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Meridian Clinic Construction Updates

Idaho State University’s Sam and Aline Skaggs Health Science Center has been growing and changing, thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Sunderland Foundation, adding to the already almost $2.3 million invested into expansion and upgrades by ISU and the State of Idaho.

The first phase of renovations began in December of 2019, with completion scheduled for the upcoming summer season. From there, the second phase will begin and is expected to conclude in December. Anderson Construction is the contractor, and the architect is Hummel Architects.  The Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy looks forward to supporting and utilizing the clinic remodel. May 2020


Animal Assisted Interventions in Counseling (AAI-C)

The ISU Department of Counseling is pleased to offer a 9-credit Certificate program in Animal Assisted Interventions in Counseling (AAI-C). The courses in this curriculum will be offered in the summer only and are based on the American Counseling Association (ACA) Competencies for providers of Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling. Courses are open to currently enrolled ISU counseling masters and doctoral students, ISU counseling alums, practicing professional counselors from any program, and masters and doctoral students currently enrolled in other counseling or related programs outside of ISU. Students from other helping professions are welcome, but should note that the curriculum focuses on the ACA Code of Ethics. Read the full story here.


Rock Steady Boxing Program for Parkinson's Patients

In collaboration with the YMCA Healthy Living Center’s Delay the Disease program, and with funding support from the ISU Office of Research, Dr. Evan Papa is running a Rock Steady Boxing program for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Rock Steady Boxing is a one-of-a-kind program providing a uniquely effective form of physical exercise to people who are living with PD. This non-contact, boxing-inspired fitness routine is proving to dramatically improve the ability of people with Parkinson’s to live independent lives. His collaborative research is attempting to reduce gender disparities relative to access to care in PD and to improve functional mobility. If you know someone  with PD living in the Treasure Valley who might benefit from this program, please contact Papa at October 2019

elderly men stretching against a boxing ring


Researching the Use of Virtual Reality for People with Chronic Hemiplegia

Dr. Nancy Devine and Dr. Cindy Seiger, with the assistance of physical therapy students, are investigating the effects on arm function of a virtual reality intervention and a task-based intervention.  The virtual reality device was developed by faculty in the ISU Mechanical Engineering Program in collaboration with faculty at Texas A & M and UC Fullerton through a National Science Foundation grant.  Other collaborators have included Occupational Therapy Program faculty and students.

Participants who are at least one-year post stroke who continue to have impaired arm function participate in the study for about 12 – 14 weeks.  Each participant receives each intervention (virtual reality and task-based) three times per week for three weeks and are randomized to the sequence in which the interventions are conducted.  The participants’ arm function and perceived impact of the stroke are measured at the very beginning, following each three week intervention, and one month after completing the last intervention. 

The virtual reality intervention provides an intervention similar to using a mirror-box in the clinic.  The participant wearing the virtual reality goggles performs virtual tasks using the intact arm, but sees a reflected virtual image of the involved arm performing the task.  Previous research shows that action observation of the involved arm, even when conveyed through use of a reflected image of the intact arm, increases neuroplastic connections in the brain.  During the task-based intervention sessions, participants use the involved arm to perform meaningful tasks that are structured using motor learning principles.

This study will compare changes in involved arm function between the two interventions (virtual reality and task-based) as well as the influence of the sequence of receiving the interventions (virtual reality, task-based; task-based, virtual reality). The study is registered as a clinical trial with  Contact Nancy Devine ( if you have any people interested in participating or if you would like further information about this study.  October 2019

IPTA Report

Read about our first semester in Meridian, our recent research, and giving back to the community in our IPTA Report January 2019 


In the News

Students Win Student Brochure Contest

Congratulations to Physical Therapy doctoral students Ashley Kenney and Jake Bratton for winning second and third places, respectively, in the Student Brochure Contest held by the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy. Winners were announced at the 2019 AGPT meeting in January. Ashley and Jake, who will both graduate this spring, created the brochures in a geriatric management course.  View their brochures at  under  2019 Contest Winners. The brochures are available for anyone to download and use, and will be posted on the AGPT website for several years.  

