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Wayne State University

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program News • Fall 2020

Program director's note

Kristina ReidAs the uncertainties brought about by the coronavirus and these unprecedented times have hit our homes, communities and campus, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Wayne State University has stepped up to meet the challenges.

I am extremely proud of the hard work, compassion and thoughtfulness that our PT faculty demonstrated as we quickly transitioned our courses online in March. The creativity, diligence and innovation truly were impressive.

We quickly mobilized to secure PPE and reorganize our curriculum, shifting courses that could be taught online to the spring semester and shifting hands-on labs to later dates, once permitted by the university’s safety guidelines.

This newsletter offers a few highlights of our faculty’s inspiring work and experiences as we adjusted to remote learning, changes in our research abilities, and the challenges and successes along the way.

I must also recognize and thank our DPT students. With all the uncertainty, they remained patient, flexible and understanding. Our students are a strong group of individuals who juggle academics, families, work and volunteerism. As they adjusted to remote learning, they continued to inspire us and contribute in positive ways — from helping supply local homeless shelters with PPE to contributing to APTA publications.

We are looking forward to safely continuing learning on campus. As always, we are Warrior Strong, and now we are also Warrior Safe.

Kristina R. Reid, PT, MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Director
Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Wayne State University

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Clinical education director's note

Martha SchillerWe would like to thank each and every clinical educator and clinical instructor who has worked with our WSU students during this ongoing and evolving pandemic time. Amidst the many changes, cancellations and reschedules all graduating students have been successfully placed for their terminal clinical experiences and are on track to graduate in December 2020. Thanks to all of you.

Our first-year students are completing their first rescheduled clinical experience in a new one-week format. Six of the 38 students participated in a new Junior/Senior Student Collaborative Model, working with their CI and a senior SPT on their first terminal clinical experience. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive from students and clinical instructors. We will be evaluating this model for future use in the clinical education curriculum at WSU. 

Our second-year students had their six-week clinical experiences canceled for both the spring and summer semesters. They are all being rescheduled to November following a fall remediation to make up classes and labs to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to successfully complete this clinical experience. 

The Level 1 APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program (CCIP) that I was scheduled to teach in November at the University of Michigan–Flint with Dr. Karen Berg, PT, was canceled by APTA. We are now looking to provide the online format, once available and approved by APTA. In the meantime, we have rescheduled this Level 1 CCIP Course for May 6-7, 2021, at Wayne State University. WSU will provide 10 scholarships for CIs who have taken or are planning on taking WSU students (at the APTA member price). Email me if you are interested! A Level 2 CCIP course is being planned for November 2021. 

Martha Schiller, PT, DPT, MSA, C/NDT
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Director of Clinical Education
Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Wayne State University

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Pivoting during a pandemic: How the coronavirus has affected faculty

Recently, members of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program faculty participated in a Q&A to give insight into how their professional and personal lives have been impacted by the pandemic — including a few silver linings.  

Nora Fritz

Sara Maher

Nora Fritz
Assistant Professor
Sara Maher
Health Care Sciences Chair
Associate Clinical Professor

Andrew Moul

Mary Eve Pepin

Andrew Moul
Assistant Clinical Professor
Marie Eve Pepin
Assistant Clinical Professor

Kristina Reid

Joseph Roche

Kristina Reid
Program Director
Assistant Clinical Professor 
Joseph A. Roche
Associate Professor

Improving health care for LGBTQ and other underrepresented populations

As the first openly transgender person accepted into Wayne State’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, Haley Boccomino (whose pronouns are they/them) hopes to help educate fellow future medical professionals and ensure improved care for transgender patients. In fact, Boccomino aims to ensure that everyone — regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity or socioeconomic status — receives the care they need. Their effort is now being funded in part through a Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Dean’s Endowed Recruitment Scholarship. Read about Haley here, and don't miss their APTA blog post, "Five ways to be an LGBTQ patient ally."

Haley Boccomino scholarship winner

Haley is one of 23 Wayne State physical therapy students who were honored with scholarships in 2020. 

Gallery of scholarship winners

More news

PT Prof. Joseph Roche and OT wife Renuka publish high-impact research on COVID-19 treatment possibility

Collaborative Wayne State PT student research project first to examine music’s effect on electromyographic fatigue threshold

2019 Wayne State physical therapy graduate Kristen Robertson steps up to COVID-19 front lines

APTA podcast series on diversity in the physical therapy profession features Wayne State students, alumni and faculty

Prof. Nora Fritz leads development of clinical physical therapy recommendations for Huntington disease

Book edited by PT Prof. Moh Malek sells over 39,500 copies

Moh Malek leading statistics workshop in Graduate School's professional development series

Student Bana Odeh published on physical therapy specific to Muslims in APTA Pulse blog

Prof. Andrew Moul leads DPT program efforts to support local sled hockey team

Alum Mark Mitchell '13 on physical therapy's role in COVID-19 recovery

Physical therapy alumna Mahtab Koochaki part of teen's major recovery at RIM

Michael Fowler one of 15 students nationwide chosen for AOPT mentorship program

Hanna Alzoubi selected as MPTA Federal Advocacy Student Liaison

DPT students Aya Abusalah and Mario Suarez win Mary Free Bed Minority Scholarship

Student Abby Skallerud chosen as APTA student liaison for Michigan

Interprofessional education sessions at WSU Applebaum bridge health disciplines for students

Community Homeless Interprofessional Program (CHIP) bridges gap between classroom and real-world experience

Share your news and updates

If you have news of your own to share or just want to say hello, please get in touch! We'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to email Kristina Reid directly at You can also update your alumni record online to make sure we have your most up-to-date contact information for future newsletters.