Dr. Margaret O'Neil Joins Columbia PT Faculty

PT Faculty Present at Rehabilitation Research Day

PT & OT students take the lead in organizing naloxone training, an October IPE event

PT Faculty Members Initiate New Peer-Reviewed Journal

Journal of Clinical Education in Physical Therapy Call for Papers

New! PT Alumni Facebook Group

Columbia DPT Students Participate in NY Cares Day

PT Faculty Focuses on Leadership at 2018 Meetings

Women in Sports Take the Field at Perspectives on Practice

In the News: Dr. Colleen Brough Featured on CNN Segment on Running Analysis

PACE Research Laboratory at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Offers Opportunities for Collaborative Research

Spotlight on Electives: Perspectives on Practice holds Think Tank

Columbia DPT Faculty and Students at CSM 2019

The Annual Clinical Case Management Awards 2019: And the Winner Is...

Columbia DPT Student Wins Ann-Marie Sirois Scholarship for Clinical Education


We are pleased to announce that Margaret E. (Maggie) O’Neil, PT, PhD, MPH has joined the faculty of the Columbia University Program in Physical Therapy.  She earned her bachelor’s degree (BS) in biology from Providence College, Providence, RI; a master’s degree (MS) in physical therapy from Duke University; a master’s degree in public health (MPH) in maternal and child health policy from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a PhD in physical therapy with a concentration in pediatric rehabilitation from Drexel University (formerly MCH Hahnemann University) in Philadelphia, PA.  She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Franciscan Children’s Hospital and Boston University under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen M. Haley.   

Dr. O’Neil has been a pediatric physical therapist since 1985. She worked for over 11 years in a variety of pediatric settings (hospital, outpatient clinic, school-based, home-based and public health programs). She then returned to academia to earn advanced degrees (MPH and PhD) and receive post-doctoral training.  Before coming to Columbia, Dr. O’Neil was a faculty member at Drexel University.  Her teaching and content expertise areas are: research; health policy and services in rehabilitation; pediatric physical therapy; and pediatric health promotion, wellness and fitness. 

Dr. O'Neil sitting at her desk in her office
Dr. Margaret O'Neil

Dr. O’Neil is an active researcher.  She has received multiple foundation grants and NIH grants.  Dr. O’Neil has over 40 peer reviewed publications; several book chapters and multiple peer reviewed and invited presentations.  Dr. O’Neil’s primary area of research is objective physical activity measures in children and youth with chronic conditions (i.e., obesity) and physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy [CP] and autism.  She conducts research on the effectiveness of physical therapy interventions to promote fitness, functional mobility and physical activity participation for these children. Dr. O’Neil works on an interdisciplinary team with computer and biomedical engineers and game designers to design and test the effectiveness of customized active video games to promote physical activity, functional mobility and fitness in youth with CP.   

Her service involvement spans local, national and international levels.  She mentors clinical researchers and junior faculty; is past chair and a current member of the research committee for the APTA, a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy; a member of the Foundation for Physical Therapy’s Scientific Review Committee, a manuscript reviewer for several physical therapy and public health journals and serves on the editorial board for Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics.  Additionally, she has served on panels for the National Physical Activity Plan. 

She will be teaching PT Management of Pediatric Conditions and the Advanced Seminar in Pediatrics with Dr. Lisa Yoon.

When Dr. O’Neil is not working, she enjoys yoga, reading, movies and going to the theater.

poster with details of naloxone training

PT & OT students take the lead in organizing naloxone training, an October IPE (Interprofessional Education) event

On Thursday, October 25th from 6-8PM in the Georgian building on the third floor, students from all of the health science professions are invited to join a discussion on the opioid epidemic and participate in a free naloxone training.  (Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.) The discussion will focus on how each profession has addressed the epidemic. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about your peers and receive training to recognize and respond to an overdose equipped with naloxone.  Food and beverages will be provided.

This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia Commons IPE Student Advisory Board and AIMS Council, and training is provided by the Washington Heights CORNER Project.

In conjunction with this event the students are holding a supply-drive to benefit CORNER project’s sister organization, New York Harm Reduction Educators. Please consider donating a hygiene product (shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, towels, robes, slippers/flip flops, detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets) to this important organization.

