Monday, April 17, 2017

2017 PT Admitted Student Day

Katie Solon, Kim Levenhagen, the Billiken, Maddy Cordier, & Alison Alexander
The Program in Physical Therapy at Saint Louis University hosted admitted students and their families during PT Admitted Student Day on Friday, April 7, 2017. PT Admitted Student Day is a special opportunity for students to become acquainted with SLU’s exceptional Program in Physical Therapy.
Admitted students who came to the event had an opportunity to meet many of their future classmates and speak with a panel of current PT students. We consider our current students to be ambassadors for the progam as they volunteer their time to discuss their experiences of the program and the university with visiting students and their families.
Jared Roznowski, Natalie Wright, Ben Modde, Caroline Sauer, Niamh Ryan, & Lauren Foster

Jared Roznowski, Natalie Wright, Ben Modde, Caroline Sauer, Niamh Ryan, & Lauren Foster
Admitted students and their families learned about SLU’s unique six-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) curriculum, including the interprofessional education, clinical education, and faculty research that set SLU apart from other colleges.
Megan Gilbert, Elanna Arhos, Mike Gentile, Simone Romero, Rochelle Reyes, & Anthony Lorenger

Megan Gilbert, Elanna Arhos, Mike Gentile, Simone Romero, Rochelle Reyes, & Anthony Lorenger
While at the event, our student ambassadors gave tours of the Program in Physical Therapy’s facilities at SLU's South Campus. This included a look inside our labs as well as an opportunity to see our PY2 students preparing for their practical exams.
Student Ambassador Rochelle Reyes with the Billiken
All had an opportunity to engage with their future professors and future classmates at the reception following the event. Representatives from Financial Aid, the Office of Admission, and several other SLU organizations were also available to answer questions they may have had. Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time to make this day happen.

We feel that SLU is a fantastic place to learn, be involved, make friends, and achieve your goals. We can't wait to see you again this fall!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

SLU PT StuCo Raises Money for Relay For Life

On Saturday, April 1st, SLU PT StuCo and others from the Saint Louis University community fought back against a disease that affects everyone in some way - cancer. More than $139,000 was raised by SLU Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society, with StuCo raising $1,396. All of the proceeds raised by Relay for Life go to the American Cancer Society in order to fund a nationwide cause to put an end to cancer.
Anthony Lorenger and Clarine Stephens with other members of the Event Leadership Team
SLU PT Students Anthony Lorenger (DPT Class of 2022) and Clarine Stephens (DPT Class of 2019) were part of the Event Leadership team and on the same committee that helped coordinate Saturday's event. This is the 14th year for Relay on SLU's campus. Over the years, Saint Louis University has raised more than $1.9 million as part of this fundraiser, benefitting cancer research, patient care, recovery programs, education and more. Funds even help our local community. We have the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in St. Louis, which provides free lodging and transportation to cancer patients and their care givers while they are in treatment.
Anthony Lorenger (left) pictured with fellow cancer survivors Justyna and Dean.
"Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back." SLU's Relay for Life event takes time to celebrate those who have been affected by cancer, remember those we've lost, and motivate others to finish strong. During the Fight Back Ceremony, Anthony shared his story as a survivor during his speech.

Thank you to all who particiapted and donated.

Visit the PT Stuco Relay for Life Team Page to make a donation.

Are you a survivor or know a cancer survivor? Email

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

SLU PT Study Abroad Opportunity - Madrid, Spain

Say Yes and Make Madrid Your Campus
by Jamie Brew, DPT Class of 2020

I chose to study in Madrid for multiple reasons. Logistically, it made the most sense financially as well as in terms of guaranteeing class credits. I also chose Madrid because I knew going to study abroad was already stepping outside of my comfort zone, but having people that I knew there with me would definitely help with my adjustment to living abroad. Having taken Spanish since the fifth grade also played a role in my decision.

