Health Innovation

Committed to innovation in education, practice and research

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 the UIC Department of Physical Therapy, our education, clinical and community-based practices, and research embody that definition.

Creating a health-focused future requires inventive approaches now. We are 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 research

Our department values research innovation. With nearly 1,000 peer-reviewed articles, in 88 publications, we enjoy the top 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). In 2020, UIC’s Department of Physical Therapy research was cited worldwide over 3,000 times.

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.

Coming soon:

ICOMPASS laboratoryImaging 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.

Content Section

Ross Arena

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