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Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Wayne State University
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Wayne State University
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
2021 in review

Letter from the program director

Wayne State University continues to modify, adapt and persevere with the nation and world as we navigate the changes and challenges that have come with the pandemic. Through it all, we have remained productive, in class (online and in person), and on track. Although we greet each other in the halls with nods instead of visible smiles (that you can’t see through our masks), we are still at work.

We are pleased to announce the promotion of several of our faculty. Dr. Vicky Pardo to Associate Professor (Clinical), Dr. Nora Fritz to Associate Professor and Tenured, and Dr. Moh Malek to Full Professor (Tenure). All of our faculty have been diligently at work, bringing learning back to our building for in-person classes and labs, and finding a balance for those lectures that remain online. At times it seems like a juggling, act on a tight ropes with a few rings to walk through – but the faculty hear at WSU have the talent and expertise to accomplish it all. We are fortunate.

As restrictions relax, we have been able to see the return of clinical research as our subjects are able to come to the building for in-person data collection. We do all we can do to keep them safe, and are so happy to see them and appreciate all they to for WSU. We are very proud of the efforts of both our tenure and clinical faculty as their work on grant submissions which did not take a pause during the pandemic. In addition to the many external and internal grants, two of our faculty were awarded NIH grants. Congratulations to both Dr. Nora Fritz and Dr. Joseph Roche.

Our students are not slowing down either. They were in attendance and showcasing their work at the recent APTA Michigan Fall Conference, held right here in our city of Detroit. In total our student research groups presented 4 Platforms and 7 Posters – job well done!!!

We were also able to sponsor a table at the conference to highlight our student’s service initiatives which ranged from the PT Day of service activities in the urban city of Detroit to our student-run pro bono clinic. After 18 months of closed doors, our SAY PT Clinic was able once again to welcome the uninsured and underinsured to receive PT services in person. We are continuing our telehealth program, which was started during COVID when we all transitioned to virtual care, once a week (Wednesdays) at this time.

The DPT Program would also like to thank all of our clinical faculty, instructors, proctors and guest speakers for all you have done and continue to do to carry our students from the classroom to the clinic. We are all Warrior Stronger with your help.

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

Clinical education director's note

2021 and 2020… These years have been like no others in terms of clinical education! Thank you to all of our clinical educators for your amazing support of our students and PT program during this ongoing pandemic. I know it has not been easy with the challenges that you encounter in the clinical environment day in and day out. I know as clinicians you may be tired and some even burned out with all the extra demands changes and uncertainties that you have faced. There have so many changes, cancels, reschedules, and then cancels even again. You have been resilient, as our students have needed to be, to adapt. The resilience, flexibility, adaptability and support of our clinical community have been fabulous! Because of you, all of our students in their terminal clinical experiences are on schedule to graduate without delay in December of 2021. Thank you!     

Thank you also for keeping me informed and connected to you and your sites as new policies have been implemented, especially regarding the COVID vaccinations. Important for all to know that all our WSU students had a mandate to be fully vaccinated by Aug 31. Flu vaccines are also required for all of our students.   

Many of you have been asking about the APTA Clinical Instructor Credentialing courses. I am so sorry that we had to cancel all the 2020 in-person courses. We did manage to do a virtual Level 1 on June 3-4, 2021, and I am thankful to Karen Berg from UM-Flint for embarking on this endeavor with me. I still recommend the in-person experience if you have an option, and we will be getting back to this in the Fall. Upcoming courses that I will be co-teaching include the Level 2 CCIP Nov 4-5 at UM-Flint and the Level 1 at Michigan Medicine (Dec 3-4). Please note that the Level 2 CCIP now replaces the Advanced CCIP. The program has been totally revamped and is much more clinically relevant, focusing on advanced clinical teaching, interprofessional collaborative practice, clinical reasoning, advocacy, and developing a clinical curriculum for your site. WSU offers course sponsorship for 6-10 CIs/course. Let me know if you are interested! CI Credentialing is not required but for sure recommended to enhance your CI skills. Our students and I are most appreciative of your commitment to ongoing professional development and life-long learning.  

SAVE THE DATE… May 18, 2022, for our Annual PT Symposium. Be on the lookout for out more details to come out in the winter semester.   

Thank you for your ongoing support of clinical education, our WSU students and our PT program … all truly appreciated! 

With immense gratitude,

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

A minute with Dr. Nora Fritz

Dr. Nora Fritz is an associate professor of physical therapy in the Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, associate professor of neurology in the WSU School of Medicine, and director of the WSU Applebaum Neuroimaging and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory

Over the past year, you have experienced major life and work successes. Tell us about them.

Most exciting, we welcomed our second daughter in November 2020 right in the midst of the pandemic. Shortly after she arrived, I learned my tenure and promotion had been approved. On the heels of this announcement was notice of a nomination and subsequent awarding of the WSU Applebaum Excellence in Teaching Award. Receiving this award was an incredible honor. I consider myself to be primarily a researcher, so to be recognized for my teaching is very meaningful, particularly given the shift to virtual teaching.

Related Q&A: Dr. Fritz on teaching

In late July 2021, I received the notice of award for my first NIH R01 grant. Finally, at the October APTA-Michigan meeting, I was honored with the Richard E. Darnell Research Award, which recognizes my contributions to PT research. The recognition for my research is both incredibly humbling and thrilling, as I have been working hard to build this work over the past 6 years at WSU.

Related podcasts: Dr. Fritz on multiple sclerosis

How do you achieve work-life balance — before the pandemic and during current conditions?

Over the past 2 years, I’ve had the work-life balance conversation with many colleagues around the world, as we navigated the challenges of a global pandemic, closure of schools and childcare centers, and the transition to virtual teaching and research. The short answer is, it’s not easy. The long answer is that none of the achievements I mentioned would have been possible without my The Fritz girls

Dr. Fritz’s two daughters, ages 1 and 3
Photo by PT faculty member Jennifer Dickson

incredibly supportive husband and family, my amazing students and mentees, and my truly amazing coworkers and collaborators. All of these individuals help me to maintain balance between work and family time, especially my kids, since littles demand a set schedule, so they keep me on track! Even pre-pandemic, I tried to limit how much I work in the evenings and weekends to reserve that time for family. This became even more important when we were working from home where the line between work and home was blurred.

Meet our 2021 PT student scholarship winners!

Meet our 2021 physical therapy student scholarship winners

More news

DPT graduate Bana Odeh '21 aims for inclusivity alongside her degree

Board of Governors recognizes physical therapy professor Joseph A. Roche for contributions to COVID-19 research

Happily ever after: Nemo and Stacey Niemiec secured more than degrees at WSU Applebaum

Recent PT grad Lyndsey Crosbie ’20 builds advocacy for her new industry

Wayne State dance and physical therapy students collaborate to develop dancer wellness screenings

Dr. Sara F. Maher appointed interim associate dean for health sciences

Dr. Moh Malek earns Century Citation Club honor, lecture invitations, promotion

Instagram takeover: A day in the life of a Wayne State Doctor of Physical Therapy student

WATCH: Sara Maher on creating a healthy home office

Dr. Brian Cummings steps into role as WSU Applebaum dean

Healthline: Dr. Joseph Roche quoted in WHO long COVID definition story

Deadline Detroit: Top-of-their-class Mumford grads (and twins!) are ready for WSU Applebaum

APTA: Student Bana Odeh on the PT profession's adaptation to COVID v. minority accommodations

SEEN Magazine: How Drs. Joseph and Renuka Roche pinpointed a potential COVID-19 treatment

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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.