Physical therapy as catalyst for healthy aging concludes spring UofL Optimal Aging Lecture Series, April 12

    Sonja Bareiss, Dennis Lesch and Beth Quinn, left to right, will discuss how physical therapy can help us age in a healthy manner at an forum sponsored by the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging on April 12.

    A health paradigm shift in how we view physical therapy is the focus of the final lecture of the Spring 2017 Optimal Aging Lecture Series, sponsored by the University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging and the UofL Alumni Association.

    In a presentation entitled “Beyond Recovery: Using Physical Therapy as a Springboard for Health and Wellness,” three presenters — all physical therapists and faculty from Bellarmine University – first will explore how physical therapists traditionally have provided services in response to injury and illness with a rehabilitative focus.

    Then, noting  shifting values on prevention, wellness, fitness and optimal aging – and how physical therapists are uniquely positioned to provide consultation and evaluation for older adults seeking optimal health and function –  the panelists will share their vision for integrating annual physical therapy exams into routine care and address the benefits of tracking functional outcomes vital to healthy aging. 

    The event will be held April 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University Club, 200 E. Brandeis Ave. Doors open at 11:30 with the presentation beginning at noon. Admission is $25 per person and includes lunch. Reservations are required online by Thursday, April 6.

    The panelists each work and study at the intersection of aging issues and physical therapy:

    • Sonja Bareiss, PT, PhD, MPT, is an associate professor of physical therapy and teaches Neuroscience, Anatomy, Pain Neuroscience, and Biophysical Agents. Her research interests are in the area of pain following central nervous system injury and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
    • Dennis Lesch, PT, GCS, is an associate professor of physical therapy and teaches Acute Care, Gerontology, Adult Neurological Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Techniques. He is the director of the Bellarmine University and Kindred Rehabilitation Geriatric Residency, which is one of just 15 accredited post-doctoral geriatric physical therapy residency programs in the United States.
    • Beth Quinn, PT, MPT, GCS, is an instructor of physical therapy and teaches Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy, Acute Care, Gerontology and is the Associate Director of Clinical Education at Bellarmine.  She is board certified as a Geriatric Clinical Specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.

    For additional information, call 502-852-7709 or email


    Jill Scoggins is Director of Communications at UofL's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. She has been at UofL since 2010.