Samantha Van Gorder, SPT, receives APTA Minority Scholarship: Physical Therapist Student Award

Duke University Doctor of Physical Therapy student portraits for the composite

We would like to congratulate Class of 2016 Doctor of Physical Therapy student, Samantha Van Gorder, SPT, who has received the APTA Minority Scholarship: Physical Therapist Student Award. Samantha is the first DPT student to receive this honor, which is awarded annually to physical therapy students in their final year of physical therapy education to acknowledge and reward:

  • Demonstrated participation in minority affairs, activities, and services
  • The potential for superior achievements in the profession of physical therapy
  • Appropriate display of professionalism as a future physical therapist
  • Academic excellence

About Samantha

Samantha grew up in Ramona, CA (near San Diego), where she started playing soccer at around five years old:

You know, I wanted to be just like my big brother. I think playing soccer and being active, in general, really peaked my interested in learning about how the body moves and functions. I went on to receive my Bachelor’s in Exercise Science at California Lutheran University, where I continued to play soccer. When I tore my ACL in my third year, going through the rehabilitation process really sealed the deal for pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy.

After college, Samantha chose to come to Duke for her DPT education because she, “…loved the concept of Team-Based Learning and how that flowed into clinical practice, or STEPs, showcasing how essential teamwork is in healthcare. The phenomenal faculty and incredible opportunities outside of the classroom didn’t hurt either.”

What’s Next

Currently, Samantha is interested in becoming an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and working with young athletes. Eventually, she would like to enter the academic arena as well.

When asked what receiving this scholarship means to her, Samantha explained:

First and foremost, I am proud to be part of a professional organization that continually demonstrates how much it values and promotes diversity and community involvement. The award was great validation and reinforcement that the work I was doing outside of the classroom was important. It has definitely motivated me to continue being involved in the community and find a workplace that values community service as well.

Congratulations to Samantha and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

Michel D. Landry, PT, PhD, to give keynote presentation at l’Université de Sherbrooke

On Thursday, April 21, 2016, Michel D. Landry, PT, PhD, will give the keynote presentation, “Le passé n’est qu’un prologue: les enjeux dans le domaine de la santé mondiale et les opportunités pour les futurs ergothérapeutes et phytothérapeutes,” (translation: “What’s past is prologue: The Global Health Endgame, and the Emerging Role for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists”), at the 6e Symposium annuel des programmes d’ergothérapie et de physiothérapie l’Université de Sherbrooke (translation: 6th Symposium of Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists at Sherbrooke University). Dr. Landry will give the keynote presentation for the PT and OT graduating classes.

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Dr. Robert Lark featured on WRAL: Low-dose X-rays at Duke curb radiation risks for scoliosis patients

Reposted from

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About 3 percent of children are diagnosed with scoliosis or a curvature of the spine, and many of those children will need corrective braces and frequent X-rays.

A new low-dose X-ray greatly reduces health risks from all that radiation.

For 22 hours a day, 8-year-old Ellie Garman wears a custom body brace.

She has a special name for it.

“It hugs me, like a turtle shell hugs a turtle, so I decided to call it my turtle shell,” Garman said.

More than a year ago, during a doctor’s visit, Garman’s pediatrician noticed a curve in her spine and referred her family to Duke University Hospital orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Lark.

His goal is to avoid surgery by using a series of corrective braces.

“As (Garman) grows, she’s going to outgrow these braces the same way she outgrows her clothes,” Lark said. “So, she’ll have to be refitted for a new one roughly once a year.”

New braces require new X-rays—many of them.

If done with conventional X-rays, the radiation doses increase future health risks, such as breast cancer. Garman’s family already has a history of breast cancer.

“It was important for us as a family to minimize that risk,” said Katie Garman, Ellie’s mother.

Now, Duke has EOS, a low dose, 3D imaging system that scans patients as they stand still.

“(The system) allows for weight-bearing load (to be) applied through the spine,” Lark said.

EOS does the job at just one-tenth the amount of radiation as a conventional X-ray, and provides a more detailed image of the spine.

“So, I can measure the height of each vertebral body down to a millimeter or tenth of a millimeter,” Lark said.

