SMU eNews

DPT Program Serving the Community

Faculty and students in the Department of Physical Therapy have been giving back to our community in many ways this fall, providing exercise advice for people suffering from multiple sclerosis, diabetes and breast cancer.    

Dr. Gail Widener and seven 3rd-year DPT students ran a "Free From Falls" class at SMU for people with multiple sclerosis this fall. The eight-week class focused on teaching participants exercises to build strength and flexibility to help prevent falls. Students presented course content, ran the exercises and gave a pre- and post-class assessment for each participant. This course was produced by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and has been offered across the country by healthcare professionals.

On October 13, the American Diabetes Association held an event in Oakland called "StepOut: Walk to STOP Diabetes" to increase awareness in the community and raise funds for educational programs and research. The PT Department sponsored an educational booth at a Healthy Living Fair associated with the event, providing Informational posters and handouts - some translated by students into Spanish - about the role physical therapy can play in helping patients integrate exercise into their lives safely and effectively. Dr. Ben Boyd, along with six 2nd and 3rd-year DPT students, offered information to walkers about exercise choice, proper shoe care, monitoring exercise exertion levels, and safe blood glucose ranges for exercise.

Dr. Sue Grieve participated in a community symposium on October 18 for people with breast cancer titled "Protecting Heart Health During and After Breast Cancer Treatment."  Joining her were an interventional cardiologist, a radiation oncologist, a medical oncologist and a dietician. Dr. Grieve's presentation focused on the role of exercise and exercise levels during and after treatment for breast cancer.  Dr. Grieve and several 2nd year DPT students also taught evening courses at the Markstein Cancer Education and Prevention Services on how exercise can help patients with cancer. Patients with cancer, survivors of cancer, caregivers and healthcare providers attended the classes.