Waves is a podcast for the physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy in Michigan. We talk about issues important to the profession and the public.


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To recap the tumultuous 2020, and to commemorate the end of Dr. Mike Shoemaker's term as president of APTA Michigan, we sit down with him to hear about some of the important issues covered in the last twelve months, as well as some of his favorite highlights and what is next.

Dr. Shoemaker is a physical therapist and associate professor at Grand Valley State University, and president emeritus of APTA Michigan.


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We are beginning a series highlighting the work of some physical therapists on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and hearing their stories in their own words.

Dr. Romina Bello is a physical therapist and the early rehab coordinator at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. She tells us how things changed at the start of the pandemic, and what valuable lessons were learned. 

Music in this episode is by Mark JoestingSergey Cheremisinov, and Pictures of the Floating World.


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We conclude our series featuring DPT students from the University of Michigan-Flint as they talk about important issues relating to geriatric physical therapy. Today's episode features two segments talking about the effects of COVID-19 and depression in the geriatric community and how PT can positively effect patients in a post-COVID world.

A special thanks to all of the UM-Flint students and their instructor, Dr. Emily Carter, for their hard work.


  1. Guccione AA, Wong RA, Avers D. Geriatric Physical Therapy. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO. Mosby, Inc. 2012.

Berg-Weger M, Morley JE. Editorial: Loneliness and Social Isolation in Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications for Gerontological Social Work. J Nutr Health Aging. 2020;24(5):456-458. doi:10.1007/s12603-020-1366-8

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Coronavirus disease 2019 –older adults. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html. Updated June 25, 2020. Accessed June 26, 2020.
  2. Guccione AA, Wong RA., and Avers D. Geriatric Physical Therapy (3rd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 2012. https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.libproxy.umflint.edu/lib/umichigan/reader.action?docID=1429854. Accessed June 26, 2020.  
  3. American Physical Therapy Association. PACER series: geriatric considerations: COVID-19. https://learningcenter.apta.org/Student/MyCourse.aspx?id=9f020459-b0b4-40f1-afcb-c135f45af2b8&ProgramID=dcca7f06-4cd9-4530-b9d3-4ef7d2717b5d. Published April 13, 2020. Accessed June 22, 2020. 
  4. Thomas P, Baldwin C, Bissett B, et al. Physiotherapy management for COVID-19 in the acute hospital setting: clinical practice recommendations. Aust J Physiother. April 2020;66(2):73-82. doi:10.1016/j.jphys.2020.03.011. 
  5. American Physical Therapy Association. Practice guidelines emerge for physical therapy and COVID-19 in acute hospital setting. https://www.apta.org/news/2020/03/26/practice-guidelines-emerge-for-physical-therapy-and-covid-19-in-acute-hospital-setting. Published March 26, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2020. 
  6. American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (9thed). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2014.
  7. World Health Organization. Dementia –facts sheet. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia. Published September 19, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2020.

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Waves continues its series highlighting work from students at University of Michigan-Flint as they research topics related to geriatric physical therapy.

This episode features Patrick Frazier, Rachel Rainko, Donovan Turchin, and Katie Persha, as they educate us on how we, as therapists, can recognize signs of delirium, dementia, and depression, and how we can provide better care to our elderly patients.

Music in this episode is by Mark Joesting and Pictures of the Floating World.


Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 29:34 — 20.3MB)

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We begin a series of episodes featuring physical therapy students from University of Michigan-Flint as they present important information on geriatric physical therapy. This episode features Diana Stanek, Elizabeth Glasco, Amy Smith, Allie Lampman, Kateri Rybicki, Kim Krokoski, Emily VanVeldhuisen, and Jamie Schaub.

Music in this episode is by Mark Joesting (www.soundcloud.com/mark-joesting), Nctrnm (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Nctrnm), and Pictures of the Floating World (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Pictures_of_the_Floating_World).


