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.

This fellowship may be completed in lieu of program specific service learning requirements, such as those in the DPT program.

Learn More About the Fellowship

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Chatham University Schweitzer Fellows

    • Anna Coutsoumbis, Physical Therapy
    • Chelsea McGraw, Counseling Psychology
    • Shannon Schroeder, Counseling Psychology
    • Kerrie O'Donnell, Physical Therapy
    • Dana Ritchey, Law/Counseling Psychology
    • Jason Lucarelli, Counseling Psychology
    • Rebecca Tyers-Brown, Counseling Psychology
    • Caroline Zieth
    • Fae Gibson, Physical Therapy
    • Victoria Chang Mishra, Physician Assistant Studies
    • Stephanie Dalness
    • Emily Sandfort, 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.