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Physical Therapy Services


Premier out-patient physical therapy services are provided in four practice areas for faculty, students, and staff at Drexel, as well as for members of the surrounding community.

All services are individualized and by appointment.

Osteoporosis Education & Exercise Program

This community service program is provided free-of-charge by arrangement either onsite or in local home/community locations for persons who have had a DXA scan and are concerned about bone health. For information about the Osteoporosis Education & Exercise Program please email:

Services consist of:

  • bone health education, fall risk assessment, and prevention strategies.
  • human performance assessment of strength, balance, posture, coordination, etc.
  • individualized instruction in a progressive exercise program.

Hand and Upper Extremity Therapy

Hand and upper extremity therapy services provided by experts in this area.

Spinal Rehabilitation

High quality evidence-based evaluation and rehabilitation of spinal pain disorders.

Children & Youth Consultations

Consultations by arrangement onsite or in local home/community locations for children and youth with various disabilities and health issues.

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News & Events



There are many accommodations we've have to make to continue "business as usual" during this life-altering COVID-19 health crisis. In addition to developing work schedules in the midst of teaching kids school lessons or keeping younger children occupied, we've had to carve out a location where we can be productive. All of these things bring added stress to the mind and the body in ways that we may not yet know.

Sara Tomszewski, PT, DPT working with a patientThe CNHP community are direct beneficiaries of our faculty and research experts who have the unique ability to bring calm and understanding to this volatile and anxiety-producing situation. We called upon Sara Tomaszewski, PT, DPT, an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, to lend her knowledge of the musculoskeletal system with those who may have new physical health complaints. Because she provides patient care at Drexel's clinic locations, Tomaszewski is the perfect person to ask to provide tips for coping with body aches and pains associated with makeshift workstations we've created at home during this pandemic.

"We all know we should take breaks, but this can be more challenging when we’re not in our usual environment, and even more challenging if we’re not working at our usual ergonomic work set up," Tomaszewski notes.

Tomaszewski's solution for neck, shoulder and  back pain, and even headaches caused by prolonged posture on the phone or doing computer work is the “5-for-5” routine. She shared that these are some easy stretches to maintain mobility in your neck, shoulders, and back, that takes less than two minutes to do. 

  1. Shoulder circles: Shrug your shoulders all the way up towards your ears, then squeeze them back as if pinching your shoulder blades together, then drop them all the way down. Repeat 5 times.

  2. Chin tucks: Sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed down from the shoulder circles. Pull your chin back to make a double chin – as if you’re pulling your face away from something that smells bad. Maintain good alignment by keeping your eyes forward and keeping your nose parallel to the floor. This should create a good stretch along the back of your head and neck. Hold 5 seconds and repeat 5 times.

  3. Neck side bending: Sitting up straight, gently bend your neck to one side as if bringing your ear to you shoulder. You should feel a gentle stretch on the opposite side of your neck. Hold 5 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

  4. Trunk twists: Sitting up tall in your chair one last time, wrap your arms around yourself as if giving yourself a hug. Then gently twist to one side as far as you can, to stretch your mid-back and shoulder blade muscles. Hold 5 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

  5. Deep diaphragmatic breath: Now that your muscles are loose, take a deep breath in over a count of five, pushing your belly out and really filling your lungs. Then breathe out slowly over a count of 5, feeling the tension and stress leaving your body, and relaxing any muscles that might be holding tension.

Tomaszewski suggested that trying them once an hour is a great way to prevent tightness from setting in.

If you are experiencing challenges beyond these common issues, help is available through our physical therapy practices online appointments. "Telehealth is not new to PT," explained Tomaszewski, “and we are excited to implement it as part of the services our clinical practice offers." Past restrictions with referrals and insurance precluded new patients from seeking telehealth physical therapy appointments, but Tomaszewski disclosed that those constraints have been loosened. "After our physical practice location at the Drexel University Recreation Center closed due to the pandemic, we continued seeing some existing patients who have chosen to try telehealth PT. And now, we are able to do virtual assessments and provide interventions to new patients, even without a doctor's referral," she added.

Tomaszewski recommended calling 215-571-4287 or emailing for more information or to schedule a consultation. "We are eager and ready to continue providing exceptional care for the Drexel University faculty, staff and student population now, during this stay-at-home order, and after we return to campus," she concluded.

Kathryn Mitchell, PT, DPT, NCS working with a male patient in the gym


The world is in a state of upheaval since the outbreak of the coronavirus. With state and local directives to shelter in place, close non-essential businesses, practice social distancing, move classes online, close college and university campuses and cancel gatherings like annual commencement exercises, hosts of emotions are arising that may be unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Adjusting to this way of life can be difficult and may result in experiencing symptoms associated with anxiety and stress.

