2023 CHEP-JHR Student Essay Contest Finalists

2023 CHEP-JHR Student Essay Contest Finalists

2023 CHEP-JHR Student Essay Contest Finalists

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

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2023 CHEP-JHR Student Essay Contest Finalists.  Congratulations to Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Vanessa Lista, SPT (Neumann University) and Priyanka Bhakta, SPT (Emory University), finalists of the annual Student Essay Contest, co-sponsored by the ACAPT Consortium for the Humanities, Ethics and Professionalism (CHEP) and the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation (JHR).

The sixth in an annual series, the CHEP-JHR Student Essay contest offers a creative opportunity to ignite critical reflection in Physical Therapy students across the nation to support holistic approaches to patient care.

This year’s essay prompt was:

“The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) recently added the core value of inclusion to our profession’s Core Values, as efforts have increased to address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in clinical and educational environments. However, people with disabilities often remain in the margins during DEI-related discussions, and little consideration is given to the importance of the representation of individuals living with disability in our educational programs and professional clinical settings.

“Given our professional training and overdue efforts to address DEI across professional settings, what perspectives and/or key strategies could shape our profession to be more inclusive of individuals with disabilities? What can be done, both collectively and individually, to promote a culture of inclusion, belonging, and respect for persons living with disabilities within the field of physical therapy? Why do you believe these efforts will be effective? How will this effort pay off with improved patient care?”

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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