WCU Students and Faculty Give Back to the Community During Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month as well as the Physicial Therapy Day of Service, which was Oct. 15. In recognition of our students and associates, we wanted to share some highlights.

Photo of WCU DPT students working on the GoBabyGo-LA cars

“I’m incredibly proud of the efforts our students have made and continue to make,” Dawn James, PT, DPT, PCS, assistant professor of WCU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (DPT), said.

James led the efforts with her students this past year. WCU’s physical therapy students raised funds for several outreach programs and ranked top in the state for volunteer efforts.

On Oct. 1, first-year DPT students gathered at campus on a Saturday for a neighborhood trash pick up. Students brought trash bags and gloves, and split up to conquer as many neighborhoods as they could.

“Physical Therapy Day of Service 2016 was a very fun and successful one for the second year DPT students at West Coast University!” West Coast University DPT student Cara Kahm said. “Our class of 40 students put together a fund raising page with an organization called Together We Rise and in only a few weeks raised over $1200!”

Together We Rise is an organization that works to help improve children’s experiences in foster care by providing duffle bags full of goodies, scholarships, bikes and more. With the money raised for the organization, DPT students were able to purchase 21 small bikes. On Saturday, October 15, the class gathered at WCU with screw drivers, wrenches and bike pumps to assemble the bikes.

“Not only was it a fun day, but the class was excited to be doing their part to encourage people, even at a young age, to stay moving and active,” Kahm added. Not only that, but hopefully these bikes can bring smiles to the kids faces and help to brighten their days!”


WCU physical therapy students ranked second in the nation for fund raising for the profession, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.

Community Outreach

  • The Class of 2019 is volunteering at the American Heart Association Heart Walk
  • The Class of 2018 has raised more than $1,200 and is building bikes for foster children through the organization Together We Rise
  • The Pediatric Elective Class is participating in a GoBabyGo-LA and adapting ride on toys to improve mobility and participation for children with special needs in partnership with our clinical partner, Total Education Solutions
  • Two students placed first in creating a PSA about the profession of Physical Therapy nationally
  • Three students ranked first, second and third in the state for volunteer efforts through the California Outreach Challenge.

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