Physical Therapy Faculty Program
Are you a physical therapy educator? Learn how to optimally teach your Parkinson’s curriculum to your students.
Help prepare the next generation of physical therapists to better care for the growing population of people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) through the Parkinson's Foundation’s Physical Therapy Faculty Program. Designed to improve physical therapy care in Parkinson’s, our train the trainer program teaches faculty leaders who can, in turn, educate physical therapy students. Program spaces are limited: only six (6) faculty accepted at each location.
Applications for Summer 2023 Program are closed.
Background & Goals
This progressive disease varies greatly with each person. Though symptoms vary, physical therapy has proven beneficial.
Research suggests that physical therapy and exercise can help people with Parkinson’s maintain and improve mobility and experience a better quality of life. For example, research has shown that physical therapy can help people with Parkinson’s experience improved gait, balance, aerobic conditioning, strength and general mobility.
Despite the clear benefits for people living with Parkinson’s, physical therapists (PTs) have reported to the Parkinson's Foundation the need for better training in the disease.
The intensive program allows physical therapy educators, who may not be up-to-date on Parkinson’s, immerse themselves in learning the latest evidence-based findings in Parkinson's research and care. Physical therapy educators can make a great impact on the lives of people with PD by bringing this knowledge back to their students, our future practitioners.
The Foundation launched the Physical Therapy Faculty Program after recognizing the need to improve future physical therapists’ education to meet the growing needs of people living with Parkinson’s. Faculty members are leading PT experts who are internationally recognized in the field of PD.
Training Dates & Locations
Part 1: Orientation & Online Self-Paced Course
Kick off the program by attending a brief orientation and viewing the Parkinson’s Foundation Physical Therapy Course. This self-paced course delivers practical, evidence-based content on effectively assessing and treating individuals with Parkinson's.
Monday, February 27 @ 4:00–4:30 PM EST: Live Virtual Orientation
Wednesday, March 1: Chapters 1 & 2 will be released (8 lessons total with an estimated seat time of 5.5 hrs).
Wednesday, April 5: Chapters 3 & 4 will be released (7 lessons total with an estimated seat time of 5.5 hrs).
While learning takes place at different paces, participants should plan to spend about 1 hour/week over 10 weeks to complete coursework in order to adhere to deadlines. Course must be completed prior to Part 2.
Part 2: Live Virtual Session #1
This is a live, virtual 90 min. session with the Host Coordinators from Boston University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Oregon Health & Science University, Parkinson Center of Oregon. This session will focus on curriculum updates and independent projects, as well as an opportunity for Q&A and a break-out session that will allow class cohorts to meet in preparation for the upcoming in-person program.
Wednesday, May 10 @ 3:00-4:30 PM EST
Part 3: In-Person Program
Travel to your host location for 2 full days of in-person, interactive sessions. Physical therapy educators will immerse themselves in assessments, case studies, curriculum development, and discussions with people with Parkinson’s, care partners, and interdisciplinary team members. Come prepared to share your current curriculum for feedback from hosts and fellow faculty.
Part 4: Independent Project w/Live Virtual Session #2
The Independent Project (IP) is included to give you the opportunity to update your curriculum with mentorship from your host coordinator. Projects are due within 3 months of completed coursework, and you are required to join a 90 min. live virtual call to share your IP with your cohort.
Monday, October 2 @ 3:30-5:00 PM EST
In-Person Program Locations
Thursday, June 1 - Friday, June 2
Oregon Health & Science University, Parkinson Center of Oregon
Faculty: Laurie King, PhD, PT, MCR and Fay Horak, PhD, PT, FAPTA
Wednesday, June 7 - Thursday, June, 8
Center for Neurorehabilitation at Boston University
Faculty: Terry Ellis, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Monday, June 26 - Tuesday, June 27
Washington University in St. Louis, Program in Physical Therapy
Faculty: Gammon Earhart, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Physical therapy faculty who complete all requirements of the Physical Therapy Faculty Program, including an independent project within six months will be eligible for a $2,000 stipend.
Participants receive a $2,000 stipend after completing all requirements, including an independent project. The program includes the independent project as a requirement to provide faculty with opportunities for self-directed learning and to contribute to a topic of their own interest to the field. The topic should be related to physical therapy education on Parkinson’s and/or care for people with Parkinson’s and their families. The program director and experts at the host sites will discuss projects with faculty and guide/mentor as needed.
There are no CCUs associated with this course.
We answer the most often asked Physical Therapy Faculty Program questions below, highlighting program information and how the program works. If you have additional questions, please contact HealthProfs@Parkinson.org.
Applying to the Program
Applications for Summer 2023 Program are closed.
Attending the Program
The Physical Therapy Faculty Program at the Parkinson's Foundation offers interactive trainings where physical therapy educators learn from the best in the field about Parkinson’s.
I found that contents in the Parkinson’s Foundation library were all in English. However, some of my Chinese patients living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area couldn’t understand the English materials. I decided to translate the library contents into Chinese.
Alumni Grant Opportunity