Improving the Quality of Care
Recognizing an urgent need for physical therapists with expertise in treating Multiple Sclerosis, the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National MS Society teamed with UNC-Chapel Hill's Division of Physical Therapy to develop a ground-breaking scholarship and education track that benefits four Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students each year. The UNC Physical Therapy MS curriculum is the only one of its kind in the country and seeks not only to produce clinicians with a thorough understanding of MS, but also to educate the physical therapy community at large and develop teaching strategies that can be emulated by other PT programs.
Our goal is to improve the quality of care for individuals with MS by increasing the number of physical therapists who have specialized MS knowledge, clinical expertise, and experience. To reach this goal, the MS Scholarship Committee seeks to create a permanent MS Scholarship endowment at the Medical Foundation of NC, Inc. that will generate the annual investment income necessary to provide scholarship support and the resources needed for faculty curriculum development.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, unpredictable neurological disease that attacks the central nervous system. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and 2.5 mil worldwide. Physical therapy is often the only treatment that can positively impact those MS patients who, to date, have not responded to pharmacological advances.
Physical therapists provide a full spectrum of care for individuals with MS by instructing them in new movement strategies to relieve pain and improve balance and mobility. Physical therapists can help reduce fatigue and enable patients with MS to feel and function their best at home and at work.
North Carolina Need
About 11,000 North Carolinians are living with MS. The Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National MS Society realized the paucity of physical therapists trained in the treatment of MS a few years ago when they were asked to provide a list of physical therapists with expertise in treating MS patients. The chapter could not identify any physical therapists who met that criterion.
Realizing that UNC-Chapel Hill has one of the premier programs in physical therapy education in the nation, the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National MS Society has partnered with the Division of Physical Therapy to fund a MS physical therapy scholarship and education track, which has benefited four DPT students annually since 2007.
In 2013, the Chapter renewed a three-year commitment to provide the funding for UNC-Chapel Hill Physical Therapy student scholarships for the 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16 academic years. In addition, the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National MS Society committed resources for our faculty's curriculum development activities, including follow-ups with on-site clinical preceptors, student evaluations, curriculum evaluation, faculty student mentorship, and academic advising.
We now seek tax-deductible contributions from alumni, colleagues, friends, and others to build a permanent endowment at the Medical Foundation of NC, Inc., that will generate annual investment income to support four UNC-Chapel Hill Physical Therapy scholarships and provide the resources needed for curriculum development. Our long-term goals for the UNC-Chapel Hill MS Physical Therapy endowment include:
- Attract exceptional students from North Carolina and around the world to become physical therapists with MS expertise,
- Create an innovative and cutting edge curriculum,
- Improve the quality of care for individuals with MS, and
- Build the national reputation of the UNC-Chapel Hill Division of Physical Therapy as a center of MS excellence
Leading the nation
It is our wish to make this scholarship self sustaining so that it is a permanent addition to the physical therapy curriculum. We hope you will consider helping us to identify individuals who might be interested in making a lasting investment in improving the care for individuals with MS.
High national rankings—U.S. News and World Report ranked UNC Physical Therapy:
- 11th out of over 200 programs in 2008 and
- 4th ranked public university
Exceptional students—95-100 percent of our UNC-Chapel Hill Physical Therapy DPT graduates pass the boards on the first try.
Areas of interest—Orthopedics, MS, neuromuscular, pediatrics, sports-related physical therapy.
Quality education programs—We offer three challenging graduate level-degree programs to educate the nation’s best physical therapists and human movement science researchers:
- Entry to Profession Doctor of Physical Therapy (eDPT)
- Transitional Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy (tDPT)
- Interdisciplinary Human Movement Science (PhD)
Faculty and research excellence—Our Center for Human Movement Science now features the Interdisciplinary Human Movement Research Laboratory with the capacity to offer virtual reality research experience.
Accomplished alumni—We are very proud of our more than 1,300 alumni with accomplishments ranging from becoming president of the American Physical Therapy Association to being in the state legislature or being prolific contributors to the physical therapy literature.
Online Credit Card Gifts to the UNC-Chapel Hill Physical Therapy
MS Curriculum & Scholarship Fund
It's easy and secure! Follow the three-step instructions below to make an online credit card gift.
Step 1: Visit the UNC-Chapel Hill PT Online Giving Page
Click here to visit the UNC-Chapel Hill Physical Therapy online credit card gift page.
Step 2: Designate Your Gift
In the designation drop down menu, select Physical Therapy MS Curriculum and Scholarship.
Step 3: Make Your Gift
Please provide the personal and credit card information requested and make your gift. Thank you for your support!
For more information, contact Stephanie Phipps, assistant director of development for the Division of Physical Therapy, at 919.966.3352 or firstname.lastname@example.org.