Senior Activity Center living up to its name thanks to Fit and Fall program and Dr. Cindy Seiger- February, 2019

POCATELLO-  Doctor of Physical Therapy students and faculty at Idaho State University are helping the Senior Activity Center live up to its name.  Watch the KPVI news report for more information.

Dr. Derek Gerber among state-level advocates honored at 2018 APTA Policy and Payment Forum

KANSAS CITY,MO- The American Physical Therapy Association honored four PTs for their service to the profession at the state level. Dr. Gerber, Clinical Assistant Professor, was among those honored. 


ISU completes $3.4 million expansion

MERIDIAN- The Idaho State University campus in Meridian is growing. Officials announced the completion of its expanded Physical Therapy program. (KIVI)


ISU readies Meridian campus for physical therapy program

MERIDIAN—Idaho State University will begin offering the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at its Meridian campus this fall.


It takes a team: ISU health professions students participate in IPE Case Day

POCATELLO—More than 150 Idaho State University students, faculty and administrators participated in the Interprofessional Education Case Day Experience on April 26—an event organizers would like to expand to other campuses next year.


ISU Professor Cindy Seiger honored at 10-Year celebration of Pocatello Fit and Fall Proof program

POCATELLO – It’s all about “using it or losing it” and one participant said he was able to “skate and ski” with his grandsons because of it. The Pocatello Senior Activity Center’s Fit and Fall Proof program celebrated its 10-year anniversary, Tuesday, Jan 16. Idaho State University’s Cindy Seiger, associate professor of physical therapy, was recognized at event because of her involvement with the program.


Idaho State University researchers continue work on augmented reality device to aid arm rehabilitation

POCATELLO — Idaho State University mechanical engineering and physical therapy faculty and graduate students have teamed up to create a virtual reality system that will potentially assist with arm rehabilitation for people who have suffered from strokes.


Scholarly Activity

Arnold JC, Cantu MA, Kasanga EA, Nejtek VA, Papa EV, Bugnariu N, Salvatore MF. (2017) Aging-related limit of exercise efficacy on motor decline. PLoS ONE 12(11):e018538. PMID:29176896 PMCID: PMC5703560

Papa EV, Dong Xiaoyang, Hassan Mahdi. (2017) Resistance training for activity limitations in older adults with skeletal muscle function deficits: A systematic review. Clin Interv Aging. Jun 13;12:955-961 PMC5479297 

Foley, MP, Hasson, SM, Kendall,E. Effects of a Translational Community-Based Multimodal Exercise Program on Quality of Life and the Influence of Start Delay on Physical Function and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study. Integrative Cancer Therapies, September 2017:

Foley, MP, Hasson. Effects of community-based multimodal exercise program on health-related physical fitness and physical function in breast cancer survivors: a pilot study. Integrative Cancer Therapies, January-March 2016: 1-9. Sage, DOI: 10.1177/1534735416639716

Papa EV, Hassan M, Bugnariu NB. The effects of performance fatigability on postural control and rehabilitation in the older patient. Curr. Geriatr. Rep. 2016, 5(3), 172-178. 

Dye D. Physical Therapy. Book chapter in Today’s Health Professions: Working together to provide quality care. Royal PL.  2016; FA Davis; Philadelphia; ISBN: 9780803644656

Foley MP, Barnes VA, Hasson SM. Effects of a community-based multimodal exercise program on physical function and quality of life in cancer survivors: a pilot study. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 2015 Jul; 31(5): 303-12. DOI:10.3109/09593985.2015.1004390 PubMed PMID: 25613524

Foley M, Bowen B. Comparison of metabolic cost and cardiovascular response to stair ascending and descending with walkers and canes in older adults. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2014 Sep; 95(9):1742-9. PubMed PMID: 24755046.

Brockett J, Ralphs J, Dye D. Experiences with a transdisciplinary approach to the assessment of patients with dizziness and/or balance concerns. Perspect Hear Hear Dis: Res Diag. 2014;18(1):4 doi:10.1044/hhd18.1.4