RHB Student 1 of 14 to Receive Promotion of Doctoral Studies Scholarship

by Sara Pisoni
CHS Contributor

Lindsey Jubina, a physical therapist from Portage, Penn., graduated from Slippery Rock University with a bachelor's degree in exercise science in 2016. Now, she's in the Rehabilitation and Health Sciences PhD program at UK, and she was recently selected to receive a prestigious scholarship from the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (FPTR) for her project, “The impact of social determinants of health on utilization of rehabilitation after ICU admission.” Jubina, PT, DPT, is one of just 14 researchers in the country to earn the Promotion of Doctoral Studies scholarship this cycle. Here is a little bit more about Jubina and what this award means to her …

What drew you to UK, and specifically this PhD program?

As an acute care resident I was working on a research project with Dr. Kirby Mayer creating a core outcome measure set for acute care physical therapists. We were talking about how my goals in the future were to do research and teach and he welcomed me to the University of Kentucky. It is important in PhD programs to find people who understand what you want to study and your passion, so that has made it easier to transition into the program.

Why PT and this research about acute care rehab specifically?

My sophomore year of high school I was introduced to physical therapy. I liked working with and helping people, and then as an undergraduate I realized that I really loved the hospital and the medical complexity of patients in the hospital, so I knew that was where I wanted to practice. As far as research, it intimidated me and it still does, but the more I am immersed in it, the more I am realizing the need for researchers, especially in acute care physical therapy.

What does the scholarship mean to you and how will it help you with your research?

As a physical therapy student, I was a student liaison for the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research. Our program did fundraisers, so I was familiar with the Foundation but never really understood, though, what does that mean to be funded for research. When I started working with Dr. Mayer, I had somewhat of an idea of what I wanted to study, so we said let's shoot for it and try. [PS1] It was a long process of review, but obviously it paid off to be a recipient.

My research area is something that is becoming more important in terms of ICU survivors and understanding the care pathway for when patients leave the hospital so they do not end up back in the hospital or emergency room. On top of that, understanding how social factors affect rehab and how public health changes or policy changes can address that in the future. It has been exciting to have this scholarship because it is validating that there is a need for what I am doing. Everybody wants to better serve their patients, and we have to do that with evidence-based practice.

So you gave to the organization a little bit as an undergraduate and now you get back from it.

Yeah, I was reading the email, and I was like ‘oh my gosh’ and I just sat there for a minute, it all came full circle. I attended the Foundation’s research dinner at the NEXT conference in Chicago as a student liaison, so now being on the other end having received a scholarship it is exciting for the future research initiatives and funding to know that there are people interested in this research.

What has been a favorite moment, class, professor, or experience from the UK PhD program that has stood out to you?

In the program, we have athletic trainers, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, muscle scientists, nutritionists, and more, but we all have that common goal of wanting to provide research to progress our professions. Those are the most meaningful moments to me are having people who all want to do better for our professions by creating research and doing the hard work. The best thing about UK is the people that I have met. In terms of medical professionals and the faculty that I work with, they truly care about what they are doing. There's just that extra level of ‘I truly want what's best for you and I’m going to also do the work to back up those intentions.’

BONUS: If you were approached by a prospective student, what would you tell them about your time at UK in this program?

I love the multi-disciplinary program, so the fact that it is people from all different professions adds value. We all have different training and backgrounds, but most of us work with people and we have that patient-centered approach to our research and thought processes. We are doing this to better society, the community, and the profession. Along with that, I love the diverse faculty in terms of their research interests, where they come from, and what they have studied. We have people who will be in your corner for you, and I do not think you would find that everywhere. There are people here who just go above and beyond, and they want to set you up not only to finish, but to have success when you are done.