February 28, 2017

DPT Research Day celebrates student achievements

Left to right: Naomi Johnson DPT‘11; Lisa Dutton, DPT program director; Rachel Lewis DPT‘11; and Diedre King DPT‘07.

With a graduation rate hovering near perfect and a 100 percent employment rate, St. Kate’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Research Day has become a celebration of achievement and transformation in health practices. Working in teams and guided by a faculty advisor, DPT students work diligently for two years towards their Research Day.

Presentations — combining literature reviews, data gathering and critical analysis — are worked and reworked to near perfection to develop their critical thinking and communication skills. St. Catherine’s innovative DPT curriculum integrates medical and behavioral science with clinical and practice application as well as service learning to ground the program in the University’s social justice mission.

"Research Day represents the culmination of months of work and is a celebration of how far our students have come in their physical therapy education," said Lisa Dutton, program chair. “Their projects have resulted in wonderful outcomes and a greater appreciation of the power of research.”

This year’s research presentations covered a variety of practice areas: studying sports-related injuries among female athletes; determining the pain reduction effectiveness of exercises to improve posture; understanding the impact of assistive devices like walkers on older adults and wireless sensors on developing infants. Students also led an exercise-based study to determine how members of the immigrant Somali community benefited from an exercise program, while another group studied physical therapy literature to analyze inconsistent use of PT terminology and the challenges it presents to practitioners.

The day also features the Scott Azuma Memorial Lecture that was created in memoriam of the late DPT faculty member. This year's lecturer, Lynn Tanner, a physical therapist in the Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic at Children's Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota, addressed "Research and Practice: A Healthy Co-Dependency."

2016-17 DPT Program Awards 

DPT Program Chair Lisa Dutton presided over the awards ceremony that recognized students, faculty, alumni and program partners for their achievements and program support.

Award winners:

DPT Endowed Scholarship: Matt Bennett ’17, Molly Koch ’17, and Alethea Schaffer ’18

Marilyn S. Woods Scholarship: Katherine Thompson ’17

Friend of the Program: Deidre King, Naomi Johnson and Physical Therapy Team, University of MN Medical Center

Outstanding Alumna: Anne Johnson DPT ‘10

Outstanding Clinical Faculty Member (1st Year ICE): Lana Prokop

By Julie Michener