From fundraiser to funding recipient, Anne Palermo, PT, DPT, has come full circle. Through Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (FPTR) scholarships, Palermo is completing her PhD at the University of Miami. On September 23, 2020, students tuned in to hear more about her work, how researchers are pivoting to adjust to the changes brought by COVID-19, and how to get connected with research.
Palermo shared her journey in research and how it afforded her tremendous opportunities in mentorship and networking as an emerging investigator. She also pointed to the ways in which research has advanced the profession — proving that certain treatments are effective and creating more tools for physical therapists to use in caring for patients.
Most student fundraisers who participate in the Challenge do not go on to become researchers. However, Palermo received several FPTR awards as she pursued a research career. She was awarded a Florence P. Kendall Scholarship in 2016 and a Promotion of Doctoral Studies I Scholarship in 2017. Most recently, she was awarded the Mary Lou Barnes PODS II Award for her neurology-related research. Her research study was just beginning as the COVID-19 crisis emerged, however her study was assessing a home-based training program and she was able to pivot with the changes brought by the pandemic.
Palermo and students also discussed remaining positive and creative in student fundraising efforts. For example, many events can be moved virtually (such as 5ks and courses) and others can be held safely with social distancing measures in place (such as golf outings).
FPTR will host another event in October focusing on navigating clinicals during the pandemic. Students can preregister for this event to receive more information.