Health Professions

PT faculty present their work at annual TPTA conference

PT faculty, Dr. Michael Geelhoed, Dr. Martha M. Acosta, Dr. Gustavo Almeida and Dr. Bobby Belarmino

By Kate Hunger

Physical therapists can help people with acute decompensated heart failure avoid going back into the hospital, according to one of several presentations delivered by faculty from the Department of Physical Therapy at the 2021 Texas Physical Therapy Association annual conference.

Assistant Professor Bobby Belarmino, PT, DPT, PhD, CCS, and Associate Professor Martha M. Acosta, PhD, PT, GCS, presented the two-hour educational course “Hospital Readmission on Individuals with Acute Decompensated Heart Failure." Clinical specialist Rajashree Mondkar, PT, MS, CCS, of Houston Methodist Hospital, also served as a speaker during the program. 

Dr. Belarmino said he was gratified by the discussion during a live Q&A session following the program on the topic of how rural physical therapists can care for patients with acute heart failure after discharge from the hospital. He and Dr. Acosta urged therapists in acute care hospitals to educate patients and caregivers on evidence-based steps they can take to avoid readmission to the hospital. These steps include keeping follow-up outpatient therapy appoints, participating in a supervised exercise program and completing their at-home exercise program.

“At UT Health San Antonio, our mission is to make lives better. Being part of the bigger UT System, we have an overall mission, which is to improve the human condition of the people of Texas,” said Dr. Belarmino. “I believe having that interactive discussion with the rural health therapists accomplished our missions and goals as a university.”

Other faculty presentations at the conference, held virtually Oct. 23 and 30, include:

Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Education Michael Geelhoed, DPT, OCS, MPT, presented an educational session on how to implement diversity, equity and inclusion in the PT workplace. He also presented a poster of the student-led research project titled “Co-curricular interprofessional education activities involving physical therapy students: a secondary analysis of a scoping review.” As TPTA president, Dr. Geelhoed will participate in the Texas Assembly and give an address on the final day of the conference.

Assistant Professor Gustavo Almeida, PT, PhD, shared two poster presentations from mentored-student research projects, titled “Effect of Blood-Flow Restriction Compared with High-Intensity Interval Training on Muscle Power and Lactate Threshold” and “Improving functional capacity and self-efficacy in cancer survivors: A holistic approach to rehabilitation.”

Dr. Belarmino presented the poster "Difference in the Level of Confidence among Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Students who received Interprofessional Critical Care Simulation Experiences," a project in collaboration with Department of Occupational Therapy Clinical Associate Professor Autumn Clegg, OTR, EdD.

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