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Chatham University Master of Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

News Highlights

Sawhney-Gough Clinical Excellence Scholarship Event

Chatham PT faculty 2018
Photo of Rajiv, Steve, Linda, and Joe
Pictured (L-R): Steve Gough, Linda Thompson, Joe Schreiber, and Raj Sawhney

On October 18, Chatham's DPT Program held its 2nd annual celebration for the Sawhney-Gough Clinical Excellence Scholarship. The scholarship, started by DPT alumni and faculty Raj Sawhney and Steve Gough in 2017, recognizes and provides financial assistance to a second year DPT student who is able to articulate and demonstrate the importance of clinical communication, professionalism, and service activities. We were fortunate to be joined by Chatham alum and former APTA Board of Directors member, Nicole Stout, who spoke very eloquently about why supporting Chatham DPT and this scholarship is important to her. 2018 scholarship recipient, Linda Thompson (DPT '18) also discussed the impact the scholarship has had on her education. Thank you to the numerous alumni and students who joined us for this celebration! We look forward to seeing you next year!

PPTA 2018 Presentations

Nicole Giannangeli Alar Ligament: A Systematic Review PPTA poster image

Chatham DPT student Nicole Giannangeli (DPT '18) had a poster presentation at PPTA conference concerning her student research project titled "The Alar Ligament: A Systematic Review." The review of the anatomy of the alar ligament found variations in its exact origin, structure, and insertion. These findings suggest that stress testing of the ligament include several variations of testing post injury and prior to upper cervical spine treatment.

PPTA poster Fisher Spear Withrow image

Students Erica Fisher, Amber Spear, and Athena Withrow (DPT '18) also presented their student research at conference, titled, "Efficacy of Graded Exercise in the Treatment of Post Concussion Syndrome in Adults: A Systematic Review." This systematic review found that while there still needs to be more research on graded exercise in the adult population, the positive outcomes participants experienced and the low number of adverse events suggest that adults with post-concussion syndrome can be treated safely and effectively with graded exercise.


The faculty of the DPT Program offered well wishes to the Class of 2018 as they marked the end of coursework at an annual gathering at Dr. Perry's home. The "Perry Patio Party" has been a long-standing tradition at Chatham's DPT Program. Faculty and students were able to relax and discuss things other than coursework! Students will spend the remainder of their Chatham DPT program working under the supervision of licensed physical therapists in several settings before returning for graduation. Best wishes on this new chapter of your training and we will see you in December for graduation!

Perry Patio Pool 2018


Belated congratulations to the Class of 2017!! The faculty at Chatham's DPT Program is excited for you and loves that we are hearing about you passing your board exam and joining us in this great profession!!

Several individuals were recognized during graduation with awards: Gordon Riddle, PT received the Clinician-Educator Award; Kirby Poisel received the Faculty Commendation Award; Jill Claassen received the Potential for Professional Excellence Award; and Ian Chronister the Peer Recognition award from her classmates. Congratulations to all and welcome to the physical therapy professional community!

DPT Class 2017 DecDPT Class 2017 Dec             DPT Class 2017 DecDPT Class 2017 Dec


Dr. Melissa Bednarek collaborated with De La Torre Orthotics and Prosthetics to help local women with amputations. This was a great experience for student volunteers and the women both!

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Chatham first year DPT students, along with faculty member Dr. Missy Criss, assisted Kaitlyn McCormick, PT, GCS with her staff education event at UPMC Seneca Place. The event took place on the first day of fall, which is Fall Prevention Awareness Day as promoted by the National Council on Aging. Students Kelsey Altman, Kristen Broadt, Madison Leiser, Brittany Santone, Evan Tyger, and Julie Van Horn helped lead staff members identifying environmental hazards in an unsafe room simulation, using glasses to alter vision so staff could experience the room as patients do, and in remembering how to place cushions and other adaptations on wheelchairs correctly. Their help was greatly appreciated and the staff educator at the facility loved it so much that she wants to make this event an annual mandatory training for staff! Well done!