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Ep. 81 – OncoPT’s Role in Long-Term Survivorship – Scott Capozza, PT, MSPT

Patients who finish their treatments & are cancer-free receive a cancer survivorship care plan. This plan helps patients navigate what comes after treatment & for the rest of their lives. But what’s an often missing & crucial part of this plan? Cancer rehab!

Scott Capozza & his team at Smilow Cancer Hospital Survivorship Clinic are rewriting these plans to care for patients more wholly & holistically. In the process, they’re also educating pros like us to start doing this in our own backyards. And yes, yes we can!

Scott Capozza, PT, MSPT earned his degree from Ithaca College.  He has been the physical therapist for the Smilow Cancer Hospital Survivorship Clinic at Yale Cancer Center since its inception in 2006.  In this setting, he works in unison with a dietitian, social worker and physician assistant to address the concerns of adult cancer survivors as they transition into long term survivorship.  Through this collaborative team approach, common survivorship themes such as cancer-related fatigue and fear of recurrence are addressed.  Scott also works as Yale New Haven Hospital’s first dedicated outpatient physical therapist in oncology rehabilitation.  Scott is among the first class of board-certified clinical specialists in oncologic physical therapy in the country and serves on several national committees within the American Physical Therapy Association’s Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy.   He has presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer Survivorship Symposium on the benefits of oncology rehabilitation and exercise for all cancer survivors.  Scott & his team most recently presented at CSM 2020 on his facility’s survivorship model, which is part of what we’re talking about today!

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Ep. 80 – The Secret to Launching Your OncoPT Career

The one thing I wish I had when I was job searching & starting to work in #OncoPT was a community I could rely on for help. Feeling supported & heard is so important when starting your career – good thing for us, The Academy of Oncology PT’s Student & New Professional Subcommittee is taking the reins on this, with tons of new initiatives & goals to help us! Steve Wechsler, Emma Schaburg O’Brien, & Shai Sewell stopped by TheOncoPT Podcast to share some of the great things the Subcommittee is working on for you & me!

Dr. Steve Wechsler is a Physical Therapist, currently pursuing a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA. Following his tenure as a Clinical Specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Dr. Wechsler is developing a research agenda in cancer survivorship, and more specifically, balance impairments following neurotoxic cancer treatments.

Dr. Wechsler currently serves as the Secretary of APTA Oncology as well as the liaison for the newly formed Student & New Professional Subcommittee.

Emma Schaberg O’Brien, SPT, CLT, RYT is the Chair of the Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy Student and New Professional Subcommittee. She is a 3rd year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) student at the University of Vermont (UVM), during which she has received the Dean’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award for her exemplary professional growth and contributions. As a research and program assistant with the UVM Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science and UVM Medical Center Department of Hematology/Oncology she’s been involved in the delivery of cancer rehabilitation related services including physical therapy and lymphedema evaluations and treatment. Additionally, she’s led and supported research evaluating the use of mobile technologies for physical therapy assessment, treatment and monitoring.  

Prior to pursuing her DPT, she specialized in communications and program development for public and global health organizations — including serving as a Peace Corps Public Health and Community Economic Development Volunteer in Guinea, West Africa, and working with the UVM Cancer Center’s Steps to Wellness oncology rehabilitation program. 

Shai’s interest in oncology rehabilitation began prior to starting physical therapy school, when his mom was was diagnosed with cancer. Seeing the effects of exercise not only on her physical health, but mental well-being drove Shai to explore the benefits that rehabilitation and exercise can have throughout the cancer care continuum. 

While studying at the University of Miami to obtain his Doctorate in Physical Therapy, he was fortunate to intern at the University of Florida, Shands Medical Plaza where he assessed and treated breast, and head and neck cancer patients undergoing a multitude of cancer treatment related sequela. After graduating from PT school in 2018, Shai began his career at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami where he worked with the hematological oncological population undergoing stem cell transplants. With experience in this setting, his love for cancer rehabilitation only further grew.

During this time, he began a Special Interest Group for University of Miami students to help highlight the importance of cancer rehabilitation, and to spark curiosity in an ever-growing field. He has also been active in the Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy, where he hopes to educate students, clinicians, and physical therapy schools across the country on the importance of cancer rehabilitation. Shai has recently moved to the University of Florida, Shands Cancer Center where he continues to work in the bone marrow transplant unit and with hematological malignancies during inpatient chemotherapy. With his passion for raising awareness to new therapists and improving access to care for those diagnosed with cancer, Shai hopes to create a field where empowerment takes reign over a life-changing diagnosis. 

During his free time, he likes to bike, run, hike, camp, explore what the great outdoors has to offer, cooking, throw clay on the potter’s wheel, and transform his van Zooba into an adventure-mobile. 

Find the Student & New Professional Subcommittee here!

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Ep. 79 – Radical Changes in Lymphedema Management: COVID Edition

Since the beginning of the COVID crisis, healthcare has dramatically shifted, with decreased in-person visits & increasing Telehealth usage dominating lymphedema treatment. It’s safe to say that there’s a lot of things that won’t be returning to “pre-COVID, business as usual” anytime soon. But is that actually a bad thing?

Maureen McBeth, MPT, CLT-LANA; Linda Hodgkins, MS, OTR, CLT-LANA; Kimberly Miller, FNP-BC; & I were a part of a recent Tactile Medical webinar that discussed how COVID is forcing us to rethink how we are treating our patients with lymphedema & empowering them to take charge of their health & wellness. These ladies are POWERHOUSES of information, & you are going to love this episode!

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Ep. 78 – Special Episode

Today is going to be a short episode because you don’t really need to be hearing my voice right now.  

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by police.  His tragic death amongst many others has sparked protests across the country & now world.  Some of you might be wondering what this has to do with oncology physical therapy or why I’m discussing this.  

What’s been happening right now, for the past few years, & for the past hundreds of years directly affects our roles as physical therapy professionals & students & affects our effectiveness & efficacy of treating patients who are people of color.  It especially affects us in the oncology rehabilitation world.  As Kelly Reed of the Cancer Rehab PT instagram account so eloquently stated: “Cancer isn’t discriminating.  Our healthcare access, support, & education are.”    

As with other topics relating to oncology rehab, I’m working to bring experts on to discuss this further.  I’m just releasing this short episode today because the world needs more of the voices in the throes of it all.  You don’t need my attempts at bumbling through this on my own.  So stay tuned, & thanks for listening.  

If you want more to listen to & learn from today, check out Dr. Uchenna “UC” Ossai & her Bourbon Talez series. You need it in your life. Find her here on Instagram.

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Ep. 77 – The #1 Thing You MUST Do During COVID

It’s been a wild year…& it’s still May. Whew. With so much happening so quickly in our world (& especially healthcare), it can be really easy to get swept up in the chaos, neglecting basic patient care. So how do we bring the focus back to caring for our patients best? Hint: you’re the key!

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