ENACT doctoral fellow Rawan AlHeresh, MS OTR, will be published in the...
Category: Winter 2013 Newsletter
Greetings! Our winter newsletter corresponds with a blast of cold air and snowfall in Boston. It’s hard to believe that we are beginning year three of our Center. It seems like just yesterday that we were getting started and hiring our staff.
As we find ourselves entrenched in our research studies and working hard on our recruitment, we also welcomed our new pre-doctoral fellow, Molly Vaughan, DPT to our team in September. In addition, ENACT was involved with several presentations at the 2012 American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals Scientific Meeting in November (ACR/ARHP), and we hosted our first webcast—a critical look at arthritis from a public health perspective by Dr. Patience White, Vice President for Public Health, Arthritis Foundation in September.
In conjunction with the Arthritis Foundation, the Lupus Foundation, and the Scleroderma Foundation, we sponsored our 5th consumer forum. This forum’s topic was pain and fatigue with arthritis and rheumatological conditions. As with our past forums, it is truly amazing to see the enthusiasm among consumers in our community and their immense interest in managing arthritis symptoms. There is truly a need to bring the research to people with arthritis living in the community. Finally, our student projects continue to develop with the addition of 7 new podcasts for our Active Living with Arthritis podcast series developed by two more Doctor of Physical Therapy Students.
We hope you enjoy our newsletter! As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions on our activities. Be well!
Julie Keysor, PhD, PT, ENACT Center Director
ENACT presents at ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting; Dr. Saralynn Allaire Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award
ENACT had a noticeable presence at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP), which was held in Washington, D.C. this November. ACR/ARHP is the leading professional organization for rheumatology professionals, and this annual meeting is the premier event for sharing advances in arthritis research. In addition to sponsoring the annual meeting, ACR/ARHP offers many benefits to its members, including networking opportunities, subscriptions to the leading industry publications, advocacy training, and opportunities to meet with members of Congress to discuss policy agenda items that affect their patients.
ENACT was involved in five presentations:
- ENACT’s Director, Dr. Julie Keysor, headed the combined rehabilitation session, “Promoting Participation: Where is the Field and Where Do We Go Next?” with her introduction “Participation: Definition and Current Measurement Approaches” and her presentation, “Participation and Community Dwelling Adults with Arthritis”
- Dr. Keysor also presented her abstract “Factors contributing to Black and White Differences in ‘Willingness’ to Undergo Joint Replacement Surgery: The MOST Study”
- ENACT research scientist, Jessica Maxwell, PT, DPT, OCS, presented “Participation in Adults Post Total Knee Joint Replacement”
- ENACT pre-doctorate fellow Rawan AlHeresh, MS, OT made her ACR/ARHP debut with her presentation, “Work Disability and Employment Retention”
One of the highlights of the meeting was an award acknowledging the lifelong contributions to the field of rheumatology by Dr. Saralynn Allaire, ScD, CRC, ENACT’s Associate Director. Dr. Allaire received the ACR/ARHP’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her valuable contributions to rheumatological research and advocacy. The Lifetime Achievement Award, ACR/ARHP’s most distinguished award, is presented to a current or former member of ARHP whose career has demonstrated a sustained and lasting contribution to the field of rheumatology and rheumatology health professionals. We agree that Dr. Allaire is a worthy recipient!
ENACT is proud to share exciting cutting-edge research with leaders in the arthritis research community and the rehabilitation community at large at events such as the ACR/ARHP annual meeting. ENACT presentations, including those from ACR/ARHP, are archived on the ENACT website.
Our spotlight features Dr. Patience White, MD, MA the Vice President of Public Health at the Arthritis Foundation and a key member of ENACT’s advisory board. As a core member of the Arthritis Foundation’s national public health initiative, Dr. White’s work focuses on coordinating multiple agencies and campaigns with the goal of advancing health policy initiatives aimed at promoting physical activity among persons with arthritis.
As an educator, researcher, and practicing rheumatologist, Dr. White has devoted her career to promoting arthritis research and has been a strong advocate for persons with arthritis. Most notably, Dr. White’s efforts to coordinate inter-agency collaboration to advance public health and arthritis rehabilitation agendas have been an important contribution to the field. Working in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dr. White led the Arthritis Foundation in the implementation of two multi-million dollar initiatives to promote physical activity. Additionally, Dr. White has consulted with the President’s Task Force for Employment of People with Disabilities and served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy fellow for the Finance Committee of the United States Senate from 2000-2001, where she contributed her knowledge of health care financing to the legislative process.
In September, ENACT was delighted to welcome Dr. White to Boston University’s School of Public Health to share her advocacy and arthritis rehabilitation expertise with a group of Boston University faculty, researchers, and students. Her presentation titled “Moving National Public Health Agendas to Action: Pitfalls, Challenges, & Opportunities” focused on Dr. White’s perspective regarding efforts to develop and implement four recent interdisciplinary initiatives aimed at moving the national OA Public Health Agenda to action. We were pleased to have a good showing of faculty, students, and professionals attend the presentation. Dr. White’s presentation was also webcast to a national audience and the archived presentation can be viewed on the ENACT website.
The partnership between ENACT and the Arthritis Foundation is critical to the success of our education and training programs. We are grateful for Dr. White’s efforts to advance the field of arthritis research and rehabilitation and for her contributions to ENACT.
