HPW3 2021 Highlight

All of the different types of HPW3 project categories

Third-year Doctor of Physical Therapy students had the unique experience this year of completing their Health Promotion and Wellness III capstone projects entirely virtual due to the continued covid crisis.

Despite current limitations, the class of 2021 worked diligently on a variety of projects with topics ranging from community service resources, developing training videos, creating screening instruments for clinics, and many other areas for patient care improvement and contributing to the health of our communities.

Below are just a few of the outstanding projects our students have completed.

Brooks Rehabilitation

Title: Support and Feasibility for an Annual PT Wellness Assessment

Students: Jessie Glennon, Donnelle McDonald, Olivia Grangeon

Over the last 10 years, the health care system has been shifting its focus of patient care from treatment to prevention. Jessie, Donnelle, and Olivia wanted to take part in shifting the scope of physical therapy to preventive care.

With the guidance and support of Dr. Nata Salvatori and Dr. Sara Cristello from Brooks Rehabilitation, the group determined the feasibility of an annual wellness physical therapy checkup at Brooks Rehab, as well as providing the appropriate resources to help them market and begin implementing this novel service.

Their project included the creation of a handout on the feasibility and factors included in an annual wellness assessment, a flyer that Brooks can use to promote the service to the community, and a standardized assessment tool to be used during the evaluation.

Their project highlights how physical therapists can take part in preventive care and assist patients with prolonging optimal quality of life and helping members of the community maintain their highest level of function and prevent injuries.

Title: Revision of Brooks Rehab Pediatric and Adolescent Therapy Intake Forms

Students: Lauren Capone, Brittany Wienkers, Yash Patel

As Lauren, Britt, and Yash completed their clinical experiences, they recognized how important it was to have thorough yet concise medical intake forms to compose an accurate and efficient diagnosis and treatment plan for the patient.

Brooks Rehabilitation has been utilizing the same intake forms for their pediatric and adolescent outpatient therapy population for the past 10 years, so for their HPW III project, the group were asked to assist updating the forms that physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists use.

A special thanks to Megan Hyman at Brooks who provided feedback to the students. Under her guidance and with review from the clinicians, the students created a more complete form that provided options for the clinicians to gain a comprehensive picture of patient medical history and what further questions and objective measures they need to gather.

Title: Brooks Outpatient Form Revision

Students: Jessica Finney, Taylor Wood

Similar to Lauren Capone, Brittany Wienkers, Yash Patel’s group, Jessica and Taylor amended the outpatient adult intake form at Brooks Rehabilitation.

The group crafted a new, concise form that underwent rounds of review with the help of outpatient clinicians. Brooks Rehab has 30 outpatient clinics throughout Florida, and the group’s form will be implemented at each clinic.

After implementation, the group surveyed clinicians to assess their patients’ responses to the form and its functionality in practice, and 73 percent of survey respondents thought the revised form was better than the previous intake form.


Title: Shoulder Conditioning Program for Swimmers

Students: Casey Francis, Ryan Schultz, Mairyn Branaman

As a group of former collegiate swimmers, Casey, Ryan, and Mairyn were uniquely positioned to assist local swim clubs with injury prevention. Due to limited time in the water during COVID, swimmers were at a higher risk of deconditioning and potential injuries when returning to the pool with a quick ramp up of practice yardage. This student group developed a general shoulder conditioning program for local competitive swim clubs to help minimize injuries due to overtraining and muscle imbalances commonly found in swimmers.

As a result, the group created a well-balanced workout program with faculty review for the coaches to distribute to their teams. The exercises were generic for the group and not intended to be used for swimmers with injuries, who were recommended to consult a physical therapist for an individual evaluation. The program was well received with very positive feedback and overall limited reports of shoulder pain on return to full practice.

Title: Injury Prevention in Gymnasts

Students: Cara Lukas, Stephanie McDonough, Dax Behrend

Cara, Stephanie, and Dax wanted to ensure that the adults who work with young gymnasts have resources that allow them to better understand aspects of training that mitigate the chance of injury, or signal the start of a new injury, so that it may be addressed immediately.

After meeting virtually with coaches and family members from a local gymnastics facility to determine appropriate considerations for the young gymnasts, the student group created comprehensive pamphlets to distribute to parents that provided education on topics such as quality nutrition and hydration, understanding of proper rest, and warning signs of potential or already present injury.

Title: Movement Analysis and Exercise Correction for Personal Trainers

Students: Noah Kreitz, Jordan Chancey

The ability to analyze human movement during exercise and make necessary adjustments is a fundamental skill for personal trainers. Noah and Jordan recognized that personal trainers at UF RecSports would benefit from additional training for screening for injury prevention and correction of exercise form.

The duo created several videos to address this opportunity with UF RecSports personal training staff, with topics covering:

  1. The necessity of performing a movement screen prior to working with clients
  2. The current research regarding exercise form, and why it is important to maximize client performance and success
  3. Components of an initial movement screening
  4. How to identify common faulty movement patterns and compensations for frequently prescribed exercises, and how to cue/modify the exercise based on limitations

COVID-19 Related Projects

Title: Stress Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Students: Michelle Mack, Laila Sheikh, Jillian Bailey

The COVID lockdown completely removed usual forms of stress management for students – going to the gym, spending time with classmates, going to restaurants, as well as creating uncertainty about completion of requirements for the DPT program. Michelle, Laila, and Jillian saw the need to create resources for their classmates to use while coping with stress and/or anxiety.

To help their classmates identify stressors, manage them, and communicate professionally with faculty, the student group collaborated with the Sunshine Committee, which is dedicated to boosting morale, and the student Professionalism Committee, which is dedicated to helping students achieve professional behaviors and success.

Through this collaborative effort, they created a series of presentations focused on various topics related to better managing students’ stress and mental health during these trying times. They hope that these materials will leave fellow students feeling more confident about managing and communicating about stress, along with providing faculty with resources to offer to students who are experiencing stressful circumstances in the future.

Title: Read for Hope

Student: Sabrina Smith

When the pandemic hit, the digital divide increased. After virtually meeting with an educator in South Africa, Sabrina Smith responded to the call for educational materials to send to Pamela Ben Kantor, a fourth grade teacher in South Africa and founder of Read for Hope, an organization focuses on providing educational materials to children living in disadvantaged communities.

Within a few weeks, Smith created a plan, developed volunteer documents and examples, and was able to start collecting videos. To supplement the Read for Hope videos, Smith also worked with Kayce Whitbeck and Ashley Tringas, fellow third-year DPT students, who had created and collected activity videos as a part of their Children on the Go Google classroom project that was completed earlier in the summer.

On August 1, Smith sent Kantor 30 videos and will continue to send videos on the first of each month as they come in. Among those videos, she shared a few of her childhood favorites – reading “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak and doing a song and dance to Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea.”

Read more about the project here.

Resources for Individuals with Disabilities

Project Title: Community Resources for Individuals with Disabilities  

Students: Allyson Beatty, Taylor Funk, Meghan Harper

Last year, Rebecca Chamberlain from the Class of 2020 created the Florida Disability Resource Hub, a comprehensive online resource center for individuals with disabilities located in Northeast Florida. Allyson, Taylor, and Meghan saw the potential in this site, and expanded the website to include resources available for individuals who live in East Central Florida and North Central Florida.

The group wanted to provide a central hub where individuals can browse a variety of resource categories for specific disabilities and for more general populations. Some of the resource categories include transportation, skills training, employment, local support groups, personal enrichment, and community fitness classes. This website has provided valuable resources for individuals with disabilities who are transitioning from pediatric to adult medical care.

Please visit the Florida Disability Resource Hub to explore the expanded website.

Title: Working with Clients with Physical Disabilities

Students: Sheridan Lee, Brooke Tate

Brooke and Sheridan both have experience with training clients at UF RecSports, and the duo recognized the lack of confidence a number of trainers have when individuals with disabilities request personal training services.

To bridge the gap, Brooke and Sheridan created a video training series for UF RecSports personal trainers. The goal of these materials is to improve the understanding of safety measures and precautions, facilitate creativity for exercise modifications, and elevate the quality of service that RecSports personal trainers provide to their clients of any physical ability to improve their fitness experience.

The mini-series has been added to the UF RecSports personal trainer continuing education platform so that trainers have access to this material at any time.

Title: Movement 4 All: Creating a Virtual Adaptive Gymnastics Classroom During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Students: Ashley Tringas, Kayce Whitbeck

The end of March brought unexpected challenges and difficult decisions as COVID-19 forced businesses to close for the foreseeable future. Balance 180, a local non-profit gym geared toward adaptive gymnastics, had to make the tough call to close its gym.

For Ashley Tringas and Kayce Whitbeck, Children on the Go REACH group co-directors for the Class of 2021, and INSPIRE scholars, the closure became an obstacle for them to evaluate and overcome.

In early April, the two virtually met with leaders and staff at Balance 180, UF Department of Physical Therapy faculty, and leaders of the Children on the Go REACH group to gauge the needs of the athletes, children 2-17 years-old who have a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities. The group recognized the need to provide free, online resources to replace the adaptive gymnastics sessions, and ensure that these resources are easy to access while at home.

After the initial meeting, Tringas and Whitbeck began the process of creating the Google Classroom collection of follow-along videos to replicate the stretches, vault, bars, beam, and bar stations that the children were familiar with at Balance 180.

As involvement in the project grew, the types of videos that were submitted expanded. The Google Classroom now includes songs, dances, and cheers that were regularly used at the gym, as well as follow-along sign-language videos, storybook readings, educational content regarding COVID-19, and new songs and dances.

Read more about the project here.

Completed Projects

Below is the full list of all projects completed by the class of 2021.

  • Instruction Materials for Spirometer Use: Kendra Whidden                                                          
  • EAC Website Landing Page: Rose Easey, Anna Li                                                                                 
  • Baseball Injury Prevention: Jarred Smith, Matt Matisko  
  • Interpreter training for student PT: Gaby Lin, Ashley Estanislao, Joe Gayle                             
  • Shoulder Program For Competitive Swimmers: Mairyn Branaman, Casey Francis, Ryan Schultz
  • Outreach Patients with Parkinson’s from the Fixel Institute: Jessie Gitow, Judith Arostegui             
  • Read for Hope: Sabrina Smith                                                                                    
  • Movement 4 ALL: Creating a Virtual Adaptive Gymnastics Classroom During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Kayce Whitbeck, Ashley Tringas                                                                                             
  • POD Simulation Lab Team: Kirsten Estoesta, Kristin Healey, Rachel Wyllie                                               
  • Brooks Outpatient Form Revision: Taylor Wood, Jessica Finney                                                                   
  • Post-Surgical Management of Scoliosis Across Acute Care, Home Health, and Outpatient- A Continuum of Care: Zach Baxter, Chase Chavez, Tasfiq Miah     
  • Special Tests for the Upper and Lower Extremity Using Telehealth: Paul Auth, Nathaniel Galliford
  • Oncology- PT Role in Brain Cancer Diagnosis: Alyse Hausman                                                                       
  • Working with Clients with Disabilities (Training for Personal Trainers): Sheridan Lee, Brooke Tate
  • COVID-19 Corps: Ellen Waidner                                                                                 
  • Physical Therapy Student Resources for Early Intervention and Co-treatment in the Pediatric Population: Olivia Nash, Kendall Leduc                                                                                  
  • Running Analysis: Haylie Grant, Alyssa Hearing, Haley Pigott, Morgan Kosmala                                    
  • Video Support Materials Weight Lifitng: Ashlea Adams, Nathan Allman, Paulo Sicangco, Christian Wingert                                                                                               
  • Gymnastics Injury Prevention: Dax Behrend, Cara Lukas, Stephanie McDonough                                                                              
  • Softball Prehab Program: Angel Mestre, Chandler Burns                                                                                
  • Therapeutic Exercise progressions – Spinal Fusion: Katie Taunton, Daniel May, Ashley Murray       
  • Telehealth Resources for Pediatric Patients: Taylan Wolfe, Madison Bramlett, Jack Deloach, Katherine Keyser                                                                                               
  • Community Resources for Individuals with Disabilities: Taylor Funk, Meghan Harper, Allyson Beatty                                                                          
  • Return to Campus Safety and Wellness: Brian Frett, Dillon Lee                                                                    
  • Movement Assessment: Training for Personal Trainers at the UF Rec Center: Noah Kreitz, Jordan Chancey                                                                                               
  • Developing Resources for Wellness Assessment (Brooks Outpatient): Donnelle McDonald, Jessie Glennon, Olivia Grangeon                                                                               
  • Stress Management for Students during COVID 19 Uncertainty: Laila Sheikh, Michelle Mack, Jillian Bailey                                                                        
  • Overcoming the COVID-19 Pandemic: Maddie Wienkers, Alyssa Morrison                                              
  • Brooks Adolescent and Pediatric Medical Intake Forms: Britt Wienkers, Lauren Capone, Yash Patel