By LANCE CRANMER firstname.lastname@example.org
COLUMBUS – Last summer National Church Residences began a partnership with Ohio State University to create a geriatric physical therapy residency program.
“Ohio State needed a partner for the geriatric residency so they asked us if we would partner with them,” said Sarah Dalton Ortlieb, National Church Residences Vice President of Rehabilitation Services. “We get to cultivate an expert in the field.”
The first resident in the program is Sarah Kidd, who began the program at First Community Village in July 2016.
“They’re helping me prepare to be a credited specialist,” said Kidd, whose residency program runs through July 2017. “I get to experience the geriatric spectrum in one year.”
“This residency is a geriatric specialization,” said Ortlieb. “Sarah, our resident, is a licensed physical therapist who has graduated with her doctorate from Ohio State. This program is an extra year, similar to what a physician would do. She’s elected to do this residency to become a specialist in geriatrics.”
Kidd’s year-long learning experience is a rarity in her field.
“Most physical therapists who are working in geriatrics don’t have this kind of specialization,” Ortlieb said. “There aren’t many opportunities around the country for people to go through geriatric residency.”
In this program, Kidd will get to experience multiple facets of geriatric care specializations, allowing her to obtain experience in all areas of the field.
“This is great for my development,” Kidd said. “There are various geriatric settings. This allows me to figure out where I do thrive and what I struggle with. Every day and every week is different.”
Last summer Kidd spent most of her time at First Community Village, while also doing lab work and student teaching at Ohio State. In early 2017 she began moving into work with a greater focus on Home Health.
“She’ll be there for a few months learning that type of practice,” said Ortlieb. “The last couple months of her residency will be geared toward outpatient care at First Community and wellness at our Centers for Senior Health.”
The residency program also includes mentoring opportunities, didactic (specific education content) work, and a researched case study that will likely be published in medical journals.
“Its wonderful training and career development in one year,” Kidd said. “I just love that the residency gives me mentoring opportunities. I have these experts around me that I can discuss things with.”
When Kidd’s residency is complete it is possible that she could come to work for National Church Residences full-time.
“If they would hire me, I would want to,” she said.
Ortlieb said that in the long term it is her goal to be able to recruit the people who go through the residency – which is limited to one per year – to join the organization.
“We’re doing great things for our mission of helping seniors and for us, we want to be able to cultivate a long-term potential recruiting pool,” she said.