Medical college’s Physical Therapy receives grant

Western University of Health Sciences’ (WesternU) College of Health Sciences (CHS)-Northwest received a $673,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver, Wash., to support its physical and occupational therapy programs in Lebanon. The funding will help CHS-Northwest provide hands-on educational opportunities through authentic learning experiences, and provide health care services to rural and under-served communities.

“In order to flourish, every individual, family and community needs access to top quality health care facilities,” said Steve Moore, executive director, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. “Programs like the facilities operated by WesternU help bring that access to rural and under-served communities. We are inspired by and grateful for organizations like WesternU that are developing community-focused solutions based on the unique needs of residents.”

The grant will support the Clinical Assessment & Rehabilitation Services (CARES) Clinic and the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) House, both located within the CHS-Northwest campus building in Lebanon. The CARES Clinic, which includes a therapy gym, will allow PT and OT students (under faculty supervision) provide care to volunteer patients – including pediatric patients – in the surrounding under-served, rural communities. The ADL House is a fully functional home in which students and faculty can evaluate and treat patients for optimal independent and safe living at home.

“We are grateful to the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust for this generous grant, which will provide WesternU CHS-Northwest with tremendous opportunities to connect with and provide care to the Lebanon community and beyond,” said WesternU President Robin Farias-Eisner, MD, PhD, MBA.

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust funding will allow CHS-Northwest to develop pediatric spaces and a sensory room in the CARES Clinic, which addresses a vital need in the community, said CHS-Northwest Dean Dee Schilling, PT, PhD, FNAP. Lebanon pediatric therapy services are highly impacted resulting in a waiting list for care. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 8.3 percent of Linn County residents are uninsured.

“This funding will facilitate development of clinical care that provides attention to adult safety and independence in the home and expanded Pediatric OT and PT services to the community,” Schilling said. “The expansion of clinical services to the community also enhances OT and PT student learning and clinical readiness for graduates with specialized skills and knowledge to be better prepared to deliver health care in rural and under-served communities.”