I had talked to many students who had studied in Madrid before, so I thought I had a pretty good idea of how the semester would go. I knew I would be traveling a lot, and I also knew that I was going to have to say “yes” to a lot more things, whether it be to food or even just an event I wouldn’t normally want to go to. Before leaving, I was both excited and nervous. I was excited to get the chance to travel, but nervous about staying with a host family and not being able to communicate very well. I also didn’t know who half of the girls that I would be living with were, so that added to my anxiety about it.
Catedral de Almudena
Going into abroad, I had mostly envisioned myself traveling outside of Spain a lot. What really surprised me was how much I grew to love Madrid. There were weekends that I would dread traveling because I wanted to be able to explore more of Madrid or spend more time with my host parents. I had done some research on the Spanish culture, so I can’t say that I was incredibly surprised by my interactions with the locals. Of anything, I wished I had interacted even more than them, although it is tough when my Spanish vocabulary is just not as large as I would like. The culture is really something to embrace. It is much more laid back than here in the States (you also learn to call America “the States”), and just overall a very different lifestyle that I feel very fortunate to have embraced.

Trying to think of the most impressive thing I saw is very difficult, because there was not a single thing that I thought, “yeah, I’m not really that impressed”. Major spots in Madrid are Palacio Real, Catedral de La Almudena, Parque del Retiro, Temple of Debod, Museo del Prado, Plaza de Mayor and Mercado de San Miguel. Each of these places are so unique to Madrid, and visiting these really enhances the cultural experience.
Palacio Real
A famous plate in Spain is paella, a rice and chicken or seafood mix. Personally, I was not a huge fan of paella (no offense to Maria, my host mom), but everyone seemed to love it there. You can get it almost anywhere, usually served in a massive pan. My host mom couldn’t even cook it on our stovetop, she had to bring in a separate appliance to cook it.

While studying in Madrid, I was able to observe a physical therapist, Susie, who was also a dance teacher at SLU Madrid. She hosted three seminars throughout the semester that any student could sign up for, although many did not know about this opportunity. Her seminars were focused on ankle sprains, patellar tendinitis, and epicondylitis (golf elbow). In these seminars, Susie first discussed the anatomy associated with the theme for the day, and then either had us look at her patient or work on each other to understand how to best treat it. This was a very unique experience, and I highly recommend to any PT students going to study abroad to ask about this the very first week so that they can work it in their schedules to attend.
Real Madrid game at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Another unique opportunity offered when studying abroad in Madrid is the host family experience. Rather than living in a form of campus housing or finding your own apartment to lease, you can choose to stay with a Spanish family who can cook and clean for you. Other than relying on them for chores, I was also able to form an incredibly special bond to my host parents which really aided in being more immersed in the culture and making Madrid feel like home.
Me and my host parents, Maria y Luis
This is one of several posts featuring SLU PT Student study abroad experiences. Because of its unique format, the SLU PT program gives students the ability to study abroad the fall of their junior year. For more information about study abroad experiences at SLU go to:

Monday, April 10, 2017

SLU PT Students Learn Aquatic Therapy Techniques During Splish Splash Bash

On Saturday, April 8th, 2017, Diane Richter, PT, of Anderson Hospital Outpatient Therapy demonstrated various aquatic therapy techniques to our DPT students. Splish Splash Bash took place at the pool at the Simon Recreation Center on SLU’s campus.

Aquatic therapy refers to treatment in water for physical rehabilitation. The techniques can be used to treat neurological conditions, musculoskeletal disorders, and disabilities, to name a few. The students reviewed the physiological effects different water properties can have on a person’s body. Diane Richter also taught them various types of water exercise suitable for both deep and shallow water.

Thank you to Diane Richter, PT and SLU PT StuCo for an engaging and rewarding experience!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

SLU PT Alumni Spotlight - Lori Tuttle, PT, PhD

SLU PT Alumni Spotlight - Lori Tuttle, PT, PhD

Assistant Professor
Hometown: Springfield, IL
Current City: San Diego, CA

SLU PT Class of 2004

Interests, Activities, Clubs, and Professional Organizations: 
Women's Health, Acute Care, APTA, American Urogynecology Association

If you could come back to SLU and teach a class, which class would you like to teach?

Probably Exercise Physiology--it had such an impact on my patient care when I practiced in Acute Care.

What was the most valuable lesson — inside or outside the classroom — you learned at SLU?

I learned that getting every question right on an exam isn't what makes you a good PT; your ability to connect with your patients and communicate with them is what will be more important than book knowledge.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

Being chosen as the Most Influential Faculty Member for the DPT graduating class of 2016 at San Diego State has been the highlight so far. It made me feel like I had made a connection with my students and that I would ultimately have an impact on clinical practice through them.

What advice do you have for students getting ready to graduate with their DPT?

