For release August 28,
Briggs, an Exercise Physiologist and Clinical Assistant Professor at West
Virginia University School of Medicine, Department of Human Performance and
Applied Exercise Science, as well as Aquatic Director at Health South Mountainview
Regional Rehabilitation Hospital attended the 2000 Aquatic Therapy and Rehab
Institute Symposium held August 24-27 in Orlando, Florida.
At the symposium Paula was presented the national organization’s
highest recognition, the Aquatic Therapy Professional of the Year Award.
prestigious Aquatic Therapy Award recognizes outstanding international aquatic
therapy professionals who have made notable contributions to the field.
Through their efforts the Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute, the
leading national professional organization in multidisciplinary aquatic therapy,
has reached new heights and broadened its scope of care and professionalism.
teaches the aquatic therapy curriculum, introduced in January 1999, at West
Virginia University as a special topic in the Division of Exercise Physiology
under the direction of Rachael Yeater, Ph.D.
West Virginia University was the first university in the nation to offer
a curriculum in aquatic therapy. The
curriculum is a special emphasis area in Exercise Physiology consisting of
fifteen semester credit hours with a concentration in Aquatic Therapy.
Aquatic Therapy students complete a 200 hour internship in the Health
South Mountainview therapeutic pool under Paula’s supervision.
Virginia University serves as a test site for the Aquatic Therapy and Rehab
Institute’s national certification exam.
This four-hour exam provides an opportunity to attain a most important
credential in communicating a level of knowledge and expertise essential for
working with patients and clients in aquatic therapy programs effectively and
safely. In May, 2000 one hundred
percent of the WVU Exercise Physiology students who took the Aquatic Therapy
Curriculum passed the test and became certified aquatic therapists.
The national rate for successful completion is 75%.
to designing and implementing the Aquatic Therapy curriculum at West Virginia
University, Paula has published several articles in professional journals and
made national and international presentations on the topic.
This year Paula co-presented at the Aquatic Therapy symposium with Justin
White, a doctoral student in the Exercise Physiology Program, on
presentation covered Justin’s research findings in lecture format followed by
Paula’s demonstration in the pool to teach aquatic therapy techniques that
address the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. In
the past, Paula co-presented with Guyton Hornsby, PhD on the topic of aquatic
exercise for people with diabetes.
worked at Health South Mountainview Rehab Hospital as director of the
therapeutic pool since the hospital opened in 1991.
She designed and implemented the in-patient and out-patient aquatic
therapy protocols and started the community aquatic wellness program to provide
fitness for people with special needs. Paula
teaches water safety classes and is a trainer for life-guard instructors as well
as water safety instructors with the American Red Cross.
She serves on the Red Cross Health and Safety Services Committee of the
Mountain Laurel chapter. Paula
serves on several committees of the Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute,
including the Advisory Board.
Paula is the
first Exercise Physiologist to win the award.
She views the honor as an opportunity to assist other Exercise
Physiologists in finding roles in rehabilitation, as well as fitness programs.
Paula Briggs email@example.com
West Virginia University
Dept. of Human Performance and Applied
School of Medicine
Box 9266, Morgantown, WV 26506
Physiology School http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/ep/
Therapy and Beyond: Aquatic
Therapy for Spinal Cord Injuries is a production of West Virginia
University. All rights reserved. © West Virginia
University, 1999 www.wvu.edu