Donna M. Bowers, PT, MPH, PCS

Donna M. Bowers, PT, DPT, MPH, PCS

Clinical Associate Professor

Donna joined Sacred Heart University in September 1997 after 13 years as a pediatric clinician. She previously served on the Pediatric Specialty Council of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and has served as a member of the Specialization Academy of Content Experts in the area of pediatrics. While Chair of the APTA Section on Pediatrics Public Relations Committee, she spearheaded national health promotion campaigns for children.

Her clinical practice is in outpatient pediatrics and school-based therapy.  She provides developmental screening and consultation to Mercy Learning Center’s daycare through the SHU’s College of Health Profession Center for Wellness. Web linked consultant to The Rett Syndrome Research Trust launched in October 2011; available for clinical PT consultation to therapists working with girls who have Rett Syndrome.

Professional Interests

  • Pediatric physical therapy
  • Fitness for children with disabilities
  • Safe asthma exercise programs
  • Health promotion and wellness for children and adolescents
  • Physical therapy in educational environments
  • Service learning pedagogy and inter-professional collaboration
  • International healthcare service

Degrees and Certifications

    • Doctor of Physical Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions
    • Master of Public Health, Southern Connecticut State University
    • Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, Northeastern University
    • Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist

    Specialty or Specialist Certification/Training

    • Pediatric Certified Specialist (from American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties)

Teaching Responsibilities

    • Semester Coordinator Semester 2 of DPT Program
    • Neurological Evaluation and Intervention
    • Professional Practice III (Health Promotion and Wellness in Physical Therapy)
    • Advanced Seminar in Pediatrics

    Teaching Areas

    Neurological evaluation and treatment; Pediatrics, health care systems, health policy, contemporary practice management, and community based wellness practice 

Research Interests & Grants

    Peer Reviewed Teaching Grant: Bowers D., Fries K., Frost L., Gross M. Collaborating in Guatemala: Developing an Innovative Clinical Experience as means to Promote Interdisciplinary Awareness and Collaboration among Students and Faculty at Sacred Heart University. College of Health Professions Research/Scholarship Course Release Program. 3 cr. course release and share of $1000 stipend for Fall 2011/Spring 2012.

Publications and Presentations

    View All Publications

    AY 2011/2012
    Peer Reviewed presentations:
    Bowers, D., Comley, A., Cotreau, J., Diloreto, E., Leisner, M. "Scoliosis in Children and Adolescence. Connecticut Physical Therapy Association Annual Meeting." October, 2011.

    Bowers, D., Atkins, J., Brunner, J., DeLaCruz, M. Donaldson, E. "Hippotherapy." Connecticut Physical Therapy Association Annual Meeting. October, 2011.

    Book Chapters:
    Bowers, D. and Lusardi, M.  "Motor Learning and Motor Control in Orthotic & Prosthetic Rehabilitation." (submitted August 2011) In Lusardi M, Jorge M, Nielsen C. Orthotics and Prosthetics in Rehabilitation 3rd Edition, St Louis MO: Wolters Kluwer/Mosby, 2012

    Lusardi, M. and Bowers, D. "Orthotics in the Management of Neuromusucular Impairment". (submitted August 2011) In Lusardi M, Jorge M, Nielsen C. Orthotics and Prosthetics in Rehabilitation 3rd Edition, St Louis MO: Wolters Kluwer/Mosby, 2012

    The Rett Syndrome Research Trust (www.rsrt.org) will launch a new website feature in which I will be available as a consultant to other PTs. I will be listed as a physical therapist with over 10 years of clinical expertise in working with children with Rett Syndrome. The website link will allow any therapist working with a child with Rett Syndrome to contact me for clinical consultation. Anticipated launch Fall 2011.

    AY 2010/2011Consultation: 
    Peer Reviewed presentations:
    Bowers, D. and Chui, K. "Professional Development through Specialty Certification.": Connecticut Physical Therapy Association Annual Meeting. October, 2010.

    Consultation:
    As APTA Pediatric Section Public Relations Chair: developed and spearheaded a national campaign Move Across America to encourage exercise and activity in children. Launched October 2010.

