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Attendees Learn About Pain Management at 2019 Patricia Leahy Memorial Lecture

By Colby Gallagher

Published on September 27, 2019

Joseph M. Donnelly, PT, DHS, OCS, clinical professor and director of post-professional programs at Mercer UniversityJoseph M. Donnelly, PT, DHS, OCS, clinical professor and director of post-professional programs at Mercer University, spoke about the neuroscience of pain and the management and application of individuals with neurologic impairment at the 19th Annual Patricia Leahy Memorial Lecture on September 26, 2019 held on campus in the Science and Technology Center.

Dr. Donnelly began his presentation titled “The Neuroscience of Pain and Applications in the Neurologic Population" by defining pain before explaining the input mechanisms of pain and their differences. He went on to talk about the processing of these mechanisms that occur in the central nervous system.

He also spoke about the science behind pain and what parts of the brain are affected to physical therapy students, faculty, alumni and friends.

With an interest in dry needling, Dr. Donnelly shared the results of various case studies where patients received physical therapy followed by the technique where needles are placed at trigger points to relieve pain.

2019 Patricia Leahy Memorial Lecture

Near the end of the presentation, attendees were separated into groups and given case studies varying in difficulty for consideration before they were asked to present their recommendations for treatment.

Throughout the lecture, Dr. Donnelly urged the room to remember older therapies, such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS units, when treating patients who are suffering from persistent pain.

The Leahy Lecture honors the legacy of Patricia Leahy MS, PT, NCS, who died on October 9, 1995, of breast cancer at the age of 39. She was an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at USciences from 1987 to 1995.

Before her death, Patti established a scholarship fund to financially assist PT students during clinical education. She felt that it was important to enable students to expand their horizons by seeking clinical sites outside of the Philadelphia area. The annual Patricia Leahy Memorial Lecture serves to add monies to this fund and to honor the memory of Professor Leahy.

This year’s scholarship recipients, who were announced during the lecture, are Johnson Lam DPT’20, Kelsey Wolfe DPT’20, and Jenna Duncan DPT’20.

Categories: News, Samson College of Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy, Continuing Education, Alumni, Students, Faculty, Presentation