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.

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.

Rock Steady Boxing is an exercise program designed to help people living with Parkinson’s disease improve fitness and mobility. Classes run every weekday (M-F) from 11:00-12:00 and Saturday’s from 11:15-12:15. Students from the area have volunteered during winter and spring breaks.
GIFT helps seniors help the community through focusing on what they CAN do. GIFT is effectively combating ageism, providing a renewed sense of purpose, and reaching an untapped demographic through intergenerational volunteerism. As a result, GIFT's outreach programs provide double community impact and advocacy. Students participate in activities at senior apartments and also with annual programs like Thanksgiving To Go.
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 Jewish Health Care Foundation offers a variety of service opportunities, fellowships, and internships. Past students have completed Feinstein Fellowships along with their academic and clinical requirements. These programs are listed on their website and periodic emails may be sent to students.

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
The mission of Special Olympics PA is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community. Opportunities for volunteers include working with athletes (virtually and in person) on achieve fitness goals while engaging in some friendly competition.
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.
This facility is a personal care residence in Oakland. Chatham has had a partnership with VSG for four years. Volunteers and needed for weekend and evening activities such as Bingo and Crafts. There is also a need for friendly visitors to socialize with residents who rarely have visitors.
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.