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October 2017 New Professional Spotlight: Christine Wellner, MPT, MPH

Posted By Seana M. Benting, Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Christine Wellner, MPT, MPH

What is your current work/academic setting?

Manager of acute care therapy at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute- Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

What are your professional accomplishments in the field of Physical Therapy?
As I worked on my Masters of Public Health I developed a passion for fall prevention. I have helped organize Fall Prevention day activities across CKRI the last several years and serve on multiple fall prevention committees, including the system wide Allina Health committee and the MHA fall prevention committee. I have also worked on expanding the offerings of Stepping On, a community based fall prevention program, throughout Allina and became a leader myself. I am also representing CKRI on Allina Health’s system wide work on improving care of the frail seniors and advocating for the role of physical therapy in the care of this population.

Why are you a member of MNPTA?
I really appreciate the continuing education courses offered by MNPTA. I have attended several over the years and have found them to be very applicable to my practice in the acute care setting. I also appreciate the advocacy they perform for our profession and promote the important role PT’s can play in the care of complex patients. 

How are you involved professionally?
I am a member of the geriatric and acute care sections. I will also be presenting a poster this year at CSM on the effectiveness of our Stepping On program in Allina Health.

What hobbies do you enjoy outside of the work place?
I love to cook and have friends over for dinner. Traveling and playing tennis are also hobbies of mine.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Machu Picchu- and I get to go later this year!

What song will make you get up and dance?
Pretty much any song by Beyoncé.

Tags:  Recognition  Spotlight  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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May 2017 Student Spotlight: Haley Monson, SPTA

Posted By Seana M. Benting, Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Haley Monson, SPTA

What is your current work/academic setting?

A second year PTA student at Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks, MN.

What are your professional accomplishments in the field of Physical Therapy?
I was awarded a national scholarship through HPA The Catalyst to attend CSM 2017 in San Antonio. The opportunity given to me allowed me to have a mentor as well as attend Health Policy and Administration lectures and the Board of Directors meeting.

I was privileged to present a research poster at CSM with my peers as well. The process of assisting with the research and presenting the information was an excellent opportunity for me to participate in the physical therapy field.

Why are you a member of MNPTA?
I decided to become a member of the MNPTA to network with more people who enjoy working and learning about the physical therapy field as much as I do. It also allows me access to information and research that's new and relevant to what is happening now in the field. It has given me the ability to be involved actively within our profession. 

How are you involved professionally?
I have been an active member of Northland's PTA club and participated in events such as Spin for Kids. I have also attended the HPA The Catalyst's Board of Directors meeting which gave me an inside look on how a national section is conducted.

What hobbies do you enjoy outside of the work place?
I enjoy reading, playing hockey, and spending time outdoors.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would travel to Washington, D.C. to see all of the memorials and the Smithsonian Museum.

What song will make you get up and dance?
Can't Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake.

Tags:  Recognition  Spotlight  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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April 2017 Student Spotlight: Andrea M. Hendricks, SPT

Posted By Seana M. Benting, Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Andrea M. Hendricks, SPT

What is your current work/academic setting?

I am a 2nd year DPT student at St. Catherine University.

What are your professional accomplishments in the field of Physical Therapy?
I spearheaded the opening of a student-run pro-bono clinic at the People’s Center in the Cedar neighborhood. The development of this clinic has been one of my dreams since the start of my DPT program and I have received amazing support from St. Kate’s faculty, classmates, and those at the People’s Center. I particularly want to thank one of my fellow classmates, Kyle Tasch for jumping on board with me on this project from the start. I couldn’t have pulled this off without him.

Why are you a member of MNPTA?
There are so many reasons, but what I have found most valuable are the continual opportunities to get connected with others in the profession that are as passionate about physical therapy as I am. 

How are you involved professionally?
At St. Kate’s I am an active member of the PT club’s volunteer section, and have had incredible experiences volunteering at MATTER packaging medical supplies, and the Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics, among others. 

 

I have been a fortunate attendee at the MNPTA’s committee on Health and Wellness meetings, and Student Conclave in 2016 and 2017. I participated in MNPTA’s 2017 legislative day on the hill, which sparked my love for state and federal advocacy. I am also a member of the APTA’s neurology, oncology, women’s health, and research sections, and the women’s health SSIG.

What hobbies do you enjoy outside of the work place?
Outside of class and clinical rotations, I enjoy yoga, anything that involves playing in the mountains, and travel.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
New Zealand. DPT graduation trip maybe?

What song will make you get up and dance?
Almost any song with a good beat will move me to dance (sometimes even ones I make up), but I cannot resist Two Step by Dave Matthews.

Tags:  Recognition  Spotlight  Student and Professional Spotlight 

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January 2017 Student Spotlight: Rose Goren, SPTA

Posted By Seana M. Benting, Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Rose Goren, SPTA

What is your current work/academic setting?

I am a student at St. Kate's with a current clinical rotation at Minnesota Masonic in Bloomington.

What are your professional accomplishments in the field of Physical Therapy?
I was awarded a scholarship through Mapworks in 2016, nominated by my faculty for the Mary McMillan scholarship in 2016, and am a current member of SSIG.

Why are you a member of MNPTA?
It is important to me to be active in our profession to help promote and advance it. MNPTA is a great way for me to stay connected with others and to be involved in our professional community. 

How are you involved professionally?
I hold the position of secretary in the MNPTA SSIG and am helping plan the 2017 student conclave. I enjoy being a liaison for PTA students at St. Kate's and Anoka Ramsey for various events. Currently, I am coordinating our PTA licensure exam prep course. I am also excited to begin taking part in the MNPTA health and wellness committee. 

What hobbies do you enjoy outside of the work place?
I enjoy being outdoors and my favorite activities include hiking, camping, and cross country skiing. I am an avid cook and love the creativity of making a meal with whatever I can find in my fridge. I recently taught myself how to knit and have found it makes a great pastime for long class lectures!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I have always had a fascination with Venice, so that will be my next travel destination.

What song will make you get up and dance?
Depending on my mood, either "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra or "Mouthful of Diamonds" by Phantogram.

Tags:  Recognition  Spotlight  Student and Professional Spotlight 

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December Professional Spotlight: John Borstad, PT, PhD

Posted By Seana M. Benting, Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2016

John Borstad, PT, PhD

What is your current work/academic setting?

Chair of the physical therapy department at the College of St Scholastica.


What are your professional accomplishments in the field of Physical Therapy?

Earning my PhD with Dr. Paula Ludewig at the University of Minnesota; Becoming a tenured faculty member at The Ohio State University and helping move that program into a top 10 ranking; Authoring three chapters in physical therapist education textbooks; Becoming a new editor of Therapeutic Exercise by Kisner and Colby, (and Borstad for edition 7); Training several PhD and MS students as a research advisor; Collaborating with Brazilian physical therapy colleagues on research projects.


Why are you a member of MNPTA?  

The physical therapy profession is incredible in its scope and purpose and I don't know of any PTs that do not believe our skills are vital to society's health and well-being. But there are many external forces resisting our ability to carry out our vision and we need our professional associations to be strong to protect and advocate for us and the patients we treat. Our associations do so much behind the scenes work on our behalf that I see it as a professional responsibility to be a member at the state and national levels.     

 

How are you involved professionally?

I do many manuscript and grant reviews as a big part of my service to the profession, as well as abstract reviews for our professional meetings like CSM. I currently chair the awards committee for the Biomechanics SIG of the Research Section and am on the Clinical Education Terminology Task Force. Prior to leaving Ohio, I was serving on the Continuing Education committee for the Ohio PTA and also doing pro bono physical therapy for under- and uninsured individuals.


What hobbies do you enjoy outside of the work place?

Running, Cooking, Reading, Puzzles, Travel, and Brewing.


If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?  

Definitely Scandinavia - specifically Norway and Finland.


What song will make you get up and dance?

There is no song that has that kind of power, but my wife Alex can persuade me in moments of weakness.

Tags:  Professional  Recognition  Spotlight 

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May Student Spotlight: Ryan Buus, SPT

Posted By Seana M. Benting, Monday, May 12, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
1. What is your current setting?
I am in the final stretches of my DPT program at the moment. My passion is in orthopaedics, however my most recent clinical was in acute care working mostly with cancer survivors and patients after planned orthopaedic surgeries. It was great to see this setting to gain a full perspective of the continuum of care. More importantly it was nice to experience how we as physical therapists approach patient care compared to other members of the health care team. 

2. What are some special interests/special accomplishments in your career?
I am very fortunate in the opportunities I have had in the beginnings of my career in physical therapy. My APTA involvement started by just raising my hand to volunteer for a class leadership position in 2011. Since then I ran for the Vice President of the APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors, recently was selected as a recipient of the MNPTA’s Outstanding Student Physical Therapists award, and currently serve as the chair the Student Assembly Professional Advocacy Project Committee. Through these opportunities I have interacted with current and future leaders of our profession and fully realized my passion for advancing the profession. Specifically I enjoy enlightening physical therapists on the many ways they are already advocates for the profession. 

3. How are you involved with MNPTA?
This is my biggest area for improvement! Over the past three years I took every opportunity I had to be involved as a student at the national level. As graduation approaches I hope to move from a MNPTA conference attendee to being an active member in a committee, a delegate or finding some other way to become involved in the MNPTA. 

4. Why are you a member of APTA? 
Initially I was a member for the tangible rewards our school and the APTA offered. These benefits are still appreciated, but my primary motivation for APTA membership has changed. Professional duty, being part of the whole, and supporting the advancement of physical therapy are now the "why" behind my APTA membership.

5. What other hobbies or special interests do you have?
My interests are all over the place. When I get free time I enjoy sitting on our porch or taking a walk with my wife and dog. Professional cycling is my favorite sport to follow and I do like riding my own bicycle. I also like cooking/baking, golf and fishing. I aspire to read more books, but the information I have been able to gather via twitter is pretty astounding.

Tags:  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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April Student Spotlight: Alison Nicastro, SPTA

Posted By Seana M. Benting, Tuesday, April 15, 2014
1. What is your current setting?
Currently, I am a first year PTA student at St. Catherine University. I am about to begin my first long clinical with Golden Living in St. Louis Park. 

2. What are some special interests/special accomplishments in you career?
I graduated with a B.S. in Education and Health Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, taught 5th grade, and coached basketball in Wisconsin and Minnesota before entering PTA school. I have a great passion for education, and the teaching component within in physical therapy is one of the many reasons I am so excited to be a part of the profession. I have been involved in athletics throughout my life and was a member of the women’s basketball and golf teams while attending UWSP. Because of my teaching experience and involvement in athletics, I have a deep interest in pediatrics and sports medicine. Recently, I began working with the Alzheimer’s Association through the Young Champions advocacy group and with Health Commons, working with the East African community, promoting and teaching wellness and exercise. My involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association piqued my interest in memory care and neurology. Both experiences have allowed me to connect health and social issues to my education as a physical therapist assistant. These and similar experiences are ones I plan on continuing throughout my education and career.

3. How are you involved with MNPTA?
I became involved in the MNPTA through the encouragement of my professors. I began by attending SSIG meetings and was also a part of the Student Conclave and Legislative day. I am looking forward to attending future conferences and events to remain active and engaged. 

4. Why are you a member of APTA? 
Being a member of the APTA is important to me for many reasons. As a student, the APTA provides ample opportunities to form connections with current professionals and other students. This allows me to stay up to date with current events, emerging trends, and will help me to become the best professional I can be. The APTA offers members the ability to grow professionally and advance their learning, which is essential for success and enjoyment in any career.

5. What other hobbies or special interests do you have?
Aside from school, I work part-time as a PCA. I love spending time with my family and friends while staying active. I have always been involved in athletics and I cannot imagine my life without a little healthy competition. I currently get my competition fill in a weekly basketball league, and I play football for the Alzheimer’s Association Blondes vs. Brunettes fundraising event. I also enjoy running, golfing, and downhill skiing, but I’ll do just about anything to stay active! My work with the Alzheimer’s Association and Health Commons has given me to the chance to give back to the community through advocacy and education.

Tags:  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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March Student Spotlight: Lang Ho, SPT

Posted By Seana M. Benting, Thursday, March 13, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What is your current setting?

I’m currently a second year student at the University of Minnesota. I’m also one of the class co-presidents for the Class of 2015 which has been a tremendously rich experience in service. I’ve gotten to work with patients at the Minneapolis VA for some of our clinically integrated coursework. I’ll be headed out to San Diego and Palo Alto in California later this year for my first two clinical rotations. 

 

What are some special interests/special accomplishments in your career? 

I received my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked as a design engineer for a couple of years before coming back to school. I hope to one day do some consulting for product design of rehabilitation equipment. Also prior to graduate school, I was a yoga instructor, an assistant instructor for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and a teaching assistant for the undergraduate physiology course. Teaching and mentoring are things that I really value. I hope to carry on teaching in whatever capacities I can going forward, whether it be as a clinical instructor, a teaching assistant, or perhaps even a full course instructor someday. 

 

How are you involved with MNPTA? 

I got involved with the MNPTA through some of the SSIG events over the past year and a half. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend some of the more recent events such as Legislative Day and the Student Conclave. I will be attending the Federal Advocacy Forum in Washington DC this upcoming April. Going forward I hope to get more involved with government affairs at both the state and federal levels. 

 

Why are you a member of APTA? 

I’m a member of the APTA for two main reasons: I believe in the importance of a collaborative community of physical therapists, and I feel it is particularly important to lead by example. Together we can do more than we ever could individually; a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Through membership, I feel that I am better able to support the profession, contribute to its growth, and protect the interests of physical therapists and our patients better than I ever could on my own. 

 

What other hobbies or special interests do you have? 

Aside from school, I have a part-time job at Fairview Southdale Hospital as a Rehab Aide which I absolutely love. Activity-wise, I really enjoy running outside. I ran the Tough Mudder last year and it was one of the most satisfying and fun things that I have ever done. I love to play volleyball whenever the opportunity arises, even though I’m usually not the most skilled player on the court (quite frankly, it’s a little scary when I am). I’m always looking for the next fun thing to try. This past summer I had a brief foray into Parkour. When around home, I enjoy cooking, reading, and board games.

 

Tags:  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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February Student Spotlight: Jillian Carney, SPTA

Posted By Seana M. Benting, Monday, February 10, 2014
Updated: Friday, March 7, 2014
What is your current setting? 

I am a first year Student Physical Therapist Assistant at St. Catherine University. Last fall, I spent a short clinical at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids where I learned a great deal and I hope to spend additional time in an acute care setting in the future. 


What are some special interests/special accomplishments in your career?
Prior to attending St. Catherine University, I earned my BA in Health and Exercise Science from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. Within the program, I presented at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research held in Missoula, Montana in 2010 and was a Student Specialist in our Health and Fitness Lab. When I was eleven, I was diagnosed with Primary Lymphedema in my right leg and because of this, I hope to work with Lymphedema patients, providing them with both the therapy necessary to manage their disease and the encouragement to work hard towards great results. Recently, I have gained interest in acute care and look forward to opportunities to learn more soon. 

How are you involved with MNPTA? 
The professors at St. Catherine’s are great encouragements to get involved within the MN Chapter and therefore I became a member in the fall of 2013. I attended the fall conference in Duluth and plan to volunteer at the upcoming spring conference in St. Paul. I am becoming an active member of the Student Special Interest Group ~ we volunteered at Bridging the Gap in January and it was a great experience! Excited to make SSIG a more regular occurrence in my schooling. This summer, I have an interest in joining the Minnesota State Fair Workgroup. It is a great opportunity to reach out to the public and promote physical therapy. 

Why are you a member of the APTA? 
I am passionate about Physical Therapy and I believe that when you are passionate about something, you are driven to get involved. Our instructors are great examples of this with their memberships, concentration on research and drive to see the profession move forward. We can only do this by bringing our voices to the table. I just returned from my first CSM in Las Vegas, NV and it was an incredible experience. I met people from many different PT backgrounds, created some awesome new relationships and learned about current issues, new techniques and ways to build my career. I plan to join the Health Policy & Administrative section and the Acute Care section of the APTA over the next year or two. 

What other hobbies or special interests do you have? 
Quite often, I get the travel bug ~ so chances of me getting on a plane sometime in the nearer future is pretty high. I am incredibly blessed to have family & friends around the country that love to show off their home cities to visitors! Around the twin cities, you’ll often find me at the community center in the town I live in, at my church doing work with the Missions Committee or getting some much needed R&R at home. I love to spend quality time with family and friends, especially dancing around my dad’s house with my little sister and happy hour with girlfriends. I’ve recently had a knack for putting myself through physical challenges and this year I decided to sign up for the Tough Mudder in July! 


Tags:  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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January Student Spotlight: Jeni Smith, SPT

Posted By Annie Krapek, Wednesday, January 15, 2014
What is your current setting?
I am currently a third-year DPT student at the University of Minnesota. I just began my third clinical at the Fairview MS Achievement Center under the guidance of the amazing Sue Jerve. As the name suggests, the majority of our patients have multiple sclerosis, but we see a spectrum of neurological diagnoses and functional levels. Our patients are some of the kindest and most inspirational people I have met. This also happens to be my second clinical within the Fairview system, and I have been thoroughly impressed by the professionalism, knowledge, and mentorship exhibited by all of the clinicians in Fairview’s rehabilitation department. They are clearly dedicated toward fostering the full potential within their patients, students, and each other.
 

What are some special interests/special accomplishments in you career?
Regardless of where my career path takes me, I ultimately hope to work in a hospital or subacute setting. I enjoy the teamwork between multiple disciplines, the rapid pace of the environment, and being that first step toward a patient’s return to full function. The University of Minnesota has an excellent DPT program, and I am proud to represent the class of 2014 as the APTA representative. Attending SSIG meetings since first year has allowed me to keep my classmates in the loop about new speakers and events that may benefit them as new professionals. I even had several opportunities to represent the program at the national level, such as attending the National Student Conclave and receiving an invitation to attend the 2013 Federal Advocacy Forum. Such leadership opportunities have taught me that students have the capability to shape the dynamic field of health care. 
 
How are you involved with MNPTA?
In addition to my position as APTA representative for the U of M Class of 2014, I serve as one of the Membership Committee liaisons on the Student Special Interest Group executive board. The Membership Committee focuses on recruiting students and professionals into the APTA and encourages them to get involved as early as possible. We do this through social events, speakers, and offering incentives for current and future members. I also serve as a federal key contact for Representative Keith Ellison. Federal key contacts educate our national leaders about issues impacting physical therapy and the medical field, including maintaining a defined scope of practice, increasing the Medicare therapy cap, and the many ways in which PT can improve a person’s quality of life.
 
Why are you a member of APTA? 
Because health is such a dynamic profession, with the emergence of new technology and treatments and swiftly changing reform, it is important for students to stay abreast of issues that may impact their practice once they graduate. Getting involved with APTA allows them to make a difference from the moment they enter school. MNPTA in particular offers a variety of interest groups in which students can pursue individual tracks, ranging from research to health care policy. Additionally, students are able to get their feet wet by building a professional network and contributing their talents toward community service. Joining the SSIG is also an excellent way for students 
to build friendships with like-minded peers from other programs. I know the academic demands of PT and PTA school can be overwhelming, but joining APTA is worth it!
  
What other hobbies or special interests do you have?
I love to keep myself busy outside of the clinic. On my days off, I work as a PCA, mentor children in North Minneapolis, and cook for families at the Ronald McDonald House with a group of friends from church. Yoga, Pilates, and running are my favorite ways to stay active. I also collect vegetarian and vegan recipes and hold a beginner’s certification in Spring Forest Qigong.

Tags:  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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