That data helps in the design of new braces, which Ellie Garman will need to wear until she stops growing.

Ellie Garman now carefully plans two or three hours on days when she can leave her “turtle shell” off, such as when her grandparents visit.

“Because I like to hug them and feel them when they hug me,” Ellie Garman said.

Lark says that although scoliosis in children occurs just as much in boys as girls, girls are much more likely to require surgical correction if early detection leading to corrective brace therapy isn’t achieved.


Rick Armstrong
Web Editor
Evan Matsumoto


Copyright 2016 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved.

Planning Ahead: 3rd Quarter ES-DUHS Confirmation & University Effort Review

On Monday, April 18, 2016, the auto-notification will be sent to all faculty that have effort supporting the Health System.  Those faculty will be asked to confirm their 3rd Quarter ES-DUHS effort no later than Friday, April 29, 2016.

Additionally, the auto-notification email from OSP for the faculty to review their 3rd Quarter University effort will be sent on Monday, April 25, 2016.

Specific actions will be included in each of the emails. It is critical to meet our Department deadlines.

Please contact Peter Pavlis at (919) 681-3360  or Collen Tuzzolino  (919) 660-5037 if you have any further questions.

Clinical Research Training Program is now accepting applications for the academic year 2016-2017

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 9.48.04 AMThe Clinical Research Training Program is now accepting applications for the academic year 2016-2017.

This Duke University School of Medicine program provides academic training in the quantitative and methodological principles of clinical research. Designed primarily for faculty and clinical fellows who are training for academic careers, the program offers formal courses in research design, research management, medical genetics, comparative effectiveness, translational methodologies, and statistical analysis.

Application Deadline: May 15, 2016
Registration for Fall Term Courses: July 11-22, 2016
Fall 2016 classes begin: August 29

For a detailed description of the program, the course offerings, and a link to the online application, visit the CRTP website at

For more information, contact Gail Ladd, CRTP Program Coordinator, at 681-4560 or

Duke Health Smart Phone App for Providers-Available for Download Now

Picture1Starting on April 11, 2016, a new smart phone application will be available to providers across Duke Health that will offer convenient, clickable access to wide range of practical information related to patient care.

Features include:

  •         A searchable list of useful phone numbers that eliminates the need to call the operator and which includes a link to the paging web.
  •         A physician directory that links to
  •         Documentation tips.
  •         Coding tips.
  •         A link to Maestro Care help desk and concierge program
  •         Medical resource links to UpToDate and PubMed.
  •         A “contact us” option for providing feedback to the app development team.

Continue reading

Dr. Kwadwo Owusu-Akyaw wins 3rd Place at the OREF/ORS Pittsburgh Regional Resident Research Symposium

We would like to congratulatepic for blog PGY-2 resident, Dr. Kwadwo Owusu-Akyaw, who won 3rd place at the OREF/ORS Pittsburgh Regional Resident Research Symposium for his study, The Effect of Dynamic Activity on Localized T1rho Relaxation Time and Strain Measurements in the Articular Cartilage of the Tibial Plateau.”

The 5th Annual Extremity Summit | June 3-5, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 9.55.00 AMWe would like to invite you to attend the 5th Annual CME Extremity course to be held at the Greenbrier Medical Institute/ Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.  There will be simultaneous foot/ankle and upper extremity sessions with a common exhibit hall on June 4, 2016. A fellows meeting will occur on the afternoon of June 3rd.  Presentations include faculty from Wake Forest School of Medicine, Duke University, University of Virginia, Ortho Carolinas, UPMC Hamot, The Hand Center of Greensboro, Northwestern University-Consultant in Hand Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, West Virginia University, Blue Ridge Bone & Joint, High Point Orthopaedics, and the Philadelphia Hand Center.

A block of Intermediate rooms have been reserved for $309.00 per room, per night, single or double occupancy.  An additional $50.00 per night will apply to each third and fourth adult occupant in the room.  Please call the Greenbrier directly at 877-631-0173 and ask to speak to our Group Reservationist,

Erin Kirby to make your room reservations – HOUSING DEADLINE IS MAY 6, 2016.

For further information, please contact Mary Lee Rippey at or 336-716-2878.

The 5th Annual Extremity Summit – Registration and Brochure