SMU eNews

PT Faculty, Students and Graduates Receive Awards and Present Work at National Conference

Faculty members, graduates and students of the Samuel Merritt University (SMU) Department of Physical Therapy shared their research findings at an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) conference, held January 21-24, 2013 in San Diego.

The APTA Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) is the largest physical therapy conference in the world, attended by more than 10,000 physical therapists, PT assistants, and students.

SMU Associate Professor, Dr. Sharon Gorman, was presented with the highest award given by the Acute Care Section of APTA. During the 3rd Annual Acute Care Lecture, titled "Leveraging Technology to Advance Acute Care Practice," Gorman spoke about harnessing the power of electronic health records (EHRs) to improve patient care by disseminating baseline patient functional status and initial physical therapy examination data over the course of a patient's rehabilitation.

The Acute Care Lecture was instituted three years ago to honor outstanding acute care physical therapists, and to give them the opportunity to share their thoughts and visions for the future of acute care physical therapy. During her speech, Gorman encouraged acute care therapists to be more involved in the design and implementation of EHR systems, and to use the data captured to collaborate on research projects. Gorman advocated for more use of physical therapy-related apps during patient care, and pushed those listening to the lecture to use technology to keep the patient at the center of their care. Her speech will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy.

SMU also hosted a PT alumni reception at the event on Wednesday, January 23. More than 50 students, faculty and alumni gathered to network, socialize and connect. 

SMU faculty, graduates, and students who presented at this conference are listed below.  (Faculty in bold font; students/graduates in italics.)

  • Barbosa P, Raymond GL. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Training Increases Empathy and Reduces Anxiety for Graduate Healthcare Students. (Poster).
  • Castillo M, Dinglasan J, Lazaro R. Effects of Structured Intradialytic Exercise Program on Lower Extremity Function, Fatigue and Quality of Life of Patients on Hemodialysis in an Acute Care Setting, Acute Care Section-APTA Research Grant, 2013 (awarded during CSM).
  • Christensen N, Black L, Jensen G. Clinical reasoning: Explicit strategies for making the invisible visible. Presentation at the Combined Sections Meeting APTA. San Diego, CA. (2 hour educational session).
  • Gorman SL. Function in Sitting Test (FIST) Web-based Training: Development and Dissemination. (Platform presentation).
  • Gorman SL, Ryan J. Strategies to address interprofessional communication and behaviors that hinder acute care practice. (two-hour educational session).
  • Gorman SL. 3rd Annual Acute Care Lecture: Leveraging Technology to Advance Acute Care Practice (Invited lecture given as recipient of the Acute Care Section Lecture Award).
  • Lazaro R, Chun J, Raymond G, Spencer B, Megazzi A, Siegel E, Schempp A. The Effect of Lower Body Positive Pressure Treadmill Training on Balance, Mobility and Lower Extremity Strength of Community-Dwelling Older Adults (Poster). Note: These students in the DPT class of 2013 assisted with this research as volunteers working with Dr. Lazaro.
  • Tilsley A, Raymond GL, Physical Therapy Interventions Utilizing Dual Task Phenomenon to Decrease Cognitive-Motor Interference in a Person Status-Post Intracerebral Hemorrhage: A Case Report. (Poster). Note: This is a poster that a 2012 DPT graduate presented based on her capstone case report project.

For more information about the conference, visit

SMU Poster presentation from the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM).
SMU Poster presentation from the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM).
From left to right: Gaye Raymond, PT faculty, part of the research team. Aaron Megazzi, PT Student. Ashley Schemp, PT Student. Brianne Spencer, PT Student. Rolando Lazaro, Primary Investigator and PT Faculty.
SMU Associate Professor, Dr. Sharon Gorman, with her Acute Care award.
SMU Associate Professor, Dr. Sharon Gorman, with her Acute Care award.