with a focus onthe physical therapist’s role in impacting individual health behaviors and theother with a focus on the PT’s role in community health promotion specificallyaddressing health disparities in underserved populations that have limitedaccess to prevention, health promotion and wellness services. Dr. Patel hastaught continuing education courses on health promotion and wellness relatedtopics at local, state, and national PT conferencesincluding courses related to nutrition in PT practice, use of an evidencebased community health promotion planning model, the service learningparadigm to conduct community health promotion programs among underservedpopulations, addressing social determinants of health in PT education andpractice, use of wearable technology to mitigate health risks, and ontopics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Dr. Patel was therecipient of a research grant from the Academy of Leadership andInnovation or ALI (formerly HPA The Catalyst Section) and the APTA MinorityFaculty Award. Dr. Patel is a founding member of the APTA's Council onPrevention, Health Promotion, and Wellness and has also served as anelected member of the APTA Nominating Committee and chair of the ANPTAdvocacy and Consumer Affairs Committee. She currently serves as:the Federal Advocacy Liaison (FAL) for ANPT, a delegate fromTexas to the APTA House of Delegates, the chair of the Texas PhysicalTherapy Association (TPTA) Bylaws Committee, a member of theTPTA DEI Task Force, a member of the APTA ALI ResearchCommittee, and a board member of the Physical Therapy Learning Institute(PTLI).
Sandra Billinger, PT, PhD is a Professor and Vice Chair, Stroke Translational Research at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS and a Certified Exercise Specialist from the American College of Sports Medicine and a Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults from the APTA. Dr. Billinger received her Master in Physical Therapy in 2004 and her PhD in Rehabilitation Science in 2008 from the University of Kansas Medical Center. She has practiced for 10 years in geriatrics, neurologic and cardiopulmonary physical therapy. Dr. Billinger has received continuous grant funding from internal and external funding sources including NIH and the American Heart Association. These grants have focused on cardiovascular health, exercise-related interventions and how physical activity impacts stroke recovery. She has 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Billinger’s work focuses on the benefits of aerobic exercise across all stages of stroke recovery brain health. In 2012, her manuscript was awarded the Golden Synapse Award (Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy). She served as Chair, Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery Committee for the AHA Stroke Council and was the Writing Group Chair and lead author for the AHA Scientific Statement for Physical Activity and Exercise Recommendations for Stroke Survivors. She has served the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, including her work as Chair of the Nominating committee and the Health Promotion and Wellness Task Force. Dr. Billinger was selected by the American Physical Therapy Association for the Margaret L. Moore Outstanding New Academic Faculty Member (2014) and was awarded the AHA/ASA Stroke Council Lecture Award at Scientific Sessions in 2016.
Stacy Fritz, PT, PhD is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Doctoral Physical Therapy (DPT) Program and Rehabilitation Sciences Division of the Exercise Science Department at the University of South Carolina (USC). Dr. Fritz received her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Kentucky and her PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Florida. Dr. Fritz is a licenced physical therapist. Dr. Fritz’s main research focus is physical activity promotion and intensive interventions for individuals with chronic neurological disability and the use of walking speed as a vital sign. Her work has been funded by NIH, Department of Defense, American Heart Association, South Carolina Spinal Cord Research Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She has more than 45 peer-reviewed publications in a variety of journals including: Stroke, Physical Therapy Journal, Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.
Jennifer Gansen, PT, DPT is a Whole Health Physical Therapist for the Madison VA and a doctoral student in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Kinesiology (Exercise Psychology) program. Dr. Gansen earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Northern Iowa in 1990, a Master of Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa in 1992, and a transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Concordia (Mequon) University in 2008. Dr. Gansen’s involvement in the VA's vision to transform from a problem-based disease care system to a person-centered whole health care system began with the Atlanta VAHCS. As Supervisory Physical Therapist for the Empower Veterans Program (EVP), a QI initiative providing integrated self-care training for individuals with chronic pain, Dr. Gansen applied experience in neurologic rehabilitation research, chronic pain, somatic education approaches and as a VA outpatient clinician to develop EVP-Mindful Movement. Both roles included program development, management, implementation, and evaluation of person-centered care. Dr. Gansen has presented to diverse national audiences including PT, Whole Health/CIH, Primary Care, and front-line pain practitioners.
PT, DPT, PhD, CEEAA
Karen J. Hutchinson, PT, DPT, PhD, CEEAA is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training at Boston University, Boston, MA and a Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults from the APTA. Dr. Hutchinson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Lowell, Lowell, MA in 1986 and both a Master’s degree in Neurologic Physical Therapy and PhD in Neuroscience from The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, the latter in 2000. Her dissertation work assessed various treatment interventions on sensorimotor outcomes from experimental spinal cord injury. Dr. Hutchinson completed the Clinical Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Northeastern University, Boston, MA in 2008. Her primary clinical research interests include exercise prescription and functional assessment in chronic spinal cord injury and stroke, working collaboratively through a local YMCA in this area for over 15 years. She has worked to develop clinical assessments of balance and fitness in subjects with neurological conditions and in addition to her full time academic responsibilities, she currently works in a research lab utilizing metabolic assessments of graded exercise testing post stroke.
PT, DPT, NCS
Arielle Resnick, PT, DPT, NCS is an Advanced Clinical Specialist at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, the Program Coordinator for the Neurologic Residency Program at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in Saddle Brook, NJ and an Adjunct Instructor at Rutgers University, School of Health Professions. She has a Board Certification in Neurologic Physical Therapy. Dr. Resnick received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University) in 2010. She began working at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in 2010, and completed her Residency in Neurologic Physical Therapy at Kessler in 2012. Since completing her Residency, she has mainly worked on the brain injury and stroke teams. In 2017, she became Program Coordinator for the Residency program, where she focuses on mentor development and effective clinical teaching. She is currently serving the ABPTS in the Specialization Academy of Content Experts. Dr. Resnick is also actively involved in clinical research, primarily focused on outcome measures and rehabilitation technology in brain injury and stroke rehabilitation.
Catherine (Katie) Siengsukon, PT, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and is the Director of the Sleep, Health & Wellness Laboratory at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS. Dr. Siengsukon received her Bachelor Degree in Biology in 2000 and a Master in Physical Therapy from Rockhurst University in 2002 and her PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2008. Dr. Siengsukon’s research interest involves understanding how sleep impacts health and recovery, and investigating non-pharmacological interventions (exercise, cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia) to improve sleep outcomes, particularly in individuals with neurologic injury or disease. Dr. Siengsukon’s research has been supported by the American Heart Association and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
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