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Service Opportunities

Service activities allow DPT students to provide much needed assistance to a variety of individuals and organizations. And it's not just the individuals and organizations who benefit: students develop their professional communication, leadership, and advocacy skills, and gain an increased awareness of community resources for their future patients.

First developed at the University of Delaware, the GoBabyGo! program aims to help children with mobility impairments become more mobile by modifying drivable toy cars. The club was created by physical therapy students in 2016 and the goal is to modify cars for up to four children at each of 2-3 events per year.
The mission of Bethany Hospice is to care for those who have been touched by a life-limiting illness, ensuring a life of quality and dignity. Student volunteers work directly with patients and their families to provide emotional support and companionship.

Graduates Go Green

Started by physical therapy students in the spring of 2017, this club includes representatives from all programs at Chatham Eastside. The group works to develop and implement sustainable and environmentally sound practices at Eastside.

Out of the Darkness Walk

This walk supports the work of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and occurs each spring.

Holiday Food Drive

Started in 2016, this food drive is coordinated by first-year physical therapy students each fall. Non-perishable food items are gathered and donated to the Food Pantry at the East End Cooperative Ministry.

Relay for Life

Chatham physical therapy students participate each year in this event, which raises money for cancer research, for patient care programs, and for education and prevention.

Functional Movement Screen for Chatham Athletes

In conjunction with the athletic training and exercise science programs, physical therapy students work with Chatham student-athletes to analyze movement strategies that can help guide off-season and in-season strengthening, conditioning, and injury prevention.

Each year in August, a group of physical and occupational therapy students travels to the CRECER Center in Ibarra, Ecuador, to provide services to individuals in a variety of clinic settings, including pediatric and adult outpatient, a nursing home, and an adult day care center.
Opportunities to serve the local communities, including Homewood, occasionally arise as needs are identified. Recently, Chatham students volunteered to provide pre-season health screens for young athletes, and fall screening and prevention for senior citizens.
Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey operates therapeutic and competitive ice hockey programs for the benefit of individuals who are physically disabled. Student volunteers assist with various aspects of sled hockey practices and games.

For twenty years and counting, students in School of Health Sciences programs have been named Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows for projects that apply their classroom learning in real world situations that help disadvantaged citizens of our communities.

The Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows Program (PSFP) promotes health and environmental justice through yearlong, direct service, interdisciplinary, experiential learning projects for graduate students that address the needs of disadvantaged citizens in southwest Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows receive a stipend of $2,000-$3,000 for their projects and connect with other program Fellows for interdisciplinary learning and service activities.

The Schweitzer Fellows Program develops "leaders in service" by giving emerging professionals:

  • an opportunity to experience working with disadvantaged populations;
  • an arena for launching a project that reflects their passion;
  • a chance to try out what they have learned in school;
  • and a forum for interacting with future professionals from a variety of disciplines.

Learn More About the Fellowship

Apply Now


Chatham University Schweitzer Fellows

2017-18
    • Anna Coutsoumbis, Physical Therapy
    • Chelsea McGraw, Counseling Psychology
    • Shannon Schroeder, Counseling Psychology
2016-17
    • Kerrie O'Donnell, Physical Therapy
    • Dana Ritchey, Law/Counseling Psychology
2015-16
    • Jason Lucarelli, Counseling Psychology
2013-14
    • Rebecca Tyers-Brown, Counseling Psychology
    • Caroline Zieth
2012-13
    • Fae Gibson, Physical Therapy
2011-12
    • Victoria Chang Mishra, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Stephanie Dalness
    • Emily Sandfort, Physician Assistant Studies
2010-11
    • Danielle Almony, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Sara Ward, Physician Assistant Studies
2007-08
    • Ana Devlin, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Stacey Edick, Physician Assistant Studies
2006-07
    • Jessica Buck, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Erin McDermott, Physician Assistant Studies
2005-06
    • Megan Benedict-Buisch, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Megan Bergseth, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Tressa Etsy, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Natalie Llewellyn, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Heather Misja, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Adam Yesenosky, Physician Assistant Studies
2004-05
    • Sarah Eli, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Elizabeth Hillier Guzek, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Ginger Moyer, Physician Assistant Studies
2003-04
    • Anissa Boyle, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Tia Chirico, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Shalee Johnson Nash, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Emilia Solinto, Occupational Therapy
2002-03
    • Lara Hall Blosser, Physician Assistant Studies
2001-02
    • Stephanie Fantauzzo Johnson, Occupational Therapy
    • Jereme Mellenthin, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Sarah Oblender-Gibson, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Robyn Slack Own, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Christine Volk, Physician Assistant Studies
2000-01
    • Maria Abraham, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Sarah Hardner, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Alison Slinchak, Physician Assistant Studies
1999-00
    • Linda Von Bloch, Physician Assistant Studies
1998-99
    • Rebecca Bayer Bunnell, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Lisabeth Emhath, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Alla Kipiller, Physical Therapy
    • Vadim Kipiller, Physical Therapy
    • Heather Surdick-Miller, Physical Therapy
1997-98
  • Gregory Lacek, Physician Assistant Studies
This project is an initiative of Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers of Southwestern PA/Family Services. After an orientation/training, groups of two or three student volunteers participate in home safety checks for elderly residents.
The mission of Three Rivers Adaptive Sports is education, to promote quality of life, and to provide quality year-round sports and recreation opportunities for people with disabilities, their families, and friends. Opportunities for student volunteers include participation in bowling nights, water-skiing, and snow-skiing.
The Woodlands is committed to enriching the lives of children and adults with disability and chronic illness. It includes a 48-bed lodge with a spacious activity center, creative arts building, and indoor aquatic center. Student volunteers assist participants with crafts, cooking, ADLs, swimming, recreational activities, and/or weekend retreats.