PT student representatives to the IPE Student Advisory Board are: Zachary Cohane (DPT 2019), , Jonathan Grace (DPT 2020), and Tayla Curran (DPT 2021)


PT Faculty Members initiate new peer-reviewed journal

The Columbia University Program in Physical Therapy is proud to announce that two of our faculty, Dr. Kevin Wong and Dr. Jean Fitzpatrick Timmerberg have initiated a new open-access peer-reviewed journal: the Journal of Clinical Education in Physical Therapy .

JCEPT logo

JCEPT aims to build the evidence base related to clinical education methods and facilitate professional development in future physical therapy educational leaders. Our experienced editorial board includes national figures who have made exceptional contributions to the physical therapy profession. Together with our associate editors, the JCEPT editorial team represents a wide range of clinical, scholarly, administrative, and geographic perspectives.

Clinical and academic faculty, clinicians, fellows and residents interested in educating physical therapy professionals to succeed in any clinical setting are encouraged to submit the following submission types: 1) original research, 2) clinic-related teaching methods, 3) narrative and systematic reviews, 4) critically appraised topics, and 5) clinical and educational case reports. In addition, the recurring "interprofessional corner" is reserved for professional collaborations or contributions from other health professions applicable to physical therapy clinical education.

Finally, invited perspectives on educational topics will be published periodically. Prepare your papers and contact the editors at or visit the website. For further details, see Call for Papers.


Journal of Clinical Education in Physical Therapy

Submit your manuscript to the new Journal of Clinical Education in Physical Therapy (JCEPT).

The purpose of JCEPT is to build the evidence-base related to clinical education and develop scholarship among the clinical and academic faculty that will lead the physical therapy profession in the future. Clinicians, clinical instructors and mentors, fellows, residents, and academic faculty involved in physical therapy education in any setting are invited to submit papers related to clinical education and preparation for clinical practice to JCEPT, an open-access peer-reviewed journal.


We will publish papers that address the preparation of physical therapists for clinical practice, effective and innovative methods for teaching in clinical settings, and solutions for the challenges of integrating didactic knowledge with clinical instruction at entry-level, residency/fellowship, and professional levels. Included will be papers that synthesize the relevant evidence-base to impact clinical application.  The following submission types are welcome: 

1) exploratory or experimental research 
2) teaching methods or educational models related to clinical practice in clinic or classroom 
3) narrative reviews and systematic reviews applicable to clinical practice
4) critically appraised topics that can impact clinical education or clinical practice 
5) case reports with implications for other clinical or clinical education cases include resident/fellow reflective case reports that resolve unique clinical cases as well as clinical education case reports that address challenging clinical instruction scenarios at any level
6) Manuscripts in any of the submission types are welcome for the Interprofessional Corner. The interprofessional corner is reserved for interprofessional collaborations or contributions from other health professions applicable to physical therapy clinical education. 
7) Invited-only perspectives on educational topics and current trends in clinical education.

The JCEPT editorial board and associate editors have been specifically selected to represent the broad scope of our profession including clinical education at all levels, various clinical specialties, geographic exposure, and academic and research experience. If you have questions about how your work fits in the scope of JCEPT, please contact the Editors-in-Chief at

Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Editors-in-Chief: Christopher K Wong & Jean Fitzpatrick Timmerberg
617 West 168th Street, The Georgian 320, NY, NY 10032
Twitter: @jcept_columbia


New! PT Alumni Facebook Group

The Columbia University Program in Physical Therapy has established a private Facebook group for alumni. All are invited to join! Once you’re in, you can invite other alumni. You can post job opportunities and other news, as well as connect with your classmates. There is also a brief survey we would like everyone to fill out, indicating where you are working, your class year and contact information. This information is required by our accrediting body, CAPTE.  To join the group, please email Stephanie Henkin at, and provide your name and class year.


PT Faculty Focuses on Leadership at 2018 Meetings

The 2018 Educational Leadership Conference (ELC) was held in Jacksonville, Florida from October 12-14th. “The ELC is a collaborative effort of the Academy of Physical Therapy Education (Academy) and the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT). The goal of the conference was to “excite, educate, invigorate, and facilitate discussion… in physical therapy education.”  This year’s theme was “Our Leadership Landscape: Perspectives from the Ground Level to 30,000 Feet.” Drs. Debra Krasinski (Program Director), Colleen Brough, Mahlon Stewart and Jean Timmerberg were in attendance.  