Graphic of people sitting classroom styleThe Board of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and department of Counseling and Family Therapy decided to call on their expertise to provide a necessary check-in for students before classes started on April 6. Noting that the normal college experience—going to class with friends, eating in the dining hall, and seeing friends and classmates in person—is changing, Veronica Carey, PhD, the assistant dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and associate clinical professor, organized a virtual mental health event for returning students. “It is important to offer support to students for impact of, not only entering into an unprecedented arena whereby there are decentralized academic operations for the immediate future, but also for fully addressing the effect for many other social locations such as payer of tuition, childcare provider, family member returning home, academic senior dealing with loss of formal graduations, etc.,” remarked Carey.

Screen shot of Ebony White, PhD, during a Zoom event for studentsSoliciting the assistance of fellow Counseling and Family Therapy faculty members, Ebony White, PhD, assistant clinical professor, and Stephanie Ewing, PhD, assistant professor, they provided a forum for learning and discussion and an opportunity to share, from an academic posture, how to balance aspects of life that we know will have impact upon scholastic achievement.

Screen shot of Stephanie Ewing, PhD, during a Zoom event for studentsThis thirty-minute zoom event was well attended and elicited important questions from students and tips from these experts. White lent her expertise around anxiety to the discussion. “I'm just going to focus on issues that may come up and offer strategies and tips to help navigate the less positive type of anxiety,” White noted. Ewing, a licensed clinical psychologist who teaches mostly graduate students will provide ideas for managing disparate obligations at home. “I really want to speak to how to balance competing demands in this really unprecedented time,” Ewing shared.

Screen shot of Veronica Carey, PhD, during a Zoom event for studentsCovering at-home supports, self-distancing without isolating, managing classes, healthy eating, working in high-risk areas and many other topics, these faculty members started something very important. “It is frightening, frustrating and sad,” acknowledged Carey. “And yet, at CNHP, we are all somehow trained and involved in healthcare-related fields. We continue to teach, learn and serve in these fields in the midst of this current reality,” she furthered. Because of the loss of life and threat to life has resulted in other losses including social engagement, physical contact, and a disruption to school, work, and home, it is important to know these signs, identify effective coping skills, and have resources to refer to if more support is needed. “Let’s come together to think and discuss ways that we can try to help ourselves and those we work with, live with and care about during these difficult times,” Carey concluded.

Click here to watch the recorded session.

Screen shot of Drexel Counseling Center's contact information


2020 People of Purpose Honorees standing in a group with Dean Laura N. Gitlin, PhDBy Autumn Wells '23

On Thursday, February 20, the 2020 People of Purpose were honored for their outstanding demonstration of purpose and service in their daily lives. This is the second year that the College has chosen People of Purpose.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions set out to tell the College’s “story” in 2018 by honoring the extraordinary lives of their students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners. “This project is an important way by which we seek to celebrate and lift up that sense of service and caring and make it a more visible part of our culture,” Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions said as she welcomed more than 80 guests to the 2020 People of Purpose event.

“Having a sense of purpose is good news for all us,” she added. “As a researcher in the field of aging and health, I can tell you that the evidence is strong: having a sense of purpose is linked to very important positive mental health and physical health outcomes including greater longevity. A sense of purpose helps people to live better and longer.” Gitlin then introduced this year's People of Purpose who include the College's faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners.

Roberta Perry—the assistant director of marketing and communications at the College and project manager—chose to rely on the words of a great author to pass on her message. “Mark Twain said that the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” Perry, shared why individuals were being recognized for the efforts they have put forth, and it only seemed fitting to use a quote that so aptly described the importance of finding the meaning of life. She added “what a blessing it is to have these individuals who figure this out so early in their lives as part of the college community.”

People of Purpose honoree Marcia Penn standing next to her storyChosen for her story of overcoming cancer and dedicating her life to helping others do the same, director of special projects and executive assistant, Marcia Penn, gave the closing speech. She discussed her 1999 cancer diagnosis and the treatment process she went through: a lumpectomy, four rounds of chemotherapy, and 30 days of radiation. She had a two-year-old son at the time and knew that she needed to be there for him. “I surely experienced some pain and suffering,” said Penn, “but because of a loving family, caring colleagues, and a great medical team, I can stand here 20 years later, continue telling my story, and be part of a new cancer impact initiative here at the College of Nursing and Health Professions.”

“I have been touched by the lives of others through my experiences, and helping others has become my purpose every day,” Penn continued.

The three main goals for this project are 1) tell the story of CNHP, 2) focus on who CNHP is and the incredible things they are doing, and 3) support the strategic goals of the College. Writers Jack Croft and John Beilenson from SCP, Peggy Peterson Photography and Lynn Clouser, director of the Drexel Collection, helped capture and display the stories and photos of the People that best represented purpose.

The 2019 and 2020 People of Purpose and their stories are displayed on the walls of the tenth and sixth floors of the College located at 1601 Cherry Street. The exhibition is open to all during business hours. The information is also available online.People of Purpose honoree Margaret Finley looking at her story hanging on the wall

Autumn Wells is a first-year student and is studying communications. This article first appeared in the Triangle on February 29, 2020.

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