Archive | allied health RSS feed for this section

Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute: Construction Update, Week of July 21, 2014

21 Jul

NAZRS143274_Construction 071114_026-scrInterior spaces are taking shape now as work progresses to walls and windows.  This week at the construction site:

  • Brick installation continues along the east and west sides of the building.
  • Interior partitions are almost completely framed in the new addition.
  • Drywall is being hung in the east half of the addition.
  • Electrical and mechanical systems are being roughed in.
  • Windows will be delivered soon.

» For a live view of construction any time, visit our web cam.

» Learn more about the Nazareth College Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute.

Nazareth College Nursing Faculty Member Receives IBERO Volunteer of the Year Award

14 Nov

Nazareth College is proud to announce that Marie Bell, assistant professor in the nursing department, was selected as this year’s recipient of the IBERO-American Action League’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Bell is active in IBERO, serving the first and third Wednesday of the month at Centro de Oro, a day center for Hispanic older adults. She provides assessment services such as blood pressure readings, medication reconciliation, and follow up care.

The IBERO Volunteer of the Year Award is presented every year, recognizing an individual who has collaborated with IBERO, supporting the agency’s mission. Bell attended a recognition ceremony at IBERO’s 44th Annual Luncheon held on October 24, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel of Rochester. The event included distinguished guests, as well as more than 500 participants, and honored four members of the community.

IBERO-American Action League, Inc., has provided services to the community since 1968. The agency has established different programs that offer to assist the Latino population within the community. At Nazareth, the nursing program’s goal is to prepare professional nurse generalists who not only possess an in-depth knowledge of nursing, but also provide culturally congruent nursing care to individuals, families, groups, and communities in and across all environments.

From the D&C and RBJ: Collaboration between Nazareth College and Unity Health Systems

6 Aug

Nazareth College and Unity Health Systems have signed a memorandum of understanding, report the Democrat and Chronicle and Rochester Business Journal*. The goal? To enhance the education of future health care workers:

In a health care environment with ever changing reimbursement and funding challenges, this collaboration will allow the opportunity for Unity Health System patients to be offered programming, such as art, music, play and yoga therapy, while providing practical experience to those developing clinicians.

“Unity Health System is excited to partner with Nazareth College on this significant step forward in the training and education of future health care professionals,” said Unity Health System President and CEO Warren Hern. “Linking Nazareth’s national reputation with Unity’s wide breadth of programs and services will further enhance Rochester’s reputation for high quality, low cost health care.”

Nazareth is the only Rochester-based college or university to offer nursing with a wide array of allied health professional programs. This enables Nazareth to create an educational environment that emphasizes inter-professional collaboration in both learning and delivery of services, which gives Nazareth students a distinct advantage as they enter the health care workforce.

According to Nazareth College President Daan Braveman, this partnership allows the College to “play a prominent leadership role in meeting the health system workforce needs in our community and beyond.”

*Editor’s note:  The RBJ story appears on page six of the Aug. 3 issue of the Rochester Business Journal titled, “Nazareth, Unity Join Forces to Improve Education” (digital link still pending).

From Connections: “Music and Memory”

1 Aug

Clockwise from top left: Associate Professor of Music Therapy Betsey King, music therapy graduate student Theresa Lemmerman ’09, ’12G, and Assistant Clinical Professor of Music Therapy Laurie Keough lead Lou, George, and Nola, three participants in Nazareth’s music therapy group for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Many people are familiar with using rhymes and songs to help remember information. But can melodies and harmonies help maintain—and even improve—the memory skills of aging individuals with dementia?

Sheila Konar certainly thinks so. “The benefits of music therapy on mental health are astounding. We’ve always been interested and involved in this field as well as in giving back to the community.”

To that end, Konar donated a major gift in 2011 on behalf of the Konar Family Foundation to the music therapy program at Nazareth College. “Nazareth has always been socially minded and involved in community service, so this grant was a given.”

Among other initiatives, the gift enabled the creation of a special music therapy group for persons with Alzheimer’s. Konar was personally interested in supporting this endeavor since her own husband was diagnosed with the disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. At present, there is no cure and the disease worsens as it progresses. As research into medications and other treatment options continues, professors at Nazareth were interested in studying the effectiveness of individually tailored small group music therapy sessions for those living with Alzheimer’s. And it was the donation from the Konar Family Foundation that kick-started the program.

The music therapy group at Nazareth was led by Associate Professor of Music Therapy Betsey King, Ph.D., and Assistant Clinical Professor of Music Therapy Laurie Keough, M.S.Ed.—both of whom are board certified music therapists with extensive experience in the field.

