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 Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences Department

Developing Industry Leaders

Through technology-enhanced practice facilities and cutting-edge research labs, Drexel’s PT programs allow students to develop advanced skills through evidence-based clinical practice, teaching and research.

Physical Therapy Department

For over 30 years, Drexel’s nationally ranked Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Programs have provided a rich, technology-infused environment for students to develop skills in evidence-based clinical practice, teaching, and research. Drexel’s faculty, through structured instruction and mentorship, strives to develop leaders who excel in health care settings, classrooms and research labs.

Drexel’s nationally and internationally recognized faculty members are among the most highly respected and productive academicians, researchers and clinicians in the country with expertise in a variety of specialty areas. Through their work, they have developed numerous local, national and international clinical teaching and research collaborations and garnered funding from a variety of different agencies. Drexel’s research laboratories and funded researchers provide students with the opportunity to pursue exciting initiatives in multiple areas. 

Many of our faculty have won numerous teaching awards and over half of the faculty members continue clinical practice. The department’s faculty practice, Drexel University Physical Therapy Services, has sites at the 11th Street Family Health Services, in the Drexel University Recreation Center on Drexel’s University City Campus and in the Parkway Building on Drexel’s Center City Campus. Students in the department’s programs get the opportunity to work with faculty in these clinical settings to help refine their patient care skills.  The faculty believe that co-treating patients with developing clinicians helps to foster strong, innovative clinical decision making skills in its graduating clinicians.

Additionally, Drexel’s clinical practice facilities are closely aligned with its research labs and other disciplines within the college so that faculty and students have the opportunity to make connections between patient care and discoveries in the lab as well as appreciate the interaction amongst the entire healthcare team.  The College of Nursing and Health Professions includes Nurses, Physician Assistants, Couple and Family Therapists, Nutritionists, and Creative Art Therapists.  A 37,000 square foot multidisciplinary clinical and research facility on the center city campus helps facilitate interaction amongst these groups and provides opportunities for each discipline to contribute to optimal patient care.

Programs

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Become a competent, compassionate and innovative physical therapist.

Doctor of Health Science in Rehabilitation Sciences (DHSc)
Take a leadership role as an educator and master clinician in Rehabilitation Sciences.

Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
Prepare for a leadership role as a researcher and educator in rehabilitation sciences.

Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Program
Participate in a comprehensive curriculum of didactic and structured mentorship to develop into evidence-based practitioners ready and able to advance the profession and patient care in the community.

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Faculty

View Profiles

News & Events

 

01/16/18

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has clinical services in four established Philadelphia-based sites in addition to a new Community Wellness HUB established this year in the Dornsife Center. Services are provided by faculty working in conjunction with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral students, as well as orthopedic physical therapy residents.  The ultimate goal of the CNHP clinical services programming is to have an educational environment where students working alongside the more than 30 CNHP faculty, provide patient care in an interdisciplinary setting, including referrals between active clinical practice and research activities. CNHP’s clinical services and associated student education has continued to grow in scope and volume over the years. A broad overview of each practice is below.

The CNHP clinical services are located in Philadelphia at the following sites:

  • Stephen & Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center  
  • 3020 Market Street (3020 Market)
  • Drexel Recreation Center (REC)
  • Parkway Health & Wellness (PHW)
  • Community Wellness HUB at the Dornsife (The HUB)
Discipline/Sites                      3020 Market REC Center Parkway Health and Wellness The Community Wellness HUB
 Nurse Practitioner     

 Counseling and Family Therapy
 

 Creative Arts Therapies    
 
 Nutrition Scrience  

 
 Physician Assistant    

 Physical Therapy  

 

CNHP faculty are providing services in most disciplines across all Philadelphia sites.

Discipline CNHP Faculty Practicing at Clinical Sites
Nurse Practitioner Barbara Posmontier,  Kimberly McClellan, Barbara Osborne, Ann McQueen
Counseling and Family Therapy
Christian Jordal, Erica Wilkins 
Creative Arts Therapies
Yasmine Awais, Scott Horowitz, Dawn Morningstar, Michele Rattigan, Ellen Schelly-Hill 
Nutrition Scrience
Whitney Butler, Robin Danowski, Nyree Dardarian, Abigail Duffine-Gilman, Andrea Grasso-Irvine, Beth Leonberg, Angela Luciani, Vicki Schwartz, Elizabeth Smith, Amy Stankiewicz 
Physician Assistant
Patrick Auth, Juanita Gardner 
Physical Therapy
Lisa Chiarello, Kevin Gard, Noel Goodstadt, Robert Maschi, Christopher McKenzie, Kathryn Mitchell, Sara Tomaszewski, Sarah Wenger, Annette Willgens 

Round-up 

The clinical services are overseen by an interdisciplinary advisory board comprised of the director of CNHP clinical services and clinical coordinators representing each involved academic department and the research enterprise. This advisory board meets regularly to provide oversight and direction for the clinical practices in the areas of operations, productivity review, marketing, program development, and the promotion of collaborative interdisciplinary programming, including collaborations and referrals between clinical services and research projects.