Dr. Timmerberg presented two educational sessions.  The first was “Competency-Based Education in Medicine and Pharmacy: Learning from Others.” Her co-presenters were  Dr. Steven Chesbro (Vice President of Education at APTA), Dr. Gail Jensen (Vice Provost for Learning and Assessment and Dean, Graduate School and College of Professional Studies at Creighton University), Dr. David Brown (Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Humanities, Health, and Society, Chief of Family Medicine at Florida International University and the Chair of the Core EPA Pilot Entrustment workgroup for the

Dr. Timmerberg with colleagues
L-R: Drs. Steven Chesbro, Jean Timmerberg, David Brown, Matthew LaCroix, Gail Jensen

Association of American Medical Colleges) and Dr. Matthew LaCroix (Coordinator for Accreditation and Assessment at the University of Rhode Island).  

Dr. Timmerberg at podium
Dr. Jean Fitzpatrick Timmerberg

The second presentation, “Developing a Standardized Mechanism to Identify Sites of Excellence in Clinical Education,” discussed collaborative research between members of the NY-NJ Clinical Education Consortium and the New England Consortium.

The directors of clinical education, Drs. Mahlon Stewart and Colleen Brough, also made a strong presence at ELC seminars. Dr. Brough attended a full-day leadership course given by the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) entitled “ACAPT Leadership Academy Workshop: Your Leadership Mindset: Think Big, Act Boldly.” The seminar focused on work by Stanford University professor Carol Dweck, comparing a growth versus fixed mindset, and offered tools to implement these concepts. To foster interprofessional opportunities in Columbia RunLab and CancerFit, Dr. Brough also attended “Growing and Blending Leadership Skills in Interprofessional Education through Interprofessional Pro Bono Clinics and Community Engagement.” Drs. Brough and Stewart also attended other seminars. They were: “The Geneva R. Johnson Forum on Innovation in Physical Therapy Education: Key Note Address: Leadership in a Rapidly Changing World;” the Clinical Education Special Interest Group Meeting, the National Consortium of Clinical Educators Business Meeting, and the ACAPT Open Forum on PT Education and Leadership, where national trends and issues in clinical education were discussed.  

Dr. Brough commented, “As a leader in physical therapy education, the Columbia DPT Program continues to be part of the national conversation on clinical education. The ELC offers a chance to discuss trends and best practices with APTA leadership and educators and researchers from PT programs across the country.”

On October 28-29th, 2018 a Clinical Education Strategy Meeting was held in Old Town, Alexandria near APTA Headquarters.  This session addressed physical therapy clinical education along the continuum of learning with a focus on entrance into practice.  The goal was to identify and develop short and long-term clinical education key challenges and action plans in four pre-identified areas: outcomes, essential resources, academic and clinical partnerships, and research.  Dr. Timmerberg was the sub-group lead for the outcomes group.

This spring Dr. Timmerberg, along with Sandy Brooks, the Executive Director of the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy, will facilitate an Outcome Strategy Meeting at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Education Leadership Partnership meeting.

PT faculty enjoying dinner with colleagues at ELC
PT faculty members enjoying dinner with colleagues at ELC











Women in Sports Take the Field at Perspectives on Practice         

By Esther Adler, Class of 2019

On October 22nd the Perspectives On Practice, a student-run elective, held a panel discussion featuring women in sports physical therapy. Guest speakers included Rena Eleazar, owner of Matchfit PT; alumna Julie Erhlich (class of 2015), physical therapist at Orthology and team PT for the Somerset Patriots baseball team; Suzanne Semanson, clinical specialist at the Harkness center for Dance Injuries, and Amy Arundale from the Brooklyn Nets.  Dr. Colleen Brough, PT faculty member and director of the Columbia RunLab, moderated the discussion. Topics ranged from the journeys that led each panelist to sports PT; the most important things to do to attain success in the field; what continuing education courses to take; and challenges faced as a woman in a predominantly male environment. 