  1. APTA Michigan Payment resources: www.aptami.org/payment
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Keep on your feet-preventing older adult falls. cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/older-adult-falls/index.html. Published December 19, 2019. Accessed July 1, 2020.
  3. Klenk J, Kerse N, Rapp K, et al. Physical Activity and Different Concepts of Fall Risk Estimation in Older People–Results of the ActiFE-Ulm Study. PLoS One. 2015;10(6):e0129098. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129098.
  4. Zoom. HIPAA compliance guide. zoom.us. https://zoom.us/docs/doc/Zoom-hipaa.pdf. Published May 2020. Accessed July 1, 2020. 
  5. Hoffman NB, Prieto NM. Clinical Video Telehealth for Gait and Balance. Fed Pract. 2016;33(2):34-38. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6368933/. Accessed July 1, 2020. 
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 4-Stage Balance Test Assessment. cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/STEADI-Assessment-4Stage-508.pdf. Published 2017. Accessed July 1, 2020.
  7. American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Implementation telehealth in your practice STAT: Practical guidance from experienced telehealth PTs [Video]. www.facebook.com.   https://www.facebook.com/AmericanPhysicalTherapyAssociation/videos/2917542464968284/. Published March 30, 2020. Accessed July 1, 2020.
  8. Venkataraman K, Morgan M, Amis KA, et al. Tele-Assessment of the Berg Balance Scale: Effects of Transmission Characteristics. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2017;98(4):659-664.e1. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2016.10.019.
  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent. Stay Independent. cdc.gov.https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/STEADI-Brochure-StayIndependent-508.pdf. Published 2017. Accessed July 1, 2020. 
  10. University of North Carolina School of Medicine. The Otago exercise program. med.unc.edu. https://www.med.unc.edu/aging/cgec/exercise-program/. Accessed June 29, 2020.
  11. Kocic M, Stojanovic Z, Nikolic D, et al. The effectiveness of group Otago exercise program on physical function in nursing home residents older than 65 years: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2018;75:112-118. doi:10.1016/j.archger.2017.12.001.
  12. Bernocchi P, Giordano A, Pintavalle G, et al. Feasibility and clinical efficacy of a multidisciplinary home-telehealth program to prevent falls in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2019;20(3):340-346. doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2018.09.003.
  13. Schmid AA, Van Puymbroeck M, Koceja DM. Effect of a 12-week yoga intervention on fear of falling and balance in older adults: a pilot study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010;91(4):576-583. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2009.12.018.
  14. Liu H, Frank A. Tai chi as a balance improvement exercise for older adults: a systematic review. J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2010;33(3):103-109. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21155504/. Accessed July 1, 2020. 
  15. Wu G, Keyes LM. Group tele-exercise for improving balance in elders. Telemed J E Health. 2006;12(5):561-570. doi:10.1089/tmj.2006.12.561


  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/10000-steps-a-day-or-fewer-2019071117305
  2. Tudor-Locke C, Bassett Jr DR. How Many Steps/Day Are Enough?: Preliminary Pedometer Indices for Public Health. Sports Medicine. 2004;34:1-8.
  3. Carter, E. Aging and the Musculoskeletal System. Lecture presented: Geriatrics in Practice at the University of Michigan – Flint; May 11, 2020. 
  4. Rating of perceived exertion: Borg scales. Sralab.org. https://www.sralab.org/sites/default/files/2018-04/Rating_of_perceived_exertion_-_Borg_scale.pdf. Accessed June 29, 2020.
  5.  Perceived Exertion (Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/measuring/exertion.htm. Published April 10, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2020.
  6. The Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion. The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/borg-scale/. Published September 18, 2012. Accessed June 29, 2020.
  7. Mayo Clinic. Exercise Intensity: How to Measure it. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-intensity/art-20046887. Published August 06, 2019. Accessed June 29, 2020. 
  8. American Heart Association. Target Heart Rates. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/target-heart-rates. Published January 04, 2015. Accessed June 29, 2002. 
  9. Mayo Clinic. How to Take your Pulse. https://www.mayoclinic.org/how-to-take-pulse/art-20482581. Published April 07, 2020. Accessed June 29, 2020.


  1. Keep on Your Feet-Preventing Older Adult Falls. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/older-adult-falls/index.html. Published December 19, 2019. Accessed July 1, 2020.
  2. Important Facts about Falls. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html. Published 2017. Accessed June 30, 2020.
  3. Huntzinger A. AGS Releases Guideline for Prevention of Falls in Older Persons. American Family Physician. 2010;82:81-82
  4. Preventing Falls: A Guide to Implementing Effective Community-Based Fall Prevention Programs. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/pdf/falls/FallPreventionGuide-2015-a.pdf. Published 2015. Accessed June 30, 2020.
  5. My Mobility Plan. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pdf/older_adult_drivers/CDC-AdultMobilityTool-9.27.pdf. Accessed June 30, 2020.
  6. Hughes K, van Beurden E, Eakin EG, et al. Older persons' perception of risk of falling: implications for fall-prevention campaigns. Am J Public Health. 2008;98(2):351-357. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2007.115055
  7. Sherrington C, Whitney JC, Lord SR, Herbert RD, Cumming RG, Close JCT. Effective Exercise for the Prevention of Falls: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: EFFECTIVE EXERCISE FOR THE PREVENTION OF FALLS. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS). 2008;56:2234-2243.