Read the entire round-up including descriptions of each site and the services offered here.

01/11/18

The Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services is a unique nurse-led center serving a broad communityThe Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services (the Center) is a comprehensive, nurse-managed health center run by Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions in collaboration with the Family Practice and Counseling Network. Its mission is to decrease health disparities by providing integrative services and health programs in partnership with the local community. By integrating primary care, behavioral health, mind-body, and other health promotion programs, the Center develops a comprehensive treatment plan to address the biological, psychological, and social needs of the patient all at one site. This system ensures communication and collaboration among patients and staff as they manage current illnesses and prevent future health problems. The Center's roots date back to 1996, when the College of Nursing at MCP/Hahnemann University entered into an agreement with the Philadelphia Housing Authority to address the health issues of 11th Street Corridor residents. The first services offered at the Center focused on health promotion and disease prevention.

The Center's Community Advisory Board, composed of neighborhood residents, later arranged for the Center to use a temporary space for primary care health services at the Harrison Plaza Community Center. As a result of consistent growth and program development, the Center outgrew the original building that had opened in 2002. In June 2015, the 17,000 sq. ft. expansion opened and doubled the Center's size, providing space not only to see more patients but also to improve and expand services.

Over the past 19 years, the Center has become a hub for health-related activity in the community. In addition to the regular services provided at the Center, the staff expanded their reach through public art making, community fitness, food distribution, and partnering with local organizations to promote health care access and healthy living. The Center's goals include strengthening its trauma-informed care to provide a strong foundation for care across the lifespan. In addition, the Center is developing partnerships with schools, faith-based groups, and other organizations to create a shared value of health and promote a healthier community.

News at 11

  • Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Center offers an integrated health care model with many resources available to the community. Though the surrounding community lacks fresh fruits and vegetables, 11th Street strived to fill in the gaps by partnering with two urban farms, Greensgrow and Greener Partners, to host on-site low-cost produce stands twice per week for the summer & fall seasons. Affordable food was available through subsidized programs such as Farms to Families (supported by the St. Christopher’s Foundations) and the Philly Food Bucks Farmers’ Market Vouchers. The center also provides nutrition education for groups and individuals, hosting diabetes prevention and cooking classes throughout the year.
  • Center staff and Community Advisory Committee members pulled together to raise funding for the additional dinner basket items
    This year, with the continued turkey donation from Drexel’s Alumni Association, and the support of The Fresh Grocer at Progress Plaza, Sheller 11th Street Family Health was able to provide turkey dinner baskets to 160 families. Center staff and Community Advisory Committee members pulled together to raise funding for the additional dinner basket items. Half of the donation went to patients who were nominated by center staff. The other half were donated to local organizations, senior housing center, and community groups to be given to families for whom they knew the baskets could bring holiday cheer. There was such a great response, planning has already begun for next year and donation are being accepted a this link.
  • Music therapy with infant at the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services11th Street is the recipient of two grants from Independence Blue Cross (IBX) totaling $175,000. The award of Targeted Funding Blue Safety Net Grant is for funds to provide continuity of access to high quality behavioral healthcare through Creative Arts Therapies (CATs) modalities—art therapy, dance/movement therapy, and music therapy—for child and adult clients most affected by early childhood trauma and abuse. 11th Street patients have come to rely on CATs as a means to address trauma symptoms, and garner adaptive coping skills, through increasing awareness of psychological, somatic, behavioral and spiritual patterns. A number of studies have shown that individuals who are the victims of adverse childhood experiences who participate in creative arts therapies (CAT) programs subsequently experience a reduction in anxiety, dissociation, flashbacks, relationship struggles, isolation and depressive symptoms and an increase in self-efficacy, self-esteem, body awareness/attunement, parenting efficacy, sleep, healthy eating, exercise, and recreational activities, all of which result in better-functioning adults.* (*Cruz RF, Sabers DS. (1998). Dance movement therapy is more effective than previously reported. The Arts in Psychotherapy 25(2):101-104)

The IBX Core Support Blue Safety Net Grant will increase capacity and sustainability of the Center by implementing components of the 3.0 transformation to achieve the following: target key stages in the life course (adolescent populations and older adults transitioning to Medicare); develop a cohort of patient advocates; and strengthen the No Wrong Door concept to support individuals' access to needed services and health promotion programs.

