Trine faculty, students present at national physical therapy conference

March 27, 2023

SAN DIEGO — Faculty and students from Trine University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program presented research at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Combined Sections Meeting, held in San Diego late last month.

The Trine group presented or co-presented two educational sessions lasting two hours each, one  platform presentation and six research posters at the nation’s largest physical therapy conference.

One of the posters, “Would You Do PT School over Again? Impact of Student Loan Debt on Physical Therapists,” earned an American Physical Therapy Association Academy of Leadership & Innovation blue ribbon from the Global Health Special Interest Group for Social Responsibility.

Trine faculty Tricia L. Widenhoefer, PT, DPT, MS, and Steven Sullivan, PT, DPT, MBA, and student Taylor Jenkins were co-authors of that poster.

Educational sessions and platform presentation

Trine faculty Jenna Encheff, PT, PhD, Nicole Walter, PT, and Widenhoefer presented an educational session on “Blood Flow Restriction Training: Applications in the Neurologic Population.” The session provided an introduction to the use of blood flow restriction training in people with neurologic conditions. 

Another Trine faculty member, Jodi Sandvik PT, DPT, ATC, DSc, was part of a session on “State of the Research: Clinical Application of Outcome and Performance Measures in Special Populations.” The session discusses research into health and performance assessments in special populations.

Faculty Ryan Dombkowski, PhD, and Max Baumgartner, PT, PhD, along with students Hans Baumgartner, Colin Brockhouse, Jacob Bickel, Ethan Flynn and Noah Recker gave a platform presentation on “Do Light Plyometric Exercises Increase Plantar Flexion Strength in Patients after Achilles Surgery?” Their research showed that low-intensity plyometric exercises resulted in increased ankle extension following Achilles tendon surgery.

Research posters

In addition to their blue ribbon poster, Sullivan, Widenhofer and Jenkins also presented a poster on “Would you do PTA school again? Impact of student loan debt on physical therapist assistants.”

Sullivan and Widenhofer also co-presented a poster on “Personal and Professional Impacts of Student Loan Debt on Physical Therapists and Physical Therapists Assistants.”

The other research posters were:

  • Encheff, Walter and students Brendan Werstine, Kyle Foerg, Joseph Bodovetz and Nicole Chatterson: “Blood Flow Restriction Effects on Muscle Activation during Robotic Ambulation in Patients with SCI.”
  • Sandvik, with students Kelsi Warfield, Morgan Smith, Lindee Kaldahl and Ethel Taylor: “Establishing Balance Norms for Individuals with Visual Impairments.”
  • Faculty member Thomas Almonroeder, DPT, PhD, co-presented “Impact Forces for the First and Second Landings of a Drop Vertical Jump Following ACL Reconstruction.”

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