Physical Therapy

The Department of Physical Therapy at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is dedicated to preparing therapists for a life long commitment to professional growth and the potential to develop into a master clinician. Our highly respected programs educate the entry level and postprofessional practitioners to lead the way in helping people of all ages overcome their functional challenges.

Department News 

Joseph Hanley DPT'14 honored as IPTA Physical Therapy Student of the Year

Class of 2014 student Joseph Hanley was recently honored as the 2014 Illinois Physical Therapy Association Physical Therapy Student of the Year. The award is given to an outstanding Physical Therapy Student to recognize those students who exhibit superior scholastic ability and potential for future professional contribution. Mr. Hanley helped to reestablish the IPTA Student Special Interest Group (SSIG), after the SSIG had been inactive for several years, and served to establish the inaugural  SSIG banquet "We're All in this Together" a fundraiser for the Marquette Challenge in 2013. Over $7000 was raised at the event in support of the Foundation for Physical Therapy.  The event has received numerous awards including the Foundation’s “Most Creative Fundraiser” Award in 2013 and the Foundation’s “Innovation in Fundraising Award for 2014." Mr Hanley also served as an intern with IPTA. Previous recipients of this award include RFUMS alumni Giovanni Berardi DPT'10 and Kristen Smigelski DPT'11.  Please join us in congratulating Mr. Joe Hanley! 

Physical Therapy Faculty / Alumnus honored with College Awards

Lt. Eric Infante PT, DPT, ATC DPT ’10 Naval Health Clinic Hawaii  was the recipient of the 2014 College of Health Professions Outstanding Clinical Instructor Award. This award recognizes a clinician who has demonstrated exemplary supervision and facilitation of clinical learning outcomes. Dr. Jeffrey Damaschke PT, DPT, MS, OCS was honored with the 2014 Award for Excellence in Service. Dr. Damaschke has led many College and Program service initiatives directed at health promotion and wellness. He is also co-director of Healthy U, the University's wellness initiative. The Scholarship Award was presented to Dr. Mary Rahlin PT, DHS, PCS. Dr. Rahlin is well published in the area of pediatric physical therapy. Dr. Karen Stevens PT, DPT, OCS was also honored with the Scholarship Award for her educational research. Finally, Ms. Betty Melton was the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Staff Member Award. 

Physical Therapy Student Awarded Presidential Scholarship

Danielle Coppola DPT'16 has been awarded the 2014 President Scholarship by the College of Health Professions. The Presidential Scholarship is a scholarship designed for students who demonstrate a commitment to Interprofessionalism and have a vision for excellence in patient centered care through collaboration. As part of the award, Coppola will direct an interprofessional health promotion and wellness initiative. 


The Foundation of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers has honored Josiah Ryks DPT'15 and Katherine Kelly DPT'15 with scholarship assistance for participation in scientific and educational sessions at the 2014 Cooperative Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and Americas Committee on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS), scheduled for May 28 thru May 31, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. These scholarship opportunities have been established to encourage growth and excellence in the comprehensive clinical care of Multiple Sclerosis. Mr. Ryks and Ms. Kelly are among 10 students from across the country to receive such distinction.

Class of 2014 Awarded Foundation Award of Merit

For participation in the 2012-2013 Marquette Challenge the Class of 2014 has been awarded the Foundation Award of Merit. This is the fourth straight year that RFUMS has received this distinction. The Challenge has become the single largest fundraiser for the Foundation For Physical Therapy, the primary source of funding for physical therapy researchers investigating innovative approaches to health delivery services. RFUMS was recognized by the Foundation for our long-standing history of contributions to this important cause by our induction into the Challenge Philanthropy Circle Cornerstone Society in 2010. We remain one of only 6 schools to receive such distinction, an elite group of schools with a legacy of success.

2013 IPTA / Marquette Challenge Gala

RFUMS students, faculty, and alumni together with PT and PTA schools throughout the state gathered at Naperville Country Club on April 20, 2013 to support to 2012-2013 Marquette Challenge and physical therapy research. Read more

Nicole Oddo, Class of 2014, Awarded Schweitzer Fellowship

Her project is entitled "Healthy Mind, Healthy Body" and will benefit underserved older adults in Waukegan and surrounding communities.
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