Yoga class at The Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health ServicesThe 3.0 Transformation Framework (3.0) posited by Neal Halfon and colleagues optimizes the health of the population through primary prevention, health promotion and community-integrated health delivery systems that continuously seek to improve quality through a learning health system—a system striving to promote wellness and achieve optimal lifelong health. 3.0 emphasizes not only activated patients but also engaged communities and motivated populations focused on creating local conditions that support health over the life course. Individuals therefore become designers and co-producers of their lifelong health development.

01/10/18

Director of Community Health and Wellness and Associate Dean of Community Health John Kirby, Jr., MPH, EPCJohn Kirby, Jr. gets it. As director of community wellness at the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University, he consistently gives his all. John steps up and has ultimately become the leader that patients, community leaders, and colleagues look to because of his ability to understand the broader picture of his efforts and the benefits to which they lead. As associate dean of community programs at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, and founder and director, at Sheller 11th Street, I take great comfort in this as I look to retirement. I have total faith in John’s abilities to carry on our mission of providing an integrative, trauma-informed model of care that creates a seamless engagement for patients, most of whom represent a vulnerable population and are residents of public housing and caregivers in the full range of physical, psychological, social, preventive and therapeutic factors known to be effective and necessary for the achievement of optimal health throughout the lifespan. The center is a nationally-recognized model of nurse-managed, community-based care for the education of health professions students and for faculty practice.

John has grown in his roles and responsibilities at Sheller 11th Street. He initially joined our team in 2012 as fitness and wellness trainer and used his exercise science training and certification as an American College of Sports Medicine physiologist while working with patients and staff to create care plans that worked toward the patients’ goals. He was promoted and assumed his current role in 2015. In his time with us John took advantage of tuition remission at Drexel and earned a master’s degree in public health and also participated in Drexel’s Employee Home Purchase Assistance Program to purchase a lovely home. John also became engaged and married his beautiful bride, Lorin, last fall.

John’s experiences prior to joining Drexel serve him well at Sheller 11th Street. He previously worked as a care manager at a community health center in the city, collaborating with other health professionals in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Chronic Care Initiative to identify ways to reduce costs and improve access and quality of care in the Commonwealth’s Patient-Centered Medical Homes.  

His experience in and around mental health make him a go-to. John is often called on by political representatives to coordinate events as well as speak to attendees.  Most recently, he served as the face of calm when tragedy struck in the form of a shooting in the neighborhood. John not only spoke at the vigil but also called upon his colleagues to provide support for those grieving.  

John developed a leadership style of open communication. He works diligently to develop trust and one could say he earned that trust. He has been extended several invitations from the community and now serves on several community boards and committees that led to valuable connections. Identifying community partners, strategizing with them on how best to promote our services and theirs, had led to win-win opportunities for promotion of the health center and our community partners. John’s efforts lead to improved access for our patients and the community we serve.

John is real and people sense his genuine passion for leading change. As a young, black man, John serves as an excellent role model and mentor to community youth. He takes his job seriously and does not do what he does simply because it’s his job. He believes strongly in creating a culture of health and wellnesslives and breathes it. Why he even continues involvement with his fraternity serving as chairman of the health and wellness committee of the Philadelphia Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. Last year his committee led the chapter in its facilitation of the 2nd Annual Dr. Leonard W. Johnson Memorial Men’s Health and Wellness Fair providing men with health screenings, health information and group discussion about prostate and mental health.

<Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Center's John Kirby on the cover of Change magazineI see a lot of myself in John—his persistence, his perceptiveness and his being acutely aware of how and why the community must be involved in shaping their care.  John is so competent that I introduced him to my sabbatical work supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at the Technical Assistance and Research Center in Oxford, England. We are looking at how social participation helps shape health in countries like Brazil, Kenya, New Zealand, Scotland and Slovenia. John will accompany me to Scotland when we meet with representatives from those countries.  

On behalf of our colleagues at the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services, Drexel University and its College of Nursing and Health Professions, I am proud and pleased to support John Kirby, Jr. as a Future Leader of Community Health. John’s efforts continue to enhance ours and he will, no doubt, be among those who have the capability to change the shape of health care moving forward.

Written by Patricia Gerrity, PhD, RN, FAAN
Associate Dean, Community Programs, Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions
Director, The Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel

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