Chatham University

The Benter Initiative in India

After more than a year of preparation, four physical therapy graduate students and an undergraduate film student from Chatham University accompanied Dr. Geyer to the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India for two weeks to treat patients and initiate a lymphedema management training program during August-September, 2007. Few therapists or medical professionals in endemic countries are trained in management techniques but such management expertise is key to offering best practice solutions to the permanent impairments inflicted by LF. Using a train-the-trainer approach, Dr. Geyer and the physical therapy students on her team taught community-based care and self-care to patients, family members, community informal caregivers, and community health workers according to current WHO guidelines.

In addition, Dr. Geyer was accompanied by Mr. Steve Norton, Owner/Director of the Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy, and Ms. Nicole Gergich, MPT, CLT-LANA who taught advanced lymphedema management techniques to the Indian medical professionals at CMCH. These techniques currently represent best practice in the western world.

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