Group shot of panelists, students and Dr. Mahlon Stewart
Perspectives on Practice attendees, panelists and Dr. Mahlon Stewart

Kayla Coutts (class of 2019) commented “I really enjoyed the diversity in the panelists’ experiences. Each of them followed her own pathway to where they are today. Within those paths, though, each of them emphasized the need to work hard, form a network, and understand the sport they’re in”. Many attendees came up to me after the session to share how different and eye opening the evening was.

Perspectives on Practice is a student-led elective course that spans the three-year DPT curriculum. Students work with the course advisor, Dr. Mahlon Stewart, to maintain an ongoing course syllabus and organize learning events to enhance understanding of PT practice. The elective culminates in a final project for those who wish to receive a credit on their final transcript. For more information on Perspectives on Practice, contact Dr. Stewart at



In the News: Dr. Colleen Brough featured on CNN segment on running analysis

Dr. Colleen Brough, founder and director of the Columbia RunLab, lent her expertise to this CNN segment on how running analysis can help prevent injury.

Dr. Colleen Brough










PACE Research Laboratory at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Offers Opportunities for Interprofessional Collaborative Research

The Programs in Physical and Occupational Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine are pleased to announce the establishment of the PACE Research Laboratory (Performance, Activity and Clinical Exercise Laboratory). The Lab’s mission is to promote and facilitate collaborative inter-professional clinical rehabilitation research; mentor student (professional and post-professional) research, and provide consultation for study design and grant proposals.  

The Lab’s faculty is comprised of highly experienced clinical research scientists with expertise in neuroscience, cognition, musculoskeletal rehabilitation and exercise, who are recognized as neurological, pediatric and orthopedic physical therapy and occupational therapy clinical specialists. Currently, there are ongoing collaborations with Rehabilitation Medicine, Neurology, Orthopedics, Women’s Health, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Mechanical Engineering. Faculty research is supported by grants from the NIH, NSF, industry, private foundations, the Irving Center for Clinical Research, and CUIMC intramural funding.

Researchers who work in the PACE lab
L to R: Drs. Margaret O'Neil, Glen Gillen, Debra Krasinski, Katherine Dimitropoulou, Kevin Wong, Jacqueline Montes, Ashwini Rao

The laboratory is fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for the measurement of cognitive and motor performance, function and participation, including:
•    Gait and Balance: We perform gait analysis using an instrumented mat (Gaitrite), a footswitch system (Clinical Stride Analyzer), and an inertial sensor system (APDM), which is also capable of recording and measuring posture, balance and upper extremity movement.
•    Exercise Tolerance Test: This test is performed using a Parvomedics metabolic cart and either a Lode electronically braked recumbent cycle ergometer, or a treadmill. We can also perform Body Composition studies using Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis.
•    Muscle Oxidative Capacity is measured with non-invasive near infrared spectroscopy (Portamon)
•    Physical Activity and Energy Expenditure: We can measure physical activity and energy expenditure with an accelerometer based system (IDEEA) and with a wearable sensor (Actigraph, Polar heart monitor, Bioharness)
•    Heart rate, inter-beat-interval and physical activity measures can be measured with a mobile chest-worn Actiheart heart monitor system (sensors and software), which also measures overall physical activity and energy expenditure during functional tasks. 
•    Precision Grip (control of fingertip forces) can be measured with a custom-built instrument and custom software for data collection and analysis. 
•    Functional Reaching can be measured in children and adults with the inertial sensor system (APDM).
•    Muscle Strength can be measured with handheld and fixed myometers. 
•    Clinical expertise for valid and reliable clinical tools, and technology is available to measure client reported outcomes regarding cognitive and motor function, pain, fatigue, physical functioning, functional literacy, emotional state, social roles, and their impact on clients’ quality of life across age groups.  
•    Active Video Gaming Kits with Kinect Sensor for design of therapeutic games for youth    

For more information on the PACE Laboratory, or to discuss possible collaborations or projects, please contact Susanna Mayas,




Spotlight on Electives: Perspectives on Practice holds Think Tank

On November 19th, the Perspectives On Practice student-run elective held its second annual Think Tank. Five third year students presented their final projects to a panel of business owners and faculty members. The projects consisted of either business ideas, or a 5-year strategic career plan. The panel included Dr. Debra Kransinki, Director of the Program in Physical Therapy; Erica Meloe, owner of Velocity Physical Therapy; Dan Rootenberg, CEO of SPEAR Physical Therapy; and Mahlon Stewart, Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education. Each student’s presentation was followed by a discussion with the panelists on its strengths and areas of growth. 

