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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.

This is a developing program in the process of seeking accreditation through the American Physical Therapy Association as a post-doctoral residency program for physical therapists in pediatric clinical practice.

Learn more
Please explore the categories below for program details.

Application questions:
Kevin Duffy, Human Resources senior employment specialist
616.840.8318, 800.528.8989

Program-specific questions:
Kate Rustem, PT, DPT, C/NDT
kate.rustem@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, directed readings, 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 information 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 in Grand Valley State University’s Department of Physical Therapy in the pediatric lab setting.

Faculty

Kate 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

 

Jennifer Taylor, PT, DPT, CBIS
Inpatient Pediatric Therapy Team mentor

  • Certified Brain Injury Specialist
  • DPT, BS Health Science, Grand Valley State University

 

Cara 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

 

Joe Winegar, PT
Inpatient Pediatric Therapy Team mentor

  • Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist
  • BS Physical Therapy, Grand Valley State University; BS Biology, Michigan State University

 

Jennifer Kampfshulte, PT, DPT
Outpatient Pediatrics Team lead

  • Focus areas: Motion analysis, Advanced Management of Pediatric Spasticity (AMPS)
  • DPT, BS Biomedical Sciences, Grand Valley State University

 

Micah 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 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

 

Jenae Swiercz, PT, DPT
Outpatient Pediatric Therapy Team mentor

  • Focus area: Early Development Program
  • DPT, Grand Valley State University; BS Integrated Physiology and Health Sciences, Alma College

 

Lura Naessens, PT, MSPT
Outpatient Pediatric Therapy Team mentor

  • Focus areas: Equipment clinic, manual therapy, post-concussion
  • MSPT, BS Therapeutic Recreation, Central Michigan University

Job Details

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?
Applications are open for the 2021-22 residency year and must be completed and received by March 13. Interviews will be held in late March/early April with a mid-April offer.

Provide the following documents:
1. Official Transcript
2. Resume/CV
3. Application Statement (1-2 pages in length)
Please comment on the following:
• Professional goals
• Qualification
• How the residency experience will influence your career

4. Three letters of recommendation/references.
The letters may include but are not limited to addressing the applicant’s:
• Communication and team-based skills
• Self-directed learning
• Integration of evidence into practice
• Research experience
• Clinical reasoning skills
• Development

If within two years of graduation, at least one letter must be from a current or former clinical instructor and at least one letter from a faculty member.

If greater than two years of experience as a physical therapist, one letter must be from current supervisor and one letter from a professional colleague.

Send to:
Kevin Duffy, senior employment specialist
Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
235 Wealthy St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
kevin.duffy@maryfreebed.com
For program-specific questions, email Kate Rustem at kate.rustem@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.