QUICK FACTS about the Physical Therapy Department at Munroe-Meyer Institute
To optimize physical activity, motor function, health-related quality of life, and community access and/or participation in children or young adults with movement challenges; to develop clinical and research experts who excel in evidence-based and client/family-centered assessment of and intervention for individuals with movement challenges.
- Founded as part of the Meyer Therapy Center in 1958 for rehabilitation of children disabled by polio.
- Participation in Muscular Dystrophy Adult and Pediatric Clinics in 1975.
- Began serving children in the public schools in the early 1980’s; assumed full responsibility for Omaha Public in 2000, for Bellevue Public in 2008.
- Motion laboratory originated in 1995; Pediatric residency program in 2010; graduate training program and Sensorimotor Learning Laboratory in 2010.
- 7 ABPTS Board Certified Pediatric Physical Therapy (PT) Specialists; 2 RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professionals; 2 certified Car Seat Specialists; 3 certified in Aquatic Therapy.
- 18 PTs provide services to about 800 children age birth to 21 in Omaha and Bellevue Public School Districts; 5 provide services at Children’s Respite Care Center
- Annually, 6 therapists provide approximately 1,500 out-patient, aquatic, home or community based PT visits; 150 developmental assessments in Tracking Infant Progress Statewide (TIPS) NICU Follow-up clinic.
- NICU developmental consultations at Nebraska Medicine and Methodist Women’s Hospital.
- Mobility and Assistive Technology Clinic (MAT) serves about 80 clients annually.
- Special Needs Car Seat Program provides evaluations and recommendations for safe transportation of all children.
- Transition and Adult programming for mobility, in-home safety/access, community participation, and equipment needs.
- Pelvic floor physical therapy addressing pelvic floor, continence, or reproductive health in Individuals with intellectual, developmental, or acquired disabilities.
- Advanced blend of engineering and movement sciences to inform treatment strategies for individuals with developmental disabilities or movement disorders.
- Extramural funding through National Institute of Health, Department of Education Institute of Educational Sciences, State of NE Health and Human Services, NU Foundation and private/industry partners.
- Members of the national START-Play research consortium investigating efficacy of Early Intervention strategies with infants birth to three.
- Cutting edge Virtual Reality Research and Development Laboratory investigating how new hardware and software can be utilized to provide intervention and community participation for individuals with IDD.
- APTA Certified Clinical Instructors provide ~2,200 student hours of training annually; PT students from 8 different academic institutions compete for 6-10 clinical affiliations.
- Pediatric Physical Therapy course development/instruction for UNMC College of Allied Health Professions (CAHP), PT Education.
- American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education accredited Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency program; of 10 residents to date, 7 have obtained Pediatric Specialty Certification.
- Coordinate & sponsor annual continuing education programming for PT and other habilitation or education disciplines through PedsPTNebraska special interest group.
- Annual participation in community events such as Down Syndrome Alliance Step-Up Walk, MMI Trunk or Treat, and Career and Resource Fairs.
- Partner with UNMC PT and UNO/UNL engineering students for Go Baby Go! Nebraska initiative; with UNO/UNL engineering for senior capstone projects; with UNL Computer Science and Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts for senior capstone and VR software development.
- Assist with OPS Fellowship & Sports Classic Games bi-annually; Special Olympics Fun Fitness annually.
- Coordinate Healthy Athletes Program for Preschoolers prior to Special Olympics participation.
- Coordinate & volunteer for community programs that promote physical activity such as Girls on the Run (GOTR) and Bellevue TOPSoccer.
Sandy Willett, PhD, PT, PCS – Director, Physical Therapy Department
402-559-5719 | Email Dr. Willett