Midwestern University’s Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech-Language Pathology Students Come Together to Create Interprofessional Club

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August 03, 2022 | Glendale, AZ

At Midwestern University, students learn about the importance of interprofessional collaboration through exposure to the One Health Initiative. This ideology recognizes that the health of humans is intricately entwined with the health of animals and the environment. This initiative is further expanded upon in every student’s first year through a required class that focuses on the importance of interprofessional collaboration within the broad field of healthcare.

SPOT, the acronym Speech, Physical and Occupational Therapy Club was birthed from a series of student-initiated events.

Physical therapy student Robbie James (’23) was assisting a person with a spinal cord injury with their home exercise program prescribed by a licensed physical therapist. While helping with some upper extremity exercises, he decided it may be beneficial to seek input from occupational therapy students Savanna Six (’23) and Destiny White (’23) who also collaborated with the gentleman and, under the guidance of an occupational therapy faculty member, fabricated an adapted device. Concurrently, Makaylee Madriz (’23), had reached out to the Midwestern University occupational therapy program to see if they would be interested in joining the physical therapy program in planning a seminar for caregivers in the community. The idea would be to share information on proper body mechanics that would help caregivers become more efficient and improve safety when assisting with mobility and transfers.

These examples of ‘real life’ community-based service opportunities highlighted what the students had been learning in the classroom and sparked their passion for interdisciplinary activities beyond the classroom setting.  Hence, physical therapy students Makaylee Madriz (’23), Robbie James (’23), and Caitlin Murray (’24), occupational therapy students Savannah Six (’23), Sara Hunt (’23), Kendal Marchese (’23), Destiny White (’23) and Adam Johnson, (’23) and speech-language pathology students Hunter Allen (’23), Felicia Tetz (’23), Ashley Kolbeck (’23), and Lauren Hirsch (’23) met with Froma Jacobson (OT faculty) to explore the possibilities.

From this idea, SPOT (Speech, Physical, Occupational Therapy) was born – an interprofessional club comprised of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology students. The club aims to promote interprofessional activities between the three programs, including facilitating roundtable discussions, bringing in guest speakers, hosting socials, going on fieldtrips, planning and/or participating in community outreach events, and discussing case studies together. SPOT hopes to become largely member-driven and to serve as a resource for everyone.

To learn more about the Midwestern University Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, and Physical Therapy programs, go to: https://www.midwestern.edu/academics/degrees-and-programs