Saturday, April 12, 2008

Going National

Our abstract was chosen for a platform presentation at American Physical Therapy Association's Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas! The presentation will be about last spring's pilot service learning project with Emory Physician Assistant students on South Georgia Farmworker Health Project.-which I initiated. Two of my PT friends will be presenting in San Antonio...I, unfortunately, had to choose between presenting and participating in the project due to clinical scheduling with St. Jude. But, I'll be supporting my classmates from South Georgia!

My name is in print in Physical Therapy Journal!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

I absolutely LOVE my current Physical Therapy rotation at St. Jude. The hospital is incredible...started in the 60's by entertainer Danny Thomas with the mission that "no child should die in the dawn of a new light." The hospital provides care to children with catastrophic illnesses (i.e. brain tumors-medulloblastomas, leukemia, sarcomas, etc.) regardless of the families' ability to pay. The facility exudes hope to young patients and their families. Walking through the colorful hallways and brand-new bone marrow transplant floor, I am reminded of an elementary school...with hopscotch in the floor tiles, murals, and children's artwork. The cultural, geographic, and socioeconomic diversity of the patients is unlike any other hospital I have visited. I am currently on the bone marrow transplant floor, working with very critically ill children. I currently treat two patients on a daily basis, ages 4 and 14. In 5 weeks I will transfer downstairs to the outpatient PT clinic, where the majority of patients are seen (after their chemo is complete and/or their blood counts have improved and they are not as immunosuppressed). I am really enjoying working in the non-profit, pediatric healthcare environment! More stories and pictures to come...

Moving from St. Louis to Memphis

My parents recently flew into St. Louis, spent a few days in the city with me then helped me move to my new "temporary" home in Memphis. We had a great time visiting the Gateway Arch and riding the tram to the top. We enjoyed great food on "the hill"-St. Louis' Italian district. At last I got to see live theatre again, we all went to the musical comedy "The Wedding Singer" at Fox Theatre. Then I got to celebrate Easter with my family for the first time in 5+ years! A "farewell/Easter" party rounded out the weekend. Monday was a busy last day of clinic for me; I gave an inservice on the Right to Healthcare in the U.S. and completed my final evaluation. Tuesday was moving day as we rented a car and caravaned to Memphis. During the rest of the week, I learned about St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and got settled into my new home, while my parents explored Memphis and the Mississippi Delta area. We enjoyed eating dinner with new friends and distant relatives and savored Memphis' famous BBQ! After a final outing to Beale Street, House of Blues and Birthplace of Rock n' Roll, they flew back to the northwest. Here are all the pictures from our journey.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

St. Louis Adventures

I've been living in St. Louis completing my first 3-month long-term clinical at the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis. I'm living with a very sweet young couple, Mike and Kara Burns. I've enjoyed going to church with them and making new friends at the hospital and through my part-time job at Kayak's Coffee. Here are some pictures of my life in St. Louis.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I'm such a huge fan of recycling, I will even recycle myself! I couldn't resist jumping into this new bin in our hospital at Emory. My tree-hugging tendencies aren't fading...even living in the south!

Pumpkin Carving

My classmates and I got in the Halloween spirit with a pumpkin carving party. I was very proud of my creation this year!

Greta's Second Visit to Atlanta

"Lori, I have a proposal." I know that if a sentence begins that way, it's going to be good! Greta wanted to come to Atlanta for a high school friend's wedding and asked me to be her date. We had a fantastic time getting dressed up, eating great food (including red velvet wedding cake - I learned that's a southern thing!), and dancing up a storm. Greta and I made pinky promised that we would someday attend each other's weddings - no matter where they are :) During the weekend we also visited Atlanta's Botanical Gardens and enjoyed the pretty flowers and trails. Matt, my boyfriend at the time, was also visiting, so we all had a great time playing Speed Scrabble together. As always, here are more pictures.

Jenn and Amber

I have had lots of good times with Jenn and Amber, they are two close friends from PT school. We made a pact to have international food together, trying new restaurants in Atlanta. Our cuisines included: Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Cuban, and Belgian (??? we struggled to classify the Original Pancake House). We also had a black tie date night in downtown Atlanta. Dressed in cute black dresses we went to the fancy Westin Hotel and rode the elevator up 73 stories to the rotating bar at the top. Our fancy drinks in souvenir glasses were pricey, but worth it for a unique experience! I miss those girls now that I'm in St. Louis and they're still in Atlanta :(

MS 150

This year I rode in the MS 150 again, a 2-day, 150-mile bike ride to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. Last year, it was just my classmate Nguyen-Vu and myself riding; but this year we had 15 registered riders on the Emory Doctor of Physical Therapy team. Our PT program director even funded nice biking jerseys for all of us, designed by Nguyen-Vu. We spent the weekend camping out in a softball field and riding around country roads a couple hours south of the city. More pictures.

Olympic National Park & Sarah's Wedding

Labor Day weekend was a blast! I flew out to Seattle and lovely Jessie (former college roommate and teammate) picked me up from the airport. The next day Jessie and I went for a run/bike ride around the lake near her house, visited the first REI, wandered around Pike Place Market, and ate authentic Mexican food. Then we met up with Carol-Ann (good Willamette friend) and Ethan Nelson (her husband...I was in their wedding last summer). Carol-Ann, Ethan, and I drove to Sequim, WA in the Olympic Peninsula to attend our WU friend Sarah Reichner's (now Schafer) wedding. We camped the night before at Sequim Bay State Park, and got all sorts of strange looks as we put on dresses and makeup in the camp bathroom! Sarah and I used to be co-leaders of Fellowship of Christian Athletes during our days at Willamette. Their wedding was on her dad's lavender farm and it was beautiful! It was so fun to see many of our Willamette friends there and the ceremony was wonderful and Christ-centered. That same night, crazy people that we are, Lori, Ethan & I changed into hiking gear, donned our backpacks and hiked out in the dark into the middle of the Olympic Mountain wilderness. We camped at the second of three mountain lakes, with ridges and forest surrounding us on all sides. Sunday was spent exploring, cooking, and resting. Carol-Ann and Ethan taught me how to play Texas Hold'Em. Then, after a great dinner in Gig Harbor, WA they drove me to the airport for a red-eye flight before classes the next day (just my style).

It was so fun to spend time with my dear friend and get to know her fun husband. The area was incredible - I would definitely like to go back! With two different cameras going, we have a ton of pictures.

(again, I worked smarter, not harder on this post...thanks Carol-Ann for a lot of good commentary from our trip!)

Reunion with Leah!!!

Leah, a close college friend and former teammate, drove through Atlanta in August. We hadn't seen each other in over 2 years, since Willamette's graduation! It was GREAT to see her and catch up on life. Leah had already seen my brother in Portland and stayed with my parents in Roseburg, so it was finally my turn! We went out to my favorite fondue restaurant, with her parents. Then Leah and I had ice cream...what a great summer evening!

Home Sweet Home

It's always a treat to go home to Oregon, especially when I haven't been to my hometown in nearly a year or seen my parents for 8 months! I was very excited to spend my short August break in the northwest. I enjoyed catching up with family and just being home. Then, it was back to school again! As always, I took many pictures of my Oregon trip.

Backpacking in the North Georgia Mountains

Scott and I are certainly known for our spontaneous adventures! One Saturday morning I got a phone call from him asking if I wanted to go backpacking (that night!). I had just helped him pick out his first hiking backpack at REI. And he was anxious to put it to use! So, I made some calls, did some online searching, and found the perfect backcountry getaway. We planned to hike up Raybun Bald, Georgia's 2nd-highest peak. However, we mis-calculated the trailhead and ended up hiking for a few hours on the wrong trail. Eventually we started bush-whacking (translation--going off trail straight up the mountain) to try to get to the top because it was dark. Thankfully Nancy the Navigator (my GPS) got us back to my car the next morning, bush-whacking again. Then we found the real trail (only 1/10th of a mile up the road) and summited Georgia's 2nd highest peak (Raybun Bald). Yay for adventures! Here's all of our pictures.

Road Rash on the Face

When I returned from Oregon, I had one free day before classes began again. Scott called and woke me up after my red-eye flight and wanted to go on a bike ride. We had a fun ride through some rougher areas of Atlanta, then he got a flat tire. We worked on fixing that for an hour or so, then finally headed back to my apartment. Then, less than a mile from my house, I rode my bike too close to the edge of the blacktop, jack-knifed my handlebars, dove headfirst toward the road with my bike landing on top of me. Fortunately, Scott stopped on his bike just before running me over, and the cars did too. But, my cheek took most of the fall. I had a nice road rash on my face, just in time for the first day of a new semester of classes. Scott attempted to help me wash it up (aka, scrubbing hard with a washcloth), but as he admitted "I"m not a very good nurse." Needless to say, I always watch out for the blacktop near that intersection!

Greta's Visit and 4th of July

My dear friend, Greta, has been with me through many transitions over the past few years. She and I met at Houston where we co-taught summer school during Teach for America Institute. When the school year started, Greta taught 3rd grade in Houston, while I was teaching 2nd grade six hours south. We kept in touch by phone, saw each other at TFA conferences, and made weekend visits to each others' Texas homes. When we both finished TFA, Greta and I traveled around the interior of Mexico for a week, then she helped me move from Texas to Atlanta.

Greta got to see my new home too! She came to visit me in Atlanta for 4th of July. We went out to great Thai food, celebrated a friend's birthday in Buckhead, she watched me run in the world's largest 10K on the 4th (Peachtree Road Race), we enjoyed the sun at a pool party, watched fireworks together, hosted a dinner for 3 new Teach for America corps members from Oregon (in Atlanta for training), drank Australian port by the pool, hiked up Stone Mountain, strolled through Piedmont Park, and, of course, enjoyed yummy authentic Mexican food. As always, it was great to catch up with a fun friend!

South Georgia Farmworker Health Project

This project has been my "baby." It began with a coffee shop discussion with a Physician Assistant (PA) student and developed into faculty approving a pilot project of 4 PT students and a supervising PT offering pro bono care to migrant farmworkers and their families in South Georgia. The service-learning project development was hard work; I spent hours writing a proposal for faculty members, arranging logistics with Emory's PA program, creating student participant applications and a selection rubric, crafting a budget, raising money through bake sales, coordinating a clothing drive for the farmworkers, and, of course, the direct patient treatment itself. Our PT team joined the pre-existing project and worked alongside PA students and faculty for 3 days. We set up make-shift clinics with a canopy, some mats, a card table, and lots of borrowed Emory Healthcare sheets. Keep in mind, this was the beginning of June in South Georgia (Valdosta, and surrounding small towns), so heat was definitely a factor. We treated patients' musculoskeletal complaints at labor camps, county health departments, and low-income apartment complexes. Primarily our treatments involved injury to the low back...we even led "back" classes while patients waited in line for their general health check-up. Education, exercises, and massage (soft tissue manipulation) were common interventions we used. We bilingual handouts specific to farmworker injuries. After our final day of clinics, we drove 4 hours back to Atlanta, grabbed a quick lunch, and took a practical exam!

We wrote summaries of our experiences on the South Georgia Farmworker Health Project. This narrative was published in two PT newsletters; both at the state and national level. Most recently, my group submitted an abstract to present at a National PT Conference; our presentation was selected, so we will travel to San Antonio in June to describe Emory's interdisciplinary service-learning project.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Atlanta Braves

My first summer in Atlanta was a little crazy with out of state weddings and adjusting to graduate student life, so I never had a chance to go to any Braves (baseball) games. I was excited when Emory had special $1 tickets, complete with free hot dogs, popcorn, and beer before the game, and free transportation. We convened in the Business School courtyard with other grad students, then rode big yellow school buses to the game, and got bused back to campus; all for only $1. It's great what tuition will pay for...I invited Jackie along to partake in the baseball festivities. Here are some pictures my roommate, Kate, took from the event.

Maria's New Baby

My friend Maria used to teach first-grade across the hall from me at Taylor Elementary. When I moved to Atlanta for grad school, she and her boyfriend (Fernando) also moved to the city for work. We have enjoyed meeting up for dinner a few times since we been in Georgia. In the past few months Maria was: pregnant, had a sweet (bilingual) baby shower, and delivered a healthy baby boy. I got to meet up with Maria and Fernandito for lunch awhile back. I got to test his motor development and share with Maria strategies to help his growth; that was fun! These are a few pictures from her shower and our lunch.

Backpacking in Kentucky

My good buddy, Greg, and I decided to drive from Urbana, IL and Atlanta, GA (respectively) and meet up at Land Between the Lakes on the KY and TN border in western Kentucky.

I took the rest of this commentary from his blog (I work smarter, not harder; thanks Greg):

We backpacked for two nights at a leisurely pace and did a lot of swimming. The first night, we forded across to a small island to camp the first night. The first picture shows me during sunset from our island campsite and the second shows me wading back across in the morning carrying our trekking poles and boots (Greg was the only one tall enough to carry our packs across and had to make a couple of trips). The water was perfect, though, in the mid-70's and we had a really nice backcountry trip. The last picture shows us with our finger companions, Virginia la Viajera and Teresa the Traveler. Loyal readers of either of our blogs will recognize Teresa from our trip around the country in the summer of 2005. I got Greg his own finger puppet, Virginia, in Mexico with the intention that he would take her to China, but she didn't arrive in the mail early enough, so she's made her travel album debut at Land Between the Lakes. BTW, Teresa and Virginia were great friends from the start. The final picture is of our well-loved, decorated packs that have gone on many a backpacking trip together.

Creative Studying

Scott and I had to study, but couldn't pass up the chance for a nice bike ride. So, we decided to do both. We drove to the Silver Comet Trail a little north of the city and brought our study materials in a backpack. We rode about 15 miles until we got to a nice gazebo...we studied there in the shade for a couple hours and biked back. Now that's creative studying! :)