PT Students, Faculty Assist With Athlete Health Organization Screenings

By Purnell T. Cropper | June 11, 2012

Under the guidance of Dr. Brian Eckenrode ’97, ’99MSPT, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy and Coordinator of the Orthopaedic Clinical Residency, students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program offered free orthopedic screenings during the Athlete Health Organization’s annual pre-participation physicals on June 2. The organization provides thorough physical screenings for high school student-athletes while also offering health school graduate students an opportunity to assist.

“The physical therapy students who participated in the AHO screenings basically performed a general musculoskletetal screen of the athletes in addition to a review of their orthopaedic medical history,” says Eckenrode. “The PT students were able to practice and apply the clinical skills learned in the physical therapy curriculum to make a collaborative suggestion on clinical decisions. They were able to interact with other health care professionals and students in addition to provide a much needed service for the community.”

Introduced to the organization by Adjunct Professors of Physical Therapy Joe Molony and Donna Merkel, Eckenrode participated in the event held at the Liacouras Center for his second time, but it marked the first time that Arcadia students joined him. Chris Falica, Ruth Will and Bill Wimble assessed orthopaedic conditions, such as surgeries and fractures, and screened arms and legs as part of the intensive evaluations. Current AHO physical examinations exceed the national standard for middle and high school athletes and are designed to identify life-threatening or debilitating conditions that would not be discovered in a standard sports physical. Molony serves on the AHO Executive Board of Directors.