Get free physical therapy at WCU's pro bono clinic

Mar 14, 2017
Photo by: Donated WCU’s Mountain Area Pro Bono Physical Therapy Clinic provides free services to individuals who do not have insurance coverage for physical therapy.

CULLOWHEE — Western Carolina University’s student-run Mountain Area Pro Bono Physical Therapy Clinic has set a goal to expand the availability of its services in 2018.

The free clinic provides services to individuals who do not have insurance coverage for physical therapy. Currently, the clinic is open from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of every month, but the goal is to open on a weekly basis, a move that could become reality by next fall.

The clinic, which opened in October 2014, is operated entirely by students in WCU’s doctoral program in physical therapy, who take care of all details from ordering supplies and developing policies and procedures to treating patients and tracking individual care.

“It is a great way for students to practice what they are learning,” said Ashley Hyatt, assistant professor of physical therapy and program adviser. “At the clinic, students are simultaneously involved in community engagement, fulfilling a health care need and receiving credit for service learning.”

The clinic is held in Harris Regional’s Carolina West Sports Medicine Clinic on the first floor of the Health and Human Sciences Building on Little Savannah Road on WCU’s West Campus.

Students work with patients for treatment to improve or restore movement function and promote healthy lifestyles and injury prevention through fitness and wellness-oriented programs.

The most common ailment seen at the clinic is lower back pain, though other conditions such as neck, arm and shoulder injuries and even concussions are treated by the student physical therapists.
Students are supervised by licensed clinicians as they work with patients for treatment to improve or restore movement functions.

For more information about pro