Physical Therapy Program Alumni
Chatham DPT students and graduates enjoy the benefits of our expansive alumni network. Below is a small sampling of our esteemed alumni.
Jen (Venet) Brilmyer, DPT '11
Jen (Venet) Brilmyer graduated from Chatham University's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in 2011. Since then, Jen has worked in both Early Intervention and Outpatient Pediatric therapy settings. Jen is a Senior Staff therapist at The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill location. She works primarily with children developmental delays, neurological impairments, and chronic pain.
Jen continues to pursue lifelong learning and is currently a DHSc candidate through Drexel University with a research focus on participation in children with chronic pain. She developed and implemented a continuing education course for DPT students and clinicians tilted "Advanced Pediatric Clinical Application and Decision Making" last fall and was invited to present the outcomes of this course at the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy Annual Conference with Joe Schrieber, PT, PhD this November in a session titled “Knowledge Translation Innovations in an Academic-Clinical Partnership.”
Jen has served as an applicant interviewer for prospective graduate students at Chatham University and has volunteered as a part of the Neurologic Clinical Specialist Online Review. She has also received certification through the American Physical Therapy Association as an Advanced Credentialed Clinical Instructor of students. Jen will serve as a member of the FSBPT Standard-Setting Task Force in July. Personal achievements include running alongside her father in November to complete their first marathon.
Lauren Wentz, DPT '13
Lauren Wentz graduated from Chatham’s DPT program in 2013. Over the past year, she had an amazing journey with one of her patients – this is her story:
I first met John when he came for PT at AHN Health and Wellness Pavilion in September of 2016. We immediately bonded over both of us being marathon runners. He presented with multiple lower extremity injuries and explained to me that he also had multiple sclerosis (MS). I was extremely confused at first and did not understand how a man with MS could be running marathons. He filled me in on his story and how running has benefitted him. He literally runs for his life: running keeps him going mentally and physically. With multiple doctors telling him different diagnoses and courses of treatment, John decided to stay the conservative route and completed months of therapy with me. One day in PT, he told me that if he is accepted in the mobility impaired category for The Boston Marathon, he is allowed to have a guide run with him. By January, he was healed and passed off to my strength and conditioning team to start training because he was accepted to run Boston. He completed 20 mile training runs around a 1 mile loop outside our facility to mimic the water stops, strength trained twice a week, and kept my hopes up about going to Boston. I forgot to mention what John experiences while running and completing any physical activity that elevates his heart rate: he has vertigo, loses his vision, and his legs go numb from the waist down once his heart rate reaches a certain point and when he is in the heat…. but it does not stop him!
On April 17,2017, we ran the Boston Marathon. It was a blistering hot morning when we approached the start line at 8:45 am. To stand on that line is an honor that not many get to experience. To be in the gym that morning with some of the best mobility impaired athletes and Olympic push rim cyclists was a physical therapist’s dream! My job throughout the race was to get as much ice as I could at the aid stations to keep John’ s temperature down, guide him over rail road tracks and uneven ground, and hand him Honey stinger waffles that were melting in my hands. I ran the first 13 miles with him and handed him off to my strength coach, Jeremy, at the exchange point to finish the race. By the time I handed him off, John had already lost his vision and could not feel his legs from the waist down. I believe we used more than 30 bags of ice that day. In those conditions, many runners do not finish, but John did and even PR’d his Boston marathon time. He’s a once in a lifetime patient that has made a huge impact on my career and my life.