UF exploring partnership with Chicago hospital

By MARGARET DWIGGINS
Family Editor
The University of Findlay’s physical therapy program is entering into a partnership with a Chicago hospital that has great potential to blossom into something beneficial to both parties.
On Friday, four staff members from the Chicago Shriners Hospital for Children will visit the Findlay campus to give a presentation on the latest research at the hospital in the area of pediatrics.
The program, to be given at the Alumni Memorial Union, is intended for University of Findlay students and academic and clinical faculty, although others who are interested in the topic can also attend, said Sharon Walsh, who chairs the university’s physical therapy program.
Hospital presenters are Cynthia Anderson, a pediatric orthopedic nurse with 30 years experience; Sahar Hassani, director of research administration whose research interests include cerebral palsy, childhood obesity, spina bifida and injury presentation; Adam Graf, a senior engineer in the hospital’s Motion Analysis Lab, whose research focuses on using technology to determine and analyze patterns of movement; and Michelle Urban, a physical therapist and clinical supervisor whose interests include spinal cord injury, spina bifida and wheelchair positioning and seating.
Walsh said the purpose of the visit, which will begin with a dinner tonight, is “just an introduction to develop a relationship between the University of Findlay and Shriners Hospital.”
“We certainly have some common interest in treating and working with children who have some kind of a physical disability,” Walsh said. “That’s a significant part of our physical therapy program and a significant part of the Shriners’.”
Walsh said the university offers two graduate programs in physical therapy, one for traditional college students which combines three years of undergraduate work with three years of graduate work.
The second program is a weekend program for physical therapy assistants who want to become physical therapists.
Students in both programs are given the opportunity for clinical experience at locations around the country.
The Shriners, a fraternal offshoot of the Freemasons, operate 22 pediatric hospitals specializing in orthopedics, cleft lip and palate, burn care and spinal cord injury. Children from around the world receive care, often at no cost to their families.
Friday’s program is co-sponsored by the Findlay and Tiffin Shrine Clubs.
Jerry Crouch, a Findlay Shrine member who serves on the board of governors of the Chicago Shriners Hospital, estimated there are 10-15 children in Hancock County who receive care at Shriners’ hospitals and about 30-50 in northwestern Ohio.
Many local Shriners volunteer to transport children and their families to the hospitals for doctors’ visits and treatments.
He said the collaboration with the University of Findlay came about when two university students joined the Shrine club. Crouch took the men to a couple of hospital board meetings and the idea was born that the hospital and university might work together.
“I think this is going to be a tremendous thing for the university,” Crouch said. “Maybe students can come to the hospital and do some research.”
“I think it’s good for everyone,” he said.
Dwiggins: 419-427-8477 Send an E-mail to Margaret Dwiggins

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