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 34:30 — 23.7MB)

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We conclude our series on diversity in the physical therapy workforce and education system by finishing the round table discussion with our guests Dr. Andrea Moore, Dr. Robert Burns, Dr. Leython Williams, and Bana Odeh, SPT. 

In this episode, we discuss navigating uncomfortable situations to call out each other for insensitive behaviors and recognizing our own blind spots in dealing with different cultures and ethnicities.

We also discuss APTA Michigan's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and the National Association of Black Physical Therapists (NABPT) – Detroit chapter.

Bias in resumes with minority-sounding names:





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Don't miss out on the 2020 APTA Michigan Fall Conference! Click here to learn more!

Also, make your voice heard in the 2020 APTA Michigan Elections! Click here to start your ballot!


Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 34:11 — 23.5MB)

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Waves moves into the final phase of our series on diversity in the physical therapy workforce with the first half of our round table discussion featuring Dr. Andrea Moore, Dr. Robert Burns, Dr. Leython Williams, and Bana Odeh, SPT. 


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Waves continues our Diversity series with an interview with Dr. Mihir Trivedi, co-chair of APTA Michigan's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee.

He tells about his own story and struggles as a foreign-trained physical therapist, how the process could be easier for future foreign-trained therapists, and what the main goals of the DEI committee are.


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Waves' diversity series continues with an interview with Dr. Leython Williams, PT and clinic manager with Athletico, and president of the Detroit chapter of the National Association of Black Physical Therapists (NABPT).

He tells us of his own journey, the goals of the NABPT, and how the PT profession can support more minorities getting exposed to and interested in a caree in physical therapy.

In addition, he tells us how he balances his professional life with living as a black man in the United States, and how he can use education with his patients to build bridges.


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Waves' diversity series continues with a conversation with Dr. Robert Burns, owner of Novi DPT. He talks about disparities in healthcare outcomes among minorities and how PTs can be better prepared to close that gap, including learning about and appreciating the diversity in our patient population and how it relates to patient/therapist interactions.

He also talks about "myth of cultural competency" and challenges physical therapists to do more to serve the underserved.

The Tuskegee Experiment

The Dunning Kruger Effect

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Waves' diversity series continues with a conversation with Bana Odeh, a third year DPT student at Wayne State University. She is a member of APTA MI's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee and a co-founder of the student organization Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity in Action (IDEA) at Wayne State's DPT program.

To learn more about serving the Muslim community as a PT, you can read Bana's article published by the APTA here: https://www.apta.org/article/2020/02/19/understanding-the-muslim-community-from-a-pt-specific-lens

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Waves is starting a series of episodes on diversity in the physical therapy work force. We are fortunate to have four very special guests who share their experiences as a minority and how it has affected their education and careers. We will release each interview as its own episode, followed by a round-table discussion with all of the guests.

We begin with an interview with Dr. Andrea Moore.

We are back with a discussion of how COVID-19 has forced the physical therapy profession to rapidly adapt telehealth and teleducation as a way to engage its patients and students.

Our guests this week include Dr. Emily Wilson, owner of New Seasons PT in Kalamazoo, Brianna Chesser, assistant professor in Grand Valley State University's Department of Physical Therapy, and Dr. Andrew Moul, assistant professor at Wayne State University's Physical Therapy Program.

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2:00 – Emily Wilson, New Seasons PT in Kalamazoo, MI on how tele-health effected her practice.

13:50 – APTA Quick Guide to Using Telephone Assessment and Management Services by Physical Therapists

19:40 – Tips and Tricks to Start Telehealth Tomorrow, by Mark Milligan, PT, DPT.

27:30 – The Role of the Human Mirror Neuron System in Supporting Communication in a Digital World, by Dickerson, et al., 2017.

27:55 – Effects of Sesame Street: A meta-analysis of children's learning in 15 countries, by Mares and Pan, 2013.

Have you dealt with burnout? Let us know what has (or hasn't) worked for you.

Our debut features a discussion on burnout in the physical therapy profession. We attempt to de-stigmatize the word and get advice from smart people about how to deal with it.

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