“With the help of the Rochester chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, we recruited enough participants and caregivers for 12 sessions in the fall semester,” explains King. The sessions involved singing songs (occasionally combined with sign language), playing instruments, and building memory skills through repetition and engagement.

The research was compiled throughout the semester, and the preliminary results and analysis indicated significant improvement in areas of concern for persons with Alzheimer’s. “Improvement is especially meaningful for people who have a progressive debilitating disease,” explains Keough. “Intervention is often necessary simply to maintain skills in this context.”

Examples of improvements included increased social interaction among group members, active participation, and ability to participate in more complex musical interactions.

In response to the encouraging results, the music therapy group continued to meet during the spring 2012 semester. “Not only did we see changes in the participants on account of the direct stimulation of music therapy, but what’s most promising is the carryover reported from this 50-minute session to the world outside of this room,” says Keough. Indeed, the participants’ caregivers reported back on their loved ones’ positive affects, increased activity, and energy levels.

Most surprisingly, notes Keough, was not just the maintenance of existing skills, but the building and development of the participants’ memory skills. “At the beginning, we saw anxiety, confusion, and disorientation, but that gradually faded with the weekly sessions. The structure remains the same, but each session is different and builds on the skills from the previous week. It’s incredible to see so much improvement and growth in the participants.”

The group’s successes are especially poignant considering logistics nearly prevented the sessions from occurring. “Space is at a premium on this campus and in the beginning we couldn’t find a suitable place to hold the sessions,” says King. “If we want to continue giving our students real-world experience while also doing outreach, community support, and research, then we need proper clinic space.”

And so the question now from both the participants’ caregivers and the music therapists is the same: What’s next?

“As we increase the visibility of Nazareth’s music therapy program and educate the health care agencies and facilities in our community about music therapy,” says King, “we can provide new jobs for our graduates, varied clinical training for our students, and services for underrepresented and underserved populations. In a real and tangible way, this generous gift from the Konar Family Foundation will enable us to do just that.”

And Konar insists that her work with Nazareth and the music therapy program is not over. “We are determined to secure an appropriate clinic space so they can keep doing the amazing work they do every day for the community.”


Article written by Sofia Tokar, assistant editor in Nazareth’s marketing department. To read more from the this issue of Connections magazine, click here. Back issues of Connections are available at

From the D&C: Demand for Physical Therapists Keeps Growing

30 Jul

Jenna Siracuse, 24, Siracuse works for Callan-Harris Physical Therapy on University Avenue in the city. / JEFFREY BLACKWELL/staff photographer / From

As reported by the Democrat and Chronicle:

[T]he job outlook for physical therapists for the Finger Lakes region, and the country looks encouraging.The demand for physical therapists is expected to grow by nearly 40 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the United States Department of Labor.

“I can work just about anywhere in the country in various types of settings,” said Jenna Siracuse, 24, a local physical therapist and 2011 graduate of Nazareth College in Pittsford. “At a time when new college grads are having difficulty finding work, I was fortunate enough to find a job immediately out of school.”

Nazareth’s physical therapy program prepares professionals who are committed to meeting community health needs through engagement and service.  Nazareth PT graduates possess the skills to provide sound patient care, as well as preventive, educational, administrative, and consultative services that respect individuality. The licensure pass rates for physical therapy graduates from Nazareth’s School of Health and Human Services is 95 to 100 percent. And like Jenna Siracuse, most graduates from the School of Health and Human Services are employed just after graduation–many of them in the western New York region.

PT students at the College also have the opportunity to work in the physical therapy clinics. A unique collaborative effort that combines clinical learning and outreach, the PT clinics and related services are designed to meet the needs of underserved individuals with movement disorders.

To learn more about physical therapy at Nazareth, click here.

Occupational Therapy Clinic to Open at Nazareth in the Fall

11 Jul

Occupational therapy (OT) is about helping people develop or regain the ability to engage in productive lives. Examples of OT include:

  • Working with children with autism to improve their sensory processing
  • Helping individuals relearn skills after a head injury
  • Enabling the elderly with neurological or orthopedic conditions to receive intervention and improve function in the comfort of their homes

Nazareth College’s on-campus rehabilitation and wellness clinics will also include an occupational therapy clinic beginning in September 2012. The OT clinic, located in Carroll Hall on the Nazareth campus, will offer comprehensive developmental and rehabilitation services to Rochester-area children and adults. This fall, the clinic will begin serving children with diagnoses such as autism, Asperger’s disorder, sensory integrative dysfunction, learning disabilities, and cerebral palsy. The OT clinic will be providing treatment for adults in the near future. Individuals with neurologic, orthopedic, perceptual difficulties, hand injuries, and psychosocial needs will be able to receive services when the clinic’s adult services begin.

Linda A. Shriber, Ed.D., OTR/L, is the chair and program director of and associate professor in the OT program at Nazareth. In preparation for the OT clinic’s opening in the fall, Dr. Shriber recently evaluated a young child at the request of his mother. In response, the mother had this to share:

We recently became aware that our five-year-old son might be having some issues with his sensory processing. Being a homeschooling family, we opted to seek help through venues other than our public school system. We contacted Nazareth and were thankful to receive a screening free of charge, along with an informative, in-depth report that proved quite helpful in arriving at a diagnosis. It has given us direction, and encouraged us that we weren’t just “imagining things.” We will now pursue occupational therapy to assist our son with his needs, and we are so grateful for those at Nazareth who came alongside us to help as we sorted out some confusing behaviors. Thank you, Dr. Shriber, for your help.

To learn more about OT at Nazareth, visit the program’s webpage. And for more information about the OT clinic, contact Linda Shriber at 585-389-2562 or

From Elearning! Magazine and Slate: More science needed

7 Jun

Ask a school-age child today what he or she wants to be when they grow up. Unfortunately, the answer is probably not a scientist or engineer.

There just aren’t enough young people sticking with the hard sciences, according to Leland Melvin, former astronaut and associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Education. A recent Elearning! magazine article goes on to report that among “American fourth-graders, only three out of 10 science students and four out of 10 math students demonstrate a high level of interest and aptitude. By high school, that number drops to only two out of 10.” The article continues:

Currently, there are over 1 million jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields going unfilled. The future will require even more of these high tech workers. […] It is critically important to develop young people who are trained in STEM, because that’s where the best, most interesting ideas come from. “Those kids could be the doctors who save your life,” said Melvin, “… or planting the American flag on Mars.”

A related issue is that there simply “are not enough qualified STEM teachers, and there are limited resources available to train them … Only 16 percent of high school students go to college in STEM fields, and only 12 percent graduate with STEM degrees.”

A recent Slate article echoes Melvin’s concerns. David Plotz reports that, “In 2010, only 4.9 percent of American jobs were in science and engineering, down from 5.3 percent in 2000—the first such decline since 1950.U.S. companies are building factories overseas because they can’t hire enough competent engineers at home.” Plotz goes on to outline some of the quandaries endemic to the issue:

How can we educate more and better scientists and engineers? How can we make science and math enticing to kids? How can we make sure that college students don’t flee labs like I did? How can we persuade kids with scientific inclinations to stay in the sciences? And how can we teach basic science literacy to non-scientists, so they can have a voice in public discussion about cutting-edge technologies and discoveries?

Slate has opened up the discussion to its forum of readers, stating:

We will tackle why science education is lagging and how we can, and must, improve it. Successful scientists will write about what turned them on to science. We’ll offer new methods for how to teach science and math. We’ll focus on how to keep girls interested in science. We’ll ask whether standardized tests inspire or demoralize potential scientists. We’ll look at how other countries teach science and figure out which of their ideas we should steal. […] We’ll be publicizing the most provocative and promising ideas at the end of the month.

With the grand opening of Peckham Hall, which houses the Integrated Center for Math and Science, in September, Nazareth College is also part of this ongoing nationwide discussion. As Nazareth College President Daan Braveman notes, “This building will help Nazareth expand the number of students interested in pursuing careers in math, science, technology, health care, and teaching. The project will also ensure that our students graduate successfully and enter the workforce or graduate school prepared to begin the next chapter of their lives.”

But it’s not only math and science majors who will benefit from the new and improved learning and research spaces on campus. As a comprehensive college, Nazareth offers its students a liberal arts and sciences curriculum. And as part of that curriculum, lab courses are required. Therefore, all undergraduate students at the College will use and benefit from this center. In the last few years especially, Nazareth has seen a significant increase in enrollment in health and human services programs, which require a number of science courses. Also, in the last five years, Nazareth College has pledged to help meet the national demand for more and better qualified math and science teachers at the K–12 levels. Education remains a cornerstone program at Nazareth, and the College is committed to graduating the best prepared math and science educators for Rochester, the region, and beyond.

The Integrated Center for Math and Science in Peckham Hall will offer more than just updated lab spaces and classrooms. The center will feature dedicated, flexible, and multi-purpose research spaces, a range of support services (including computer labs and preparation rooms), and a variety of student centers—from collaborative group meeting halls to individual tutoring rooms. The building will provide a balance of student, teaching, and research needs—all critical to an interdisciplinary education.

Nazareth College is directly addressing the regional, national, and international need for more scientists, mathematicians, educators in these fields, researchers, health care professionals, and more. From Nazareth graduates restoring patients’ health to faculty inspiring a love for science in area youth and students, the College is committed to discovering and supporting knowledge and skills that will benefit everyday lives.

Voices for Autism Conference at Nazareth College, April 21

11 Apr

Autism has become one of the fastest-growing developmental disabilities in the U.S., affecting 1 in 88 children, and 1 in 54 boys. In response to the rapid rate this disability is occurring in the U.S., Nazareth College has partnered with CDS Monarch, a Rochester-based social service provider, to present the first Voices for Autism Conference on Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Linehan Chapel, located in the Golisano Academic Center on the Nazareth campus. Author and advocate Dr. Paula Kluth will lead the keynote address. The cost is $40 for families/community members and $25 for students.

The conference will bring together the expertise and experiences of family members, professionals, and individuals on the spectrum in order to address a variety of topics relevant to promoting lifelong advocacy and self-advocacy for these individuals including: supporting communication, increasing knowledge regarding available services and supports, and developing strong supportive relationships across the community. Click here to learn more about this event and Dr. Kluth, as well as to register.

Exercise Program for People Who Use Prosthetic Devices

21 Feb

Nazareth College’s physical therapy department is offering a free seven-week specially focused exercise program as part of its Academic Center for Wellness and Rehabilitation offerings. Starting March 2 and running through April 20, people using prosthetic devices can participate every Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Stadium Fitness Center on the Nazareth College campus. Registration is required. For more information and to register, call 585-389-2912.

Building upon previous and current coursework, Nazareth’s doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program students will gain hands-on knowledge in prosthetics/orthotics by examining the client’s fitness goals and working with him or her to promote overall health and wellness.

Currently, the program has eight individuals signed up, with twelve spaces available. “Ideally, we’d like a student to participant ratio of 2:1 so we are hoping to reach out to potential clients who can help our students learn, while benefitting as well from the experience,” said Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Andrew Bartlett.

One way Bartlett has acquired clients is by reaching out to Nazareth’s Office of Veterans Affairs. Jeremy Bagley, coordinator of veteran student enrollment and support services at Nazareth College, has referred three veteran amputees (not Nazareth College students) to this year’s exercise program. As veterans return home, Bagley said he sees an increasing need for such services due to the surge of walking combat patrols and improvised explosive devices used in Afghanistan.

The School of Health and Human Services at Nazareth College is a top learning institution for health care professionals. From nursing to speech-language pathology, from physical therapy to art and music therapy, the School offers challenging programs that prepare students to become compassionate, innovative and patient-focused leaders in the health care community. As the only school in upstate New York to offer both traditional allied health and creative arts therapy, Nazareth College is preparing students who will stay in—and heal—our community for generations to come.

Nazareth’s PT Department Takes Steps Toward Partnership in India

20 Feb

Nazareth College recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lourde Institute for Allied Health Sciences (LIAHS), located in Kerala, India, to expand learning opportunities for physical therapy (PT) students at both colleges, focusing on collaborative programs. Physical Therapy Department Chair Jennifer Collins and PT faculty members Elizabeth Clark and JJ Mowder-Tinney traveled to India in January 2012, where they advised on curriculum as well as discussed faculty/student exchange and certification programs for physical therapists in India. Nazareth College will host faculty members from LIAHS here in the U.S. in spring 2012.

The Nazareth College physical therapy department will encourage faculty and student exchanges between the two institutions and has discussed offering a dual degree in physical therapy from Nazareth and LIAHS. The partnership will also serve to develop a post-professional doctor of physical therapy degree suitable for Indian practitioners who seek knowledge in differential diagnosis and evidence based practice. Nazareth also hopes to encourage professional development programs in physical therapy and Ayurvedic approaches, partnering with the Parassinikadavu Ayurveda Medical College. Ayurveda is one of the oldest organized systems of medicine and emphasizes a balanced lifestyle and the use of medicinal plants to promote overall health and well-being.

After hosting LIAHS faculty in spring of 2012, Nazareth PT faculty plan to return to Kerala in October 2012 and offer its first student trip in March 2013.

The School of Health and Human Services at Nazareth College is a top learning institution for health care professionals. From nursing to speech-language pathology, from physical therapy to art and music therapy, the school offers challenging programs that prepare students to become compassionate, innovative, and patient-focused leaders in the health care community. As the only school in upstate New York to offer both traditional allied health and creative arts therapy, Nazareth College is preparing students who will stay in—and heal—our community for generations to come.