    AY 2009/2010
    Symposia Planning & Coordination:
    As committee chair of APTA Section on Pediatrics Booth: coordinated and disseminated information on exercise and physical activity for children and adolescents at the Walt Disney World Health Expo. January 2010.

    AY 2008/2009
    Peer Reviewed Research Presentations:
    Bowers, D. Asthma ELF: "An Innovative Approach to Improve Exercise Outcomes in Children With Asthma;" Poster Presentation at APTA Annual Conference, June 2009. . Received recognition as “Abstract of Excellence”

    Harvey LM, Kenny JL, Weston ML, Bowers DM, Lusardi MM. 'Enhance Your Stance! A Model for Fall Risk Reduction & Wellness Program Development in a Continuing Care Retirement Community;" Poster Presentation at APTA Combined Sections Meeting, June 2009.

    Invited Presentations:
    Bowers, D. Interventions for Postural Control.  Jewish Home for the Elderly rehabilitation staff. August 2008.

    Consultation:
    Development of a concept proposal for a Center on Autism at Sacred Heart University in conjunction with Jody Bortone, Professor and Chair of OT department, Dr. Terry Neu, Professor Education department, Dr. Patricia Walker, Dean CEHP.
    AY 2007/2008

    Peer-Reviewed Presentations:
    Bowers, D. Invited panelist (1 of 6) for Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy and other academic avenues for professional growth.  CPTA Pediatric Section – Pediatric Forum; Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Farmington, CT January 2008

    Invited Presentations:
    Bowers, D. Application of Section 504 for Physical Therapists in school systems.  Norwalk Rehabilitation Services, Inc., Norwalk, CT October 2007

    Consultation:
    As APTA Pediatric Section Public Relations Booth Chair: co-developed and launched a national campaign Let’s All Get Moving to encourage physical activity in all children including those with disabilities. Targeted the program through physical therapists working in public schools across the nation as part of National Physical Therapy Month. October 2007.

    AY 2006/2007
    Peer Reviewed presentations:
    Bowers, D. “Integrated Problem Based Learning Curriculum” Diane Cherry Forum: Exploration of Curricular Models in Pediatric Entry Level Education at Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association: February 2007.

    Consultation:
    American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Pediatrics Specialty Council Exam Coordinator  4th year – Coordination of Physical Therapist Pediatric Specialists Examination: Review and edit 100+ test item submissions. With the National Board of Medical Examiners and 3 other council members, construct and validate the examination for 2007 test cycle. This year  revised entire item bank of 500+ items with attention to updating and ensuring test items reflected current evidence based clinical practice.

    AY 2005/2006
    Peer reviewed articles:
    Strong, L.L., Bowers, D.M., Johnson, M.E., Alaimo, N., Clinton-Briley, A. & Colon, L. (2005). "Aging with Grace- Envejecinedo con gracia." Puerto Rican Health Sciences Journal (March). abstract)

    Emery, M.J., Strong, L.L., Bowers, D.M., Johnson, M.E., (2005)." The establishment of a multicultural and interdisciplinary Wellness Center through university community partnerships." Puerto Rican Health Sciences Journal (March). Abstract)

    Book Chapters:
    Bowers, D. and Lusardi, M.  "Motor Learning and Motor Control in Orthotic & Prosthetic Rehabilitation." (2005) In Orthotics & Prosthetics in Rehabilitation, 2nd Ed. Editors: Michelle Lusardi & Caroline Nielsen

    Lusardi, M. and Bowers, D. "Orthotics in the Management of Neuromusucular Impairment." (2005) In Orthotics & Prosthetics in Rehabilitation, 2nd Ed. Editors: Michelle Lusardi & Caroline Nielsen

    Symposia Planning & Coordination:
    Coordinated the Specialization Academy of Content Experts (1 day workshop) for 12 new writers for the Pediatric Specialty Council,  APTA CSM conference February 2006

    Consultation:
    American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Pediatrics Specialty Council Exam Coordinator  3rd year – Coordination of Physical Therapist Pediatric Specialists Examination: Review and edit 80 test item submissions. With the National Board of Medical Examiners and 3 other council members, construct and validate the examination for 2006 test cycle.

    AY 2004/2005
    Peer Reviewed presentations:
    Bowers, D. & Jacobsen, A. "Presentation of Complex Patient Cases: Management Discussion with Clinical Specialists." American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting, February 2005.

    Strong, L.L., Bowers, D.M. "Aging with Grace- Envejecinedo con gracia." International Congress for Health Professionals, San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 2004.

    Emery, M.J., Strong, L.L., Bowers, D.M. "The establishment of a multicultural and interdisciplinary Wellness Center through university community partnerships." International Congress for Health Professionals, San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 2004.

    Book Chapters:
    Lusardi, M. and Bowers, D. Case 26 - "Addressing the Rehabilitation Needs of a Child with Transtibial Amputation." In Clinical Cases in Physical Therapy, Second Ed., Brimer, M. and Moran, M. Elseveir, 2004.

    Symposia Planning & Coordination:
    Coordinated the Specialization Academy of Content Experts (1 day workshop) for 12 new writers for the Pediatric Specialty Council,  APTA CSM conference February 2005

    Consultation:
    American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Pediatrics Specialty Council Exam Coordinator 2nd year – Coordination of Physical Therapist Pediatric Specialists Examination: Review and edit 60+ test item submissions from 20 writers. With the National Board of Medical Examiners and 3 other council members, construct and validate the examination for 2005 test cycle.

    AY 2003/2004
    Peer Reviewed research Articles:
    Strong, L., Bowers, D., Fein, B. Preparing Students For Culturally Competent Health Care Practice. Submitted for publication to Journal of Multi-Cultural Nursing and Health. August, 2003.

    Peer Reviewed presentations:
    Bowers, D & Fein, B. "Preparing Students for Culturally Competent Healthcare Practice". Platform Presentation, American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting. February 2004.

    Consultation:
    American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Pediatrics Specialty Council Exam Coordinator 1st year – Coordination of Physical Therapist Pediatric Specialists Examination: Review and edit test item submissions from 20 writers. With the National Board of Medical Examiners and 3 other council members, construct and validate the examination for 2004 test cycle.

    AY 2002/2001
    Peer Reviewed presentations:
    Bowers, D. "Exercise Habits of Middle School Children With and Without Asthma." Poster Presentation, Tri-State Physical Therapy Conference and Exposition, Sturbridge, MA., October, 2001.

    Invited presentations:
    Bowers, D. and Brooks, S. "Motor Learning Theory and Application to the Pediatric Patient." Connecticut Physical Therapy Association Friday Morning Mini Series, Wallingford, CT., September, 2001.


    2000 and older
    Peer reviewed publications:
    "Guidelines for Physical Therapy in Educational Settings." State of Connecticut Department of Education. 
    Contributing author; 1999.

    "Recommended Guidelines for School-Based Physical Therapy In New Jersey." American Physical Therapy Association of New Jersey. Member of the Pediatric Special Interest Group and contributing author; 1998.

    Peer Reviewed presentations:
    Bowers, D., Austin, G., and Galbasini, C. The Application of Dynamic Systems Approach to Treatment: "A case presentation of a patient with Central Nervous System Lyme Disease." Connecticut Physical Therapy Association Annual Meeting. November, 1999.

    Invited presentations:
    Bowers, D., Harris, L., and Waple, L. "Connecticut Guidelines for Physical and Occupational Therapy Services in Educational Environments." Connecticut Regional Education Service Centers: Hamden, East Lyme, and Middletown, CT., Summer, 2000.

    Bowers, D. "The Role of the Physical Therapist in Supporting Students with Minimal Dysfunction." RESC Conference, Meridan, CT., November, 1999.

    Bowers, D. and Fein, B. "Making It Work: Adapting Educational Environments to Clinical Education." Sacred Heart University, May, 1999.

    Bowers, D. "Principles of Motor Learning and Application to Educational Environments." Norwalk Rehabilitation Association, Norwalk, CT., October, 1998.

    Bowers, D. "Principles of Motor Learning and Application to Educational Environments." ACES, North Haven, CT., August, 1998.

    Bowers, D. "The Role of the Physical Therapist in Early Interevention." Family Link Training, New Jersey, May, 1996.

    Bowers, D." Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Services within Educational Environments." The Learning Resource Center, New Jersey, May, 1995.

     

Contact Information

Office Location & Hours

  • Location:
    Physical Therapy
    Cambridge 1-P-20
    College of Health Professions
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