With 2,038 total volunteer hours, Chapman’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program won first place in the 2018 CA Outreach Challenge. The challenge is an annual state-wide competition that runs from September through April, and encourages student Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants to volunteer in their local communities.

160 Chapman students participated, contributing their time to a wide variety of organizations throughout Orange County and Los Angeles, including Second Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Camp Fire Relief, Orange County Coastkeeper, the Special Olympics, the Ronald McDonald House in Orange, the Pasadena 5K Walk for Stroke Prevention and the MeoowzResQ organization.

Community service is an essential part of the DPT program, and after completing a total of 45 hours, students are asked to write papers that reflect upon their experience and present them to the faculty. The goal, according to Georgeanne Vlad, who oversees the Service Learning course, is “to get them out of the just-PT mode and to open their eyes to the whole patient and the whole community, and what needs — physical, spiritual, emotional — our clients and patients might have.”

“It’s very heartwarming,” says Vlad, “They end up talking to individuals barely making ends meet who have to put humility aside and ask for charity.”

2018 marks the third year Chapman DPT students have participated in the CA Outreach Challenge, and their second first place win.

(Photo: Students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program volunteered at the Relay for Stroke in Pasadena.)