Physical Therapy Service

We are proud that our students engage in volunteer service throughout the year at locations all over town and all over the world. Students maintain a service record while in the program and can generally document dozens to hundreds of hours of volunteer activity. Here is a short sample of where you might find our students serving the community.

PT and OT Pro Bono Clinic

The Pro Bono Clinic, developed by faculty and students from Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, complements the learning and service mission of Rockhurst University. Developed in cooperation with the Kansas City CARE Clinic, it provides a midtown clinic to serve the needs of people who are uninsured. This clinic enhances the quality of life for those citizens while helping Rockhurst faculty and students live our moral and economic responsibilities as citizens of this community.

Graduate students from OT and PT, in their final year of study, serve as clinic administrators. Assisted by faculty mentors, the clinic administrators organize and run each clinic. First, second, and third year PT and OT students volunteer to assist with evaluations and patient education. All students are supervised by academic and/ or clinical faculty from PT and OT.

The clinic is held the 1st or 2nd Friday of the month from 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. at the Kansas City Free Health Clinic, 3515 Broadway. For directions, please visit or call (816) 753-5144.

Working at the clinic gives volunteer students the opportunity to assist with any special screenings and also perform basic assessments such as ROM, MMT, sensory testing, blood pressure, and posture. Students should review all of these assessments before attending the clinics.

American Stroke Foundation

Every Friday morning during summer, fall and spring semesters, a small group of second year PT students joins faculty member Brian McKiernan at the American Stroke Foundation in Mission, Kansas for "balance" class with stroke survivors. Brian and the students engage a group of stroke survivors in an hour of exercises and activities designed to improve stability and reduce falls.

To be a part of the group, students and stroke survivors have to agree to play by three "house rules": 1. Stay up; 2. Keep moving; 3. Have fun!

International Service Trips

PT students may have opportunities to travel on any one of several international trips to provide service to populations in need. Over the last 10 years, students and faculty have had the opportunity to travel to many destinations, including: Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador and Haiti.

On past trips, students have seen patients with learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, foot deformities, spinal cord injuries, gun shot wounds and Dupuytren's contractures. Additional activities have included working for the reforestation program, helping clean the operation and pre-operation rooms in the town clinic and helping teach English as the local school. Students have the opportunity to apply for international service trips. The cost is often discounted for students and supplemented by Rockhurst University.

Class of 2007 graduate Laurie Kietzman-Greer and her husband Nick (a Creighton PT grad) decided to make international service their life's work. They have established a clinic in the Dominican Republic and are doing great work as physical therapist missionaries!

You can read more about their fascinating work at: