School of Health Professions

Shoe drive benefits Alpha Home residents

PT students pose with shoes donated to Alpha Home.


After volunteering at a recent pro bono clinic, physical therapy students recognized a need for shoes among those served by Alpha Home, a local nonprofit that supports residential addiction recovery treatment for women.

A good pair of shoes makes all the difference in rehabilitating a lower-extremity injury, said Julie Barnett, PT, DPT, MTC, an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Professions. 

“They come in with foot, knee or lower back pain,” said Barnett. “In orthopedic physical therapy, most of the lower-extremity injuries benefit from a good foundation from the floor, which is a decent pair of shoes.”

Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2024 President Kelsey Segner, first-year DPT student Alyssa Williams and Barnett came up with the idea for a shoe drive after learning about the need for shoes for residents both during their stay and after they complete the program at Alpha Home. 

That conversation inspired them to organize a school-wide shoe drive that ended Feb. 12.

“The three of us put our minds together in that moment and decided to organize a shoe drive within the School of Health Professions to assist Alpha Home, especially during the cold season,” Segner said.

“We sent one email, made one Instagram post and placed some fliers around campus, and the shoe drive just took off,” Segner said. “The School of Health Professions students are amazing.”

More than 100 pairs of shoes were donated, as well as bedsheets and clothing items. Some of the donations will help men and women who receive outpatient counseling at Alpha Home.

“I am proud of our students for not only identifying a problem, but also a solution,” Barnett said. “That’s one definition of leadership.”

For years, medical, dental, nursing and physical therapy students from UT Health San Antonio have provided pro bono services at Alpha Home while supervised by faculty. The student-run PT clinic is held once per month.

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