Arcadia Physical Therapy Students, Faculty Get Hands-on Experience in Bolivia
With faculty mentors Bre Taylor ’23MPH and Dr. Jessica Denniston, PT, DPT, eight Physical Therapy students from Arcadia’s residential and hybrid pathways just returned from a two-week partnership with Child Health and Family International in La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia. Students rotated through outpatient and inpatient settings that focused on pediatric clients with diagnoses ranging from hip dysplasia, spina bifida, autism, and flat feet. Morning clinic visits included cotreatments with student physical therapists from the Universidad Central, Universidad Catolica Boliviana, and Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, followed by afternoon Spanish classes and didactic material on the local cultures and global health considerations. Immersions were scheduled on Friday afternoons and weekends, full of Incan history and Aymaran culture.
La Paz is the highest city in the world, situated between the Andes Mountains, at almost 12,000 feet above sea level.
Each student spent one week at CEREFE, a public Catholic outpatient clinic with an attached school hosting individuals across the spectrum of neurodiversity, and including vision and auditory considerations.
Half-day rotation concluded at La Hospital de los Mujeres, including observation and hands-on experiences in ICU, neonatal, and obstetrics units with the local PT team
Kate Thomas, MPH, participated in an international practicum focused specifically on healthcare for individuals with a diagnosis of autism.
The Sun Island is the highest navigable lake in the world, with the highest point at almost 13,500 feet. This island is considered the birthplace of the Incan culture, surrounded by Bolivian and Peruvian coastline.
The group sits down after a long hike to a traditional meal including quinoa soap and trout.
Thank you so much to Bolivia, our partner Child Health and Family International, and all those involved!