The elective culminates in this final project for those who wish to receive a credit on their final transcript. Each project presented unique ideas, illustrating various ways one can enhance their physical therapy career. Presentation topics included “Physical Therapy in Shared Office Spaces,” “The Competitive Adaptive Sports Company,” and “Youth Baseball and Performance… and Beyond,” and “Phoenix PT and Wellness.”

Esther Adler (Class of 2019) commented, “The entire process of creating my idea (“Esther’s Five Year Development Plan”) and sharing it in front of business owners and experienced clinicians was invaluable. Talking your idea out loud and hearing feedback was immensely helpful in hearing it from an objective point of view, which allowed me to create a sound plan. This was one of the most valuable projects in my time at Columbia.”

Perspectives on Practice is a student-led elective course that spans the three-year DPT curriculum. Students work with the course advisor, Dr. Mahlon Stewart, to maintain an ongoing course syllabus and organize learning events to enhance understanding of PT practice. For more information on Perspectives on Practice,  contact Dr. Stewart at

Think Tank students and panelists
Think Tank students and panelists












DPT faculty and students will make a strong showing at CSM 2019 in Washington, DC, with a full schedule of posters, presentations, meetings, and receptions. Don't forget the annual Columbia PT Alumni and Friends gathering, held this year at Baby Wale. Take a look at their calendar. Hope to see you there! 

CSM 2019 logo





Columbia DPT Student Wins Anne-Marie Sirois Scholarship for Clinical Education

We are pleased to announce that Jae Yun Oh, Class of 2019, has been named a winner of the 2019 Anne-Marie Sirois Scholarship Award.

The Anne-Marie Sirois Clinical Education Scholarship was developed to honor Anne-Marie Sirois’ contributions to physical therapy clinical education by providing financial assistance to students to enable them to reach their clinical education goals.  The New York/New Jersey Physical Therapy Clinical Education Consortium awards an annual $1,000.00 scholarship to a student based upon an application, personal statement, and recommendation form.

Dr. Mahlon Stewart, co-director of clinical education, and chair of the Consortium’s Research Committee, commented, “I knew Jane’s history of service and leadership would make her an attractive candidate for this award. The New York New Jersey Consortium of Clinical Education is a leader in the field, and it is an honor to have them recognize one of our students.” 
Jane added, “As I complete my terminal experiences, the Anne-Marie Sirois award is providing a financial and motivational boost. It is a remarkable feeling to be supported by the NYNJ Clinical Education Consortium and the faculty here at Columbia. I hope that I will eventually lead patients and students as I have been guided by our leadership today."

Jane Oh headshot
Jane Oh, Class of 2019












The Annual Clinical Case Management Awards 2019: And the winners are…

It’s awards season, and Dr. Wing Fu’s Clinical Case Management course recognizes the best student presentations each year. Like the Oscars, the winners are decided by their peers—the students themselves grade each other’s presentations. 

Eight students with the highest grades are the award recipients this year. Each recipient receives a mug designed by Dr. Wing Fu. The pattern illustrates the key concepts covered in the course, including clinical reasoning, thinking aloud, hypothetico-deductive reasoning, pattern recognition, collaborative reasoning, and ethical reasoning. 

Congratulations to all the winners!

Emily Cutler, Dr. Wing Fu, and Felix-Marie Hernandez
L-R: Emily Cutler, Dr. Wing Fu, and Felix-Marie Hernandez






L-R: Lauren Lee, Dr. Wing Fu, and Alissa Ladas
L-R: Lauren Lee, Dr. Wing Fu, and Alissa Ladas
Esther Adler, Dr. Wing Fu, and Christopher Repecki
L-R: Esther Adler, Dr. Wing Fu, and Christopher Repecki


Sarah Urke, Dr, Wing Fu and Barbara Trencher
L-R: Sarah Urke (DPT 2019), Dr. Wing Fu, and Barbara Trencher (DPT 2019)