The infectious energy was in the air as the theme was “Pirate Day.” Participants and students, dressed in pirate garb, were laughing and eagerly awaiting their obstacle course to commence. A treasure hunt was set up to travel participants through a guided course that included mock versions of the infamous walking the plank, a row boat across the sea, graves to hop over, a journey through a skeleton graveyard, and finally succeed in acquiring buried treasure coins.
In this fun and supportive environment known as Stroke Boot Camp, participants encourage each other and have a friendly rival race. Members of the camp are stroke patients who have fulfilled all of their health care provided benefits towards rehabilitation and are relying on the donated time of Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences DPT Program students for additional rehabilitation. Each member of the camp has personal support with their assigned Physical Therapy student close by and the course is prepared with real-world items and props designed with an emphasis on patient-centered goals and therapy. The program consists of first and last day assessments to track participant progress. In addition, six hours per day of activities designed to enhance gait, gross motor and fine motor skills, balance, and activities of daily living.
A free program to the public, held at the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, CA. Dr. Alison McKenzie, the Program Director and Professor at Crean College knows there is a growing need for additional programs and staff to support the high demand in the surrounding community. Currently, Stroke Boot Camp has 15 patients enrolled and at least 200 on a waiting list. The growing wait list and a high demand for more ongoing services are on her mind as the health care industry is rapidly reducing funding for such rehabilitative services. Along with being able to fill this demand, Dr. McKenzie sees the benefit in adding a motion analysis to her program in the future.
Volunteers from the local community including from the University of California, Irvine as well as Chapman’s own Physical Therapy faculty step into fill roles. Dr. McKenzie states she enjoys the collaboration with the community and hopes to continue to grow this effort. Chapman University programs including the School of Pharmacy, the P.A. program, and the Communication Sciences and Disorders faculty have all given time and feedback to grow and shape the boot camp as well.
According to Dr. McKenzie, Stroke Boot Camp is achieving impressive outcomes. In their outcome data, all camp participants showed improvements and data is currently being analyzed to present at a national meeting and (hopefully, per Dr. McKenzie) publish in a scientific journal in the future.
This valuable program is seeking funding through the Crean College Fund for Physical Therapy Studies. To make a donation to fund our physical therapy students, as well
as hands-on training programs, like Stroke Boot Camp please visit: