Do you have any questions about Health Innovation?
The World Health Organization defines Health Innovation as a means to “develop and deliver new or improved health policies, systems, products and technologies, and services and delivery methods that improve people’s health.”
At UIC’s Department of Physical Therapy, our education, clinical and community-based practices, and research embody that definition.
Committed to innovation in Education, Practice, and Research
Creating a health-focused future requires inventive approaches now. Our Department of Physical Therapy is taking steps today that will help realize the healthspan model — delivering healthy living medicine effectively.
Innovation in Education
Innovative Ideas are encouraged as evidenced by the wide range of skills our faculty provide that go beyond basic physical therapy, and across disciplines. Both students and professionals can stack certificates alongside their degrees to better prepare them for the multi-faceted, ever-changing workplace.
Certificates supplement a degree by providing in-depth coverage of many topics that fall in-between core focus areas. DPT students with certificates are able to demonstrate their commitment to health promotion across the lifespan, making them more desirable to employers.
By spanning disciplines and intersecting with diverse populations, certificates promote more comprehensive wellness. Even the students taking these certificates come from various health-focused fields of study.
Innovation in Practice
Innovative Practices immerse UIC students and faculty in unique clinical settings, and out in the community – right where people live, work, and study.
Innovation in Research
Our department values research innovation. With nearly 1,000 peer-reviewed articles, in 88 publications, we enjoy the second highest publication rate of DPT programs in the country.
According to Academic Analytics, out of 149 institutions and 241 departments, UIC’s department of physical therapy program ranks #1 in articles per faculty (>54) and overall scholarly research index, and #2 in citations per faculty (>946).
Features common to all of our labs:
- We collaborate internationally, and are cited worldwide.
- Our annual grant expenditures have risen 45% over the past several years to over $1.65m.
- Since lab supervisors are also DPT instructors, DPT students hear firsthand about breakthrough findings that they are likely to use in the field.
ICOMPASS laboratory—Imaging bone and body COMPosition AcrosS the heathSpan. The ICOMPASS lab is a musculoskeletal imaging center that is focused on collecting measures for research and clinical services in the conduct of bone mass, density and structural assessment, body composition, and healthy aging. Housed in the lab is the DXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) which specifically allows for the assessment of fracture (including atypical fractures) and osteoporosis risk based on lumbar spine, hip geometry measures. Among other things, the DXA plays an integral role in intervention studies of diet and exercise, and in lifestyle-behavioral research focused on health promotion across the lifespan.
In this brand new lab, Dr. Laddu’s team will examine the “obesity paradox” including: fat patterning, body composition, and cardio-metabolic disease to discover ways to live longer and healthfully.
Lowering Cardiovascular Risk at the EXERT Vascular Laboratory – The EXErcise, Research, and Technology (EXERT) Vascular Laboratory concentrates on health-related research across several disciplines using translational approaches that are both cellular and integrative in scope. Current research integrates aspects of cardiovascular function, metabolism, inflammation, hydration and nutrition status, and exercise/physical activity and the impact on blood pressure and endothelial function. The lab team, directed by Dr. Shane Phillips, focuses on endothelial function and cardiovascular risk status during in healthy adults as well as at-risk populations or those who suffer from chronic diseases including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, and obesity.
Innovative Publications from the Department
Here are several articles:
- Infographic: The need for a global healthy living medicine strategy
- Merging precision and healthy living medicine: Individualizing the path to a healthier lifestyle
- The Importance of School-based Healthy Living Initiatives: Introducing the Health and Wellness Concept
- Enhancing Participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation: A Question of Proximity and Integration of Outpatient Services
- Let Us Talk About Moving: Reframing the Exercise and Physical Activity Discussion
- Public Park Spaces as a Platform to Promote Healthy Living: Introducing a HealthPark Concept
- Who will deliver comprehensive healthy lifestyle interventions to combat non-communicable disease? Introducing the healthy lifestyle practitioner discipline