Marist DPT Students Help Raise Awareness in Parkinson’s Walk
November 10, 2022 – Marist College students are known for community outreach and service throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley. In that spirit, Marist Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students participated in an event alongside the Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of the Mid-Hudson Valley to advance research, provide resources, and fund programs for people living with Parkinson’s Disease.
The annual Walk Over Water took place on the Walkway Over the Hudson in September with more than two dozen Marist students participating. Marist students were involved in setup, ran many of the booths and tents, helped with t-shirt sales and distributed Parkinson’s education materials. DPT students also used program wheelchairs to assist participants who would otherwise be unable to complete the distance on their own.
“As a physical therapist, I have worked with many people with Parkinson’s Disease. It is one of many areas where PT can have a major impact in someone’s quality of life,” said Julie Fineman, Director of Clinical Education for Marist’s DPT Program. “Every year I notify students of the upcoming walk and each year I am so excited by the number of students who ask to join me. I am beyond proud of our students and the efforts they put forth to make this event the huge success that it is.”
Marist DPT students are involved in a number of charity events throughout the academic year. Students who participated in Walk Over Water valued the experience.
“This was my second year participating in the Parkinson’s Walk. I first volunteered last year with the Marist DPT program and was excited when I heard about the opportunity to do it again,” said Mikayla Cullen '23. “My favorite part about volunteering at the walk is engaging with the local PD population and their friends/family.”
“It was wonderful to be a part of the effort to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson's Disease,” said Julian Voss '24. “I truly enjoyed connecting with the participants and other volunteers in our united cause. As a future physical therapist, it is paramount to get out and connect with the community I'll eventually serve.” Voss added: “Marist College holds a great reputation for community work, and it is rewarding to further their standing as a member of the Marist Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Time is the most valuable resource we have, but the smiles of appreciation I receive in return for volunteering pay that back tenfold.”
The Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of the Mid-Hudson Valley has been fundraising and raising awareness in the area for more than 30 years. This year’s walk raised over $30,000 for the Parkinson Foundation.
“Having various opportunities to promote health and wellness in my community as a DPT student at Marist has been extraordinarily rewarding,” said Morgan Blusewicz '24. “The level of mutual trust and camaraderie that I admire between the students, people with Parkinson's Disease, their families and caregivers was ever-present at this year's event. Undoubtedly, the benefits I’ve gained from volunteering with the Parkinson's Disease Support Group of the Mid-Hudson Valley will be long-lasting and imparted upon my future patients.”
About Marist’s DPT Program
Within the School of Science, the CAPTE-accredited DPT program at Marist combines in-depth classroom and laboratory instruction with extensive clinical rotations to create the most comprehensive Doctor of Physical Therapy experience possible. The curriculum consists of 36 months of didactic and clinical work. Students can choose from more than 300 established clinical rotation sites throughout the country, with opportunities to complete international rotations in Italy and Switzerland.