PT STUDENTS HELP PREVIOUSLY INCARCERATED INDIVIDUALS "STAND TALL" VIA PT-CAN INITIATIVE

Posted by vanessa on March 8, 2017

Stand Tall, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides physical therapy and health related services to homeless individuals within the long-term shelters of New York City.

Beginning in October 2016, Stand Tall, Inc. started providing services at The Fortune Society, to previously incarcerated men and women in Harlem on Tuesday evenings between 6:00-9:00 pm. Individuals residing within the long-term shelters of NYC undergo a thorough screening process where prior life choices are evaluated in depth. The clients that access Stand Tall Inc. are dedicated to bettering their lives and striving to attain the highest level of physical function possible.

Columbia Physical Therapy students have gotten involved through PT-CAN (Columbia University Program in Physical Therapy Community Action Network), a student-run organization for service within the PT program.

PT-CAN arranged for four student volunteers per week to attend the clinic. In total about 20-25 students from the first and second year classes are involved; a different group participates each week. The students practice their physical therapy skills, supervised by Stand Tall's licensed physical therapists, and help provide care for individuals residing in the long-term shelters in New York City.

Faculty member Dr. Martha Sliwinski, who directs the service learning activities for Columbia's PT program, helped initiate the project and develop the contract with Stand Tall that enabled student involvement. The PT-CAN board members who lead this effort are: Saiah Mays, Sarah Lloyd (CUDPT 2018), Kayla Coutts, and Kyle Zreibe (CUDPT 2019).

Sarah Lloyd commented, "It is such a fantastic experience for us to spend more time in clinic and to work with a unique population. I think the students, therapists, and patients all benefit from this project."

Dr. Sliwinski summed up."Our students have embarked on a new volunteer experience assisting individuals in our community in their transition back into society after a period of incarceration. They provide PT services under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. This is just one more example of our students' willingness to volunteer, take initiative and serve our community"

To contact PT-CAN, email them at columbiaptcan@gmail.com.

 

L to R: Saiah Mays, Sarah LLoyd (CUDPT '18), Kayla Coutts, Kyle Zreibe (CUDPT '19)

 

 

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