ENACT has recently launched “Resource Corner,” a comprehensive, evidence-based webtool. The Resource Corner is organized in four sections to simplify navigation:
- Arthritis Information provides background information
- Tools for People Living with Arthritis includes straightforward information and realistic strategies for adding physical activity to daily life
- Tools for Rehabilitation professionals and researchers are uniquely positioned to positively impact people living with the challenges arthritis can present. This section includes industry guidelines, resources to share with patients, and instruments developed by experts in the field
- Local Area Resources is useful for individuals living in the Boston area
This compilation of resources built by ENACT experts as well as information from national health organizations offers useful tools for all who wish to enhance participation in daily life through physical activity.
- Physical activity resources from the Arthritis Foundation, Centers for Disease Control, and others
- Educational webinars and scientific presentations
- A special section on work retention
- National arthritis policy agendas
- A glossary of arthritis terms assists in communication with the medical team
- Overview of the impact of arthritis in the US today
- Easy-to-access recordings in our “Active Living with Arthritis” Podcast Series contain useful information for incorporating activity into daily life
- Local Boston area resources
As a leading cause of disability in the US, arthritis can greatly affect our daily lives but physical activity offers a powerful tool for taking control of arthritis and replacing limitation with participation.
Visit the ENACT Resource Corner to start exploring today!
The ENACT team is excited to welcome a new pre-doctoral fellow, Molly Vaughan, PT, DPT. Molly came to ENACT in September 2012, joining pre-doctoral fellows Aileen Ledingham, Rawan AlHeresh, and Radhika Kelkar.
Molly developed an interest in rehabilitation research after completing a degree in architectural design at Washington University. After college, Molly went on a cross-country trip where she worked as a still photographer on an independent documentary chronicling the life of a youth with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This experience proved to be a life-changing event that would eventually lead her to ENACT. During the trip, Molly became intrigued by the myriad environmental obstacles encountered by people with mobility limitations. Molly also assisted the physical therapy aides and was able to learn some interventions. This experience helped Molly develop a unique perspective and motivated her to use her background in architecture to examine the impact of environmental obstacles on participation among people with physical disabilities.
As a next step in exploring her interest in disability and the environment, Molly decided to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Boston University’s Sargent college of health and Rehabilitation Sciences. While at Sargent College, Molly was mentored by Dr. Julie Keysor, a national expert on disability and the environment and ENACT’s director. Under Dr. Keysor’s guidance, Molly assisted with the development of Access Wiki, a navigational tool to help people with disabilities avoid built environment barriers in order to increase their participation. This is an important contribution because, as Molly says, “the barriers that the environment may pose to both older people or people with disabilities may accelerate their loss of function and disability.”
Molly’s collaboration with Dr. Keysor inspired her to apply for ENACT’s pre- doctoral clinical fellowship to pursue her Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences. Molly says, “Dr. Keysor has conducted environmental research in rehabilitation, and her intelligence and passion for this topic were instrumental in my decision to pursue an ScD at Sargent.” Molly is currently working on ENACT research projects, including the Work It Vocational Retention Project. According to Dr. Keysor, “Molly brings a true passion to enhancing the lives of older adults and people with arthritis by fostering optimal activity and participation in their life roles. Her enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity regarding the interface between the environment, the person and participation will move the field forward in novel ways. We look forward to fostering Molly’s skills and expertise to address this critical area of rheumatological rehabilitation.” We are fortunate to have Molly’s unique experience and perspective.
ENACT’s partnership with the Arthritis Foundation continues to enhance ENACT’s vision to offer community programming that has an impact on the lives of people with arthritis. ENACT’s Community Programming area conducted and participated in several educational, motivational, and supportive arthritis events in the Boston area over the summer and fall. Most recently, ENACT sponsored an educational community forum titled “Managing Fatigue and Pain from Arthritis, Lupus, and Scleroderma,” which was held at the Boston University School of Medicine on November 3rd, 2012. For this event, ENACT collaborated with the local chapters of the Arthritis Foundation, Lupus Foundation, and Scleroderma Foundation to provide local area members of these organizations with information on how to manage fatigue and pain, both common side effects of these chronic rheumatic conditions. Individuals attending the forum found the speakers knowledgeable and motivating. Attendees agreed that they learned valuable strategies for addressing fatigue and pain. Many observed that they will do things differently and will incorporate suggestions such as “planning my day differently to have more energy” and “start making goals and keeping a journal” into their day.
Two additional community forums, co-sponsored by ENACT and the Arthritis Foundation, were offered in Dorchester, MA and Newton, MA. The presentations, titled “Arthritis and You: Can we Talk?”, focused on expanding individual knowledge about medical management of arthritis and the tangible benefits of physical activity.
ENACT also participated at the Arthritis Expo (2013 Boston date scheduled for March 23!),which was held in July at the University of Massachusetts. At this event, ENACT had an informational table and worked to keep up with a constant stream of attendees who had good questions about their experiences living with arthritis. ENACT’s Director, Dr. Julie Keysor, spoke at this event and her talk, “Osteoarthritis: Medical Management, Movement and You,” was well received by the audience. ENACT’s Associate Director Dr. Saralynn Allaire and Dr. Kristin Baker, ENACT Research Scientist, spent the day providing individual consultation to participants seeking advice from the Expert’s Corner.
The annual Boston Arthritis Walk on September 19th had a large contingent from ENACT and our collaborators at Boston University Arthritis Center/Rheumatology and Boston University’s College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College. ENACT and students from Sargent College’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and Occupational Therapy Program offered educational information and basic posture screenings, stretches, and adaptive equipment demonstrations.
We are looking forward to continuing our collaborations with the New England chapter of the Arthritis Foundation to bring educational and motivational resources and information to people living with rheumatic conditions. Keep an eye out for upcoming community events in your area!