I think it's important to be open to new opportunities that evolve in your practice--when I started out in PT school, I never would have predicted that I would love both Acute Care and Women's Health. Had I been closed-minded, I would have missed out on work that I love.

You can learn more about Dr. Tuttle's accomplishments here. Lori just received a fantastic score on an NIH R01 grant (score = 21, 9th percentile -- better than 91% of the applications submitted). This means it is very likely to get funded. Her project is called "An Innovative Rehabilitation Approach for Women with Anal Incontinence". It's a 5-year study with a $2.5 million budget. We couldn't be more proud of her. This is VERY hard to do!

This is one of several posts featuring SLU PT Alumni experiences. The Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy wants to recognize the exciting and innovative things our alumni are doing, here in St. Louis and around the world. For more information for and about SLU alumni experiences go to:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

2017 Irma Ruebling Distinguished Speaker Series

Lynn Snyder-Mackler, PT, ATC, ScD, FAPTA, was the featured speaker at the 2017 Irma Ruebling Distinguished Speaker Series hosted by the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy. Dr. Snyder-Mackler gave her presentation, That’s Eureka Redux: Training Rehabilitation Clinician-Scientists, on Thursday, March 23 from 5:30 – 7 PM in the Allied Health Building Room 1043 on Saint Louis University’s South Campus.

Dr. Gretchen Salsich, Dr. Lynn Snyder-Mackler, and Dr. Tricia Austin
Dr. Snyder-Mackler is an internationally recognized clinician and clinical researcher in sports and orthopedic rehabilitation. She is a board-certified physical therapist who maintains an active sports physical therapy practice and the University of Delaware and serves as a rehabilitation consultant to collegiate, amateur and professional teams. Dr. Snyder-Mackler served as Head Athletic Trainer for the beach volleyball venue at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga. She concentrates her clinical practice and research in the areas of knee and shoulder rehabilitation and electrical stimulation of muscle; she has authored over 200 research publications and regularly speaks to national and international audiences about these topics. Dr. Snyder-Mackler’s research has earned her several major awards. Perhaps most notably, Dr. Snyder-Mackler was named the American Physical Therapy Association Mary McMillan Lecturer for 2015 – the association’s highest honor.

Dr. Lynn Snyder-Mackler with Irma Ruebling, former SLU PT chairperson
The Irma Ruebling Distinguished Speaker Series is named in honor of Irma Ruebling – former chairperson of the Program in Physical Therapy. Ruebling had a vision to bring nationally renowned speakers to Saint Louis University to present current physical therapy scholarship and how it relates to clinical practice. In addition to meeting with faculty and clinicians in the community, each year’s distinguished speaker leads a question-and-answer session with the Doctor of Physical Therapy students.
Dr. Ginge Kettenbach and Dr. Dave Gutekunst
Saint Louis University Assistant Professor in Physical Therapy Dave Gutekunst, MS, PhD, was very excited to have Dr. Snyder-Mackler as the featured speaker at the Irma Ruebling Distinguished Speaker Series.

“Dr. Snyder-Mackler is a leader in physical therapy and rehabilitation sciences – in every sense of the word,” Dr. Gutekunst said. “She is a highly respected clinician, a highly successful research scientist and a very thoughtful, engaging speaker who advocates for patients and clinicians alike.”

Dr. Gutekunst went on to explain that students from any discipline stood to gain insight from attending the lecture.

“Whether a student is a budding scientist interested in learning about cutting-edge research, a future clinician curious about how a clinician-scientist successfully balances practice with research or merely an engaged citizen who wants to know how scientific evidence informs medical care, there will be something for everyone,” Dr. Gutekunst said. “The Ruebling Distinguished Speaker event is something that all members of the SLU community can be proud to host.”

During the evening, we also recognized new Irma Ruebling Endowed Research Fund awardees: Dr. Ann Hayes, Dr. Gretchen Salsich, and Dr. Chris Sebelski.

Dr. Gretchen Salsich and Dr. Lynn Snyder-Mackler

Program in Physical Therapy students in their first and second professional years attended the lecture. Additionally, alumni and clinicians from the St. Louis Metro area attended for the CEU credits.

Dr. Tony Breitbach, Dr. Mike Markee, and Dr. Jason Bennett

Dr. Kim Levenhagen and Dr. Gretchen Salsich
Special thanks to our Research Committee, Department of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training:
Kitty Newsham, PhD, ATC, Chair
Dave Gutekunst, PhD 
Gretchen Salsich, PT, PhD 
Chris Sebelski, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, CSCS

Photos by Erica Mullikin

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SLU PT Study Abroad Opportunity - Rome, Italy

When in Rome...
by Richard Guillen, DPT Class of 2020

I chose to study in Rome because I did not want my abroad experience to happen in a populous city like Madrid. Rome is filled with history, from the center of the Roman Empire to the center of Catholicism, I thought I was getting the biggest bang for my buck by study in Rome. The food also played a HUGE factor in my decision because Italian food is my absolute favorite of all time. 
I was expected Rome to be this ancient classy city. I was also expecting everyone to be super stylish, like straight out of a Vogue magazine. I remember searching up videos about traveling in Rome and the best places to go sight-seeing and best places to eat. I was super excited about going to Rome because I have never been to Europe before or ever traveled to another country alone. In the weeks leading up to my departure, I became very nervous and started to rethink my decision to study abroad. I became super nervous about not being able to make friends and having to spend my semester abroad alone in another country. 

One thing that surprised me the most about Rome was that it is, what I describe it as, a city stopped in time. What I mean by this is that the city has chosen to stay very close to its ancient ties while failing to modernize itself. It is still amazing to see ancient ruins near modern buildings. One thing I learned about Italians, more like Romans, is that they are extremely laid back. There is no rush for anything in the city and it reflects in their public transportation system. 
Some of the monuments that I saw that amazed me the most was the Vatican, the different basilicas, and the colosseum. The Vatican is its own country that is located in the center of Rome and holds St. Peter’s basilica. The basilica looks incredible from the outside and even better on the inside. There is so much detail put into every square inch of the basilica. I was lucky enough to go to several masses in the Vatican and inside the basilica. One of my favorite memories is being able to go to the papal audience and see Pope Francis a few rows away. The colosseum is this huge arena where citizens of Rome would gather to see gladiators fight to the death. Walking into the colosseum felt like going back in time and I was amazed at the details and the structure itself. 
If you go to Italy and not eat the pasta, then you are doing it wrong! My favorite food in Rome by far was the pasta, specifically the pasta Carbonara. I also loved how Italians eat their meals in courses, usually 4 courses. They consist of antipasti, la prima, il secondo, and il dolce. I would have to tell myself that this was a marathon and not a sprint whenever we were given a 4 course meal. There was this one time when I was out at a restaurant with friends and I was mistaken as Italian (which I love when that happens). After we ordered, the waitress approached me and started speaking really fast Italian and I had no idea what was happening. I was able to pick out some Italian words that I understood and from those words I understood that she was telling me that my dish was sold out and I had to order something else. I spat out the name of a random dish that I knew and that was that. When the waitress returned with our dishes, received my original pasta dish and were left with an extra pasta dish that no one had ordered. After talking to the waitress and manager we found out that what my friend had ordered, a caprese salad, was sold out and I basically ordered for her. That is what happens when I become too stubborn to tell someone that I am not Italian and do not understand what you are saying. 
I was lucky to make friends with some of the Swiss Guards that protect the Vatican and the Pope. I became friends with them through the director of campus ministry on campus. They were able to give us a private tour of their barracks and St. Peter’s Basilica. After the tour, my friends and I got the chance to sit down with the Swiss Guards and talk about our different cultures over food and drinks. They seemed to know a lot about American pop culture, including music and movies.
The John Felice Rome Center, which was the university I was attending in Rome, did not have any opportunities for me clinically. Most of the internships or opportunities were more social service based rather than medical based. I did get the chance to serve food to the homeless population at the Vatican and also was involved in a neighborhood cleanup in the Balduina neighborhood. 
If you are looking for clinical experience, then this program might not be for you. If you are, however, looking for the opportunity to meet people who are not from SLU, eat great food, and be immersed in a culture that is completely different than yours, then I recommend this to you. I was the only PT student from my class to study abroad in Rome, so I was given the opportunity to branch out and meet tons of new people from different universities and from SLU and made lasting friendships. The University is also situated in a residential neighborhood, so you have the chance to experience how Romans live, shop, and travel within the city by having fun adventure on public transportation. I would not trade the experience that I had for any other one.

This is one of several posts featuring SLU PT Student study abroad experiences. Because of its unique format, the SLU PT program gives students the ability to study abroad the fall of their junior year. For more information about study abroad experiences at SLU go to: