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      Physical Therapy Partnerships

      Institute for Physical Therapy Education Students Have a Real Impact on Chester Children

      Carlie Sisco, English and creative writing, '19

      dpt students

      Physical Therapy Partnership

      Students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program dedicate their practicum to working with students at Chester Eastside Ministries.

      Civic engagement is central to a Widener education. That's why Widener's Doctor of Physical Therapy program requires students to participate in community health practicums, leading physical activity and health education programming on a weekly basis.

      The practicums, which occur at several community locations, are meant to provide an opportunity for students in the Institute for Physical Therapy Education to engage with clients as well as provide peer mentorship.

      For two years, some physical therapy students have chosen to dedicate their practicum to working with students at Chester Eastside Ministries.

      Chester Eastside Ministries is a non-profit organization aiming to create an inclusive, encouraging environment for all residents of Chester through education, advocacy, and social services.

      Widener physical therapy students and Chester Eastside Ministries partnered to serve the community with an afterschool program to promote healthy choices and an active lifestyle with activities such as relay races, tag, and soccer for children in kindergarten through eighth grade.

      Sean Piccolo, a second-year physical therapy graduate student and Physical Therapy Day of Service Chair, said partnerships such as this one are immensely important not only for the children and community, but also for the students involved.

      "This organization gives kids a safe environment to get outside, play in the community, and receive help with school work while opening the eyes of physical therapy students to different cultures and social conditions that they may not know much about or have not experienced themselves," Piccolo said.

      Despite the physical therapy students' involvement, they don't provide physical therapy services when volunteering at Chester Eastside Ministries. Jenna Farkosh, a second-year physical therapy graduate student, found this to be beneficial since it allows her to be present in the community.

      "This is an opportunity to interact with and observe the actual needs of the kids and people of the community, which carries over to our pro-bono physical therapy services and our ability to help the community in ways they need to be helped, not ways we think they should be helped," Farkosh said.


      Learn more about Widener's physical therapy and community outreach programs.


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