In March 2015, Olivia’s Place had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Lisa Kenyon PT, DPT, PhD, PCS. Lisa is an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, USA. She is a specialist in pediatric physical therapy and physical therapy education. Last winter, Lisa began partnering with Olivia’s Place in the development of a framework to provide educational advancement for Chinese trained therapists.
Lisa’s visit to China started at Kunming Medical University in Yunnan Province, where she provided three days of training to the university’s rehabilitation educators regarding the US accreditation system and clinical education. Dr. Ao Lijuan, Chair of the university’s Rehabilitation Medicine Department, said, “”Dr. Kenyon was remarkable. Her training was a huge help to all of the faculty and leaders from the rehabilitation education community in China who traveled from around China to hear her. The participants felt her training was vitally helpful to our efforts to advance the profession of physical therapy, set up new physical therapy degree programs and accreditation standards and systems for those programs, and to improve the quality of clinic education for physical therapists here.” Following her time in Kunming, Lisa noted, “Like physical therapist educators I have met from all over the world, the Chinese educators are strongly committed to providing the best education possible for their students so that their students can provide the best possible care to all patients.”
Lisa also provided training to therapists at Olivia’s Place and Eliott’s Corner on current physical therapy practice in the neonatal intensive care unit and the development of clinical reasoning skills. Lis Ringrose, Clinical Director, reported, “It was great to have Lisa visit and help our clinicians keep up with latest therapy thinking and practice. As we look to working toward our mission of helping to further therapy in China, and we work more in training local therapists, it is vital that we work closely with experienced educators.”
In Beijing, Lisa also provided a workshop regarding the use of manual handling techniques in facilitating a child’s movement and function.This was hosted by the Beijing School for the Blind. Forty-five therapists, doctors, and teachers attended from schools, hospitals, childcare centers, and orphanages in the Beijing area. An American physical therapist currently practicing in Tianjin who attended the workshop reported that Lisa provided a training that was more valuable than a continuing education course she recently took in America. She highlighted that Lisa provided both theory and relevant application, which is essential if participants are going to incorporate new information into their work with children.
Finally, Lisa provided training at Beijing Children’s Hospital, with participation from about 50 therapists and doctors. She worked directly with three pediatric patients in order to demonstrate the role of physical therapy in spinal cord injury, encephalitis, and coma. Dr. Fang Fang, Chair of the Neurology department at the hospital, stated that the training helped the hospital team further recognize the role of rehabilitation in improving a child’s function in a variety of conditions and diagnoses.
Lisa summarized her experience in China with, “I have developed a heart for China and see hope for a future that includes the availability of high quality therapy services for children in China. I look forward to the opportunity to partner with the therapists and staff at Olivia’s Place as they focus on their mission to improve the standard of care for the children in China who have special needs.”