April 28, 2023 | Downers Grove, IL
The Midwestern University Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Institutes co-hosted a Parkinson’s World Health Fair on April 20th at the University’s Multispecialty Clinic in Downers Grove, Illinois for community members living with Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement with symptoms that generally develop slowly over years. Nearly one million people in the U.S. are living with PD, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Midwestern University students and clinical faculty offered the health fair to provide information and updates on Parkinson’s Disease. During the event, participants and their caregivers were assigned to a student pair that included a Physical Therapy (PT) student and a Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) student. The students provided various health screenings throughout the event and guided participants through different stations focused on cognition, sleep, balance, swallowing, speech, hearing, and more.
The fair provided valuable information for participants and hands-on clinical experience for Midwestern students. “This event helped me prepare to give my future clients appropriate resources and information on their diagnosis. We had some participants come to the health fair who were unaware that their own symptoms were commonly associated with Parkinson’s Disease. They were also unaware of some signs and symptoms that they could monitor or take preventative action against. Our team talked about how we want to support our clients and allow them to have their questions and uncertainties answered and heard,” said Rachel Lauver, a student in the SLP Program at Midwestern University.
In addition, the health fair reinforced the importance of interprofessional collaboration and teamwork. “The PD Health Fair allowed me to get a glimpse at what SLPs are capable of in evaluating, assessing, and, potentially, treating patients, especially those that suffer from PD,” said Ryan Lambe, a student in the PT Program at Midwestern University. “Since the fair, I have a greater appreciation for my SLP colleagues and their ability to assist with tonality, pitch, facial expressions, and hearing in addition to swallowing and speech. This, of course, is only a glimpse of what SLPs provide in patient care.”
The event also provided community members the opportunity to help educate future members of the healthcare team. “This type of event helps prepare me, and others alike, to be a better healthcare professional by expanding our knowledge and appreciation of what each provider offers to patients, especially within the realm of evaluating and treating a patient as part of a multidisciplinary approach,” Ryan added.
At Midwestern University’s Multispecialty Clinic, graduate-level students and expert clinical faculty work side-by-side to provide exceptional care to the community in various clinics including the Speech-Language Pathology Institute and the Physical Therapy Institute. Patients of all ages benefit from state-of-the-art facilities, comprehensive treatment options, and a collegiate atmosphere where they play an important role in the education of the next generation of healthcare professionals. For more information, visit www.mwuclinics.com.