American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting – February 7, 2015

American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting – February 7, 2015

American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting - February 7, 2015

By Sarah Blanton, PT, DPT, NCS, Editor-In-Chief

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The Editorial Board of the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation (JHR) discussed the development of JHR and the potential role of humanities in physical therapy education at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana on February 7, 2015.

Blanton S, Carey J, Greenfield B, Jensen G, Kirsch N, Swisher L. “Humanities in Physical Therapy: Are We Ready?”  American Physical Therapy Association, Combined Sections Meeting, Indianapolis, IN, February 2015

Track: Education
Date: Saturday, February 7, 2015
Time: 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Location: Westin Indianapolis
Room: Capitol III

Sarah Blanton, PT, DPT, NCS
James Carey, PhD, PT, FAPTA
Bruce Greenfield, PT, MA(Bioethics), PHD, OCS
Gail Jensen, PhD, PT, FAPTA
Nancy Kirsch, PT, DPT, PhD
Laura Swisher, PT, MDiv, PhD

Session Type: Educational Sessions
Session Level: Basic

The American Academy of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) Board of Directors charged a task force to explore the possibility of a new journal focused on the humanities in physical therapy. The goal was to develop an educational and scholarly forum for PTs and others involved in rehabilitation and disability studies to disseminate scholarly papers as well as personal narratives, poems, and fiction that can shed light on dimensions of caring for and living with individuals with disabilities. This session will discuss these questions concerning humanities as not only an important source of knowledge to practice physical therapy but also a powerful tool for its critical and reflective function in the development and practice of a “doctoring professional.” The task force hopes to provide a forum to broaden the discussion to include the viewpoints of educators, clinicians, and scholars.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the historical evolution and integration of humanities in medicine and health care to its current status in professional education and scholarly dissemination.
2. Discuss how humanities could serve as a “transformative power” across education, practice, and research.
3. Discuss challenges and barriers to humanities in professional physical therapy education.
4. Provide perspectives regarding the benefits and feasibility of a journal of physical therapy humanities, including defining the purpose of such a journal and a proposed vision statement.

CEU: 0.2

About the Author(s)

Sarah R. Blanton, PT, DPT, Editor-In-Chief

Dr. Sarah Blanton is a Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, Division of Physical Therapy. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 1987 with a BA degree in biology, from Emory University in 1992 with her masters in physical therapy and received her clinical doctorate in physical therapy in 2003. Dr. Blanton has had several research grants exploring the integration of caregivers into the rehabilitation process and her current research focus examines the impact of using a telehealth platform for the delivery of a theory-based, family-focused intervention program for stroke survivors and their carepartners in the home setting. Dr. Blanton’s Lab, DISCOVER (Digital Scholarship Enhancing Rehabilitation), explores various ways digital scholarship can enhance rehabilitation research, education and clinical practice and promote interdisciplinary collaboration. Dr. Blanton is a Fellow of the National Academy of Practice in Physical Therapy. In 2018, she was awarded the American Physical Therapy Association Societal Impact Award and the Emory University Creativity and Arts award for healthcare faculty. Dr. Blanton’s interest in the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation stems from her ongoing exploration of the intersections of creativity and spirituality to gain insight into the human experience of suffering, joy and mystery. In her teaching, she has found the use of narrative to be an exceptionally powerful tool to foster reflection and personal insight for both students and patients. In her research, she is incorporating multi-media formats to develop family education interventions in the home environment. A photographer since childhood, she has enjoyed sharing her artwork through exhibits at Emory University, speaking with chaplaincy students on “Reflections of Art and Spirituality in Appalachia” and as a guest contributor to the Public Radio show, On Being.


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