2015 Malawi - Physical Therapy

An interprofessional collaborative sustainability project with Kachere Rehabilitation Centre, Malawi

Summer 2015

Led by Leslie Glickman, PT, PhD, School of Medicine

Students (School affiliation): Kristen Emelio (Nursing), Heidi Hartz (Social Work), Heidi Im (Medicine)

Project description:

Dr. Leslie Glickman returned to Malawi to continue work which she started in a 2014 project with the Kachere Rehabilitation Centre in Blantyre, Malawi. She mentored students from the Schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Social Work. The team actively participated in an interprofessional community research project interviewing clients with neurologic disorders who were recently discharged from Kachere. They implemented a survey to determine client-perceived disability levels and to better understand the challenges that patients faced with community reintegration. Students helped the faculty lead two professional development trainings for rehabilitation and medical providers and one educational session for guardians of rehabilitation clients. The sessions heightened the students' awareness of how valuable professional development trainings are to providers in resource-poor countries and how priorities are made by professionals and their clients when resources are scarce.

Student and faculty reflections:

“Given the multitude of social determinants of health, methods of treatment and cultural differences, I now truly understand how critical an interprofessional team is in addressing global health issues.” - Heidi Hartz, School of Social Work

“For the second year, we implemented a very successful interprofessional sustainability project, with students from diverse backgrounds who were unified by their passion for social justice, equality, and international outreach. With limited financial resources and time, we were able to accomplish measurable outcomes and potentially make a difference in the lives of the clients from the Kachere Rehabilitation Centre, their families, and the staff. We were realistic with our project goals and potential deliverables and built our project on prior collaborations and future plans for sustainability.” - Leslie Glickman, School of Medicine

This project was featured on UMB's School of Medicine News page and in UMB's Physical Therapy Fall 2015 newsletter.