The Springfield College Department of Physical Therapy recently hosted a two-day course in the Health Science Center, “Animal Rehabilitation in Veterinary Medicine,” sponsored by the Animal Rehabilitation Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Orthopedic Section. The course was underwritten and occurred at the request of Kathi Richardson, mother of Katelin Richardson, a Springfield College physical therapy student and soccer player who passed away in the summer of 2011 at the age of 21.
Katelin Richardson earned a bachelor of science degree in health sciences on the pre-physical therapy track from Springfield College in 2011 and had commenced work toward her doctor of physical therapy degree. The Jeffersonville, Vt., native had a strong passion for animals and had a goal of working with animals.
“Kate had always dreamed of combining her love for animals and her future career in physical therapy,” said Springfield College Department of Physical Therapy Chair Julia Chevan. “We are thrilled to see the course coming to fruition. It has taken a lot of hard work during the last two years from so many wonderful people at the Animal Rehabilitation SIG, the APTA and her former classmates to make this happen. We are honored to host this course in Kate’s memory and very thankful to her mother Kathi for inspiring us to move forward with a clear vision on how to pay tribute to Kate.”
More than 30 individuals registered for the course, which incorporated topics that range from the basic anatomy of the dog as it relates to rehabilitation to the examination of dogs with orthopaedic, neurologic and sport injuries. The seminar included live dogs and hands-on technique practice sessions. Speakers were invited from across the country and included individuals who teach in both physical therapy and veterinary programs with a focus on canine rehabilitation.
Founded in 1885, Springfield College is known worldwide for the guiding principles of its Humanics philosophy—educating students in spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to others. With its foundation of academic excellence and rich athletic heritage, Springfield College prepares students with real-world leadership skills for careers that transform lives and communities. The college offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of health sciences, human and social services, sport management and movement studies, education, business, and the arts and sciences. It also offers doctoral programs in physical education, physical therapy, and counseling psychology. The college is ranked in the 2014 edition of “Best Colleges” in the top tier of “Best Regional Universities – North Region” by U.S.News Media Group, and is designated as a premier Leadership Development Center by the YMCA of the USA. More than 5,000 traditional, nontraditional and international students study at its main campus in Springfield, Mass., and at its School of Human Services campuses across the country.