Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency

The mission of Mary Free Bed’s Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency is to restore hope and freedom to pediatric patients and families by developing therapists into expert practitioners. Through our collaborative process focused on clinical reasoning and mentoring, graduates will develop the skills necessary to provide high-value, expert rehabilitation care utilizing a family and patient-centered approach. They will develop advanced knowledge, skills and clinical expertise in pediatric physical therapy in order to become a clinician of choice with a pediatric specialization. Graduates will contribute to and effectively implement evidence-based clinical practice and will share their knowledge and expertise with students, fellow clinicians and the patients/families they serve, while exhibiting high ethical standards and professionalism.

Learn more
Please explore the categories below for program details.

Application questions:
Email recruitment@maryfreebed.com.

Program-specific questions:
Email PTpediatricresidency@maryfreebed.com. 

General residency/fellowship questions: 
Email Therapy.ResFel@maryfreebed.com. 

Clinical Curriculum

The curriculum will be based on the most recent Description of Residency Practice (DRP) in Pediatric Physical Therapy from the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education.

Primary clinical rotations will be split between our 167-bed rehabilitation hospital and Outpatient Therapy Center. During time in outpatient rehabilitation, residents will work with patients with a variety of diagnoses, including cerebral palsy, torticollis, plagiocephaly, myelomeningocele, developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, toe walking and limb differences. Inpatient rotations will include working with patients with brain injuries, multiple trauma, spinal cord injuries and those who have undergone major surgical intervention, such as Single Event Multi-Level Surgery (SEMLS) or Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR).

Mary Free Bed also has established relationships with local organizations to provide clinical learning experiences in the inpatient acute care, school system and early intervention settings. While in each specialty area, the resident will build clinical reasoning skills enhanced through clinical mentoring time with an expert pediatric therapist.

Supplemental professional development activities include clinical observation in multiple specialty clinics (Early Development, Spasticity Management, Center for Limb Differences) and observation of many specialty rehabilitation services, including OrthoSEAT, adaptive technology, Orthotics & Prosthetics + Bionics and the Motion Analysis Laboratory.

Didactics

The didactic curriculum will be based on the most recent Description of Residency Practice (DRP) in Pediatric Physical Therapy from the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education. Didactic information will be presented to the resident in a variety of formats — self-guided modules, participation in the APTA Pediatrics Residency and Fellowship Consortium, hands-on practice, discussion with mentors and more — to impart specialty-specific knowledge. Residents will be supported in continuing education opportunities and required to share the information they learned with the team.

Dedicated time also will be spent engaging in a scientific inquiry project with a research mentor and collaborator.

Residents will have the opportunity to gain teaching experience working with physical therapy students. They will participate in Grand Valley State University’s Department of Physical Therapy in the pediatric lab setting and will collaborate with a mentor in serving as a part-time clinical instructor in the outpatient setting.

 

Faculty

Kate RustemKate Rustem, PT, DPT, C/NDT
Pediatric PT Residency coordinator, Outpatient Pediatric Therapy Team mentor
• Focus areas: Motion analysis, Advanced Management of Pediatric Spasticity (AMPS), neurodevelopmental treatment
• DPT, Grand Valley State University; BS Physiology, Michigan State University

Jennie Taylor, Physical TherapistJennie Taylor, PT, DPT, CBIS
Inpatient Pediatric Therapy Team mentor
• Certified Brain Injury Specialist
• DPT, BS Health Science, Grand Valley State University

Cara HudsonCara Hudson, PT, MSPT, CBIS
Inpatient Pediatric Therapy Team mentor
• Certified Brain Injury Specialist
• Focus areas: Brain injury, SEMLS/SDR
• MS PT, Grand Valley State University

Jennifer KampfshulteJennifer Kampfshulte, PT, DPT
Outpatient Pediatrics Team mentor
• Outpatient Pediatrics Team lead
• Focus areas: Motion analysis, Advanced Management of Pediatric Spasticity (AMPS)
• DPT, BS Biomedical Sciences, Grand Valley State University

Micah HuegelMicah Huegel, PT, DPT, C/NDT
Outpatient Pediatric Therapy Team mentor
• Focus areas: Early Development Program, neurodevelopmental treatment
• DPT Grand Valley State University; BS Athletic Training Saginaw Valley State University

Andrea DennisAndrea Dennis, PT, DPT, C/NDT
Outpatient Pediatric Therapy Team mentor
• Outpatient Pediatrics Team lead
• Focus areas: Schroth Method treatment, neurodevelopmental treatment
• DPT, BS, Grand Valley State University

Lura NaessensLura Naessens, PT, MSPT
Outpatient Pediatric Therapy Team mentor
• Focus areas: Equipment clinic, manual therapy, post-concussion
• MSPT, BS Therapeutic Recreation, Central Michigan University

Janae Thaler, PT, DPT
Outpatient Pediatric Therapy Team mentor
• Certified Brain Injury Specialist
• Focus area: Pediatric Day Rehab Program
• DPT, Central Michigan University; BS in Exercise and Health Science, Alma College

Job Details

The resident will have full-time status as a Mary Free Bed employee, which includes full-time benefits. The resident also will be appointed part-time faculty at Grand Valley State University, which includes access to all university resources.

Eligibility
The applicant must be a physical therapist or in his or her final year of an accredited physical therapy program. Applicants must have obtained State of Michigan licensure prior to beginning the residency in mid-September.

Want to apply?
The application window for the coming residency year is closed. Check back in the Fall for the 2023-2024 residency application information.”

For program-specific questions, email PTpediatricresidency@maryfreebed.com.

Research

Each year, the resident presents his or her findings at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s Interdisciplinary Grand Rounds. Listed below are the citations for the residents’ additional presentations and links to the published works.

      • Huegel M, Kenyon L. Application of the clinical practice guideline for congenital muscular torticollis: a case report. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2019;31:E1-E5. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000569.
      • Huegel M, Kenyon L. Commentary on “pediatric physical therapists’ use of the congenital muscular torticollis clinical practice guidelines: a qualitative implementation study”. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2019:337. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000640.
      • Visser A, Westman M, Otieno S, Kenyon L. A home-based body weight-supported treadmill program for children with cerebral palsy: a pilot study. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2017;29:223-229. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000406.
      • Kenyon L, Westman M, Hefferan A, McCrary P, Baker B. A home-based body weight supported treadmill training program for children with cerebral palsy: a case series. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 2017;33(7):576-585. doi: 10.1080/09593985.2017.1325956.
      • Fisher-Pipher S, Kenyon L. Management of bilateral complex regional pain syndrome in a pediatric patient. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2015;27:443-451. doi:10.1097/PEP.0000000000000175.
      • Fisher-Pipher S, Kenyon L, Westman M. Improving balance, mobility, and dual-task performance in an adolescent with cerebral palsy: a case report. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 2017;33(7):586-595. doi:10.1080/09593985.2017.1323359.
      • Huegel M, Otieno S, Kenyon L. Validity of the WST and the WST-Q in children with spina bifida: a pilot project. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2019;14(7):744