Students Screen Elderly Homes for Safety

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Next Thursday, Chatham University Doctor in Physical Therapy students will be honored during the Fred Rogers Good Neighbor Day awards program sponsored by the United Way of Allegheny County.

This year, 22 students participated in an academic service learning project in support of the United Way’s Open Your Heart to a Senior program.  Doctor of Physical Therapy students volunteered 330 hours to conducting home safety checks for seniors in the region.

Students screened homes for potential fall and fire hazards, provision/installation of small safety equipment such as smoke alarms, batteries, rubber bath mats, baking soda, emergency information, and made recommendations for larger projects to further reduce safety risks for seniors.

Pic of students in Fred Rogers' cardigan sweaters courtesy of Chatham University
Pic of students in Fred Rogers’ cardigan sweaters courtesy of Chatham University


“The project provides a valuable service, but also gives our students valuable insight into the everyday lives of seniors, a critical opportunity for future work as physical therapists,” said Judith A. Traister, PT, DPT, Director of Clinical Education (DCE) at Chatham University.

March 20, 2014 is Fred Rogers’ birthday, a date chosen by the United Way to honor outstanding work that carries out Mr. Rogers philosophy on being a good neighbor. The event is the 4th annual Fred Rogers Good Neighbor Day. Other Pittsburgh organizations honored will include Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, Inc., First Niagara Financial Group

Highmark, Lunova Group, Pittsburgh Steelers Sports, Inc., Schneider Downs & Company, Inc., UPMC, The Williams Companies, Inc., and Port Authority of Allegheny County/A.T.U. Local 85.

As an integral part of Chatham University, the Physical Therapy Program educates doctors of physical therapy who will advance the quality of human life through excellence in clinical practice. The Program educates autonomous practitioners who will meet the challenges of a dynamic health care environment and supports scholarly activity that bridges science and clinical practice.

Chatham University’s entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is a clinical doctorate degree designed to prepare its graduates for practice in physical therapy at the successful completion of seven terms of study. The DPT program stresses clinical decision-making through the study of patient problems typically encountered in the clinical setting. The problem-based learning curriculum presents physical therapy in an integrated manner organized around body systems. The curriculum stresses the importance of evidence-based practice and professionalism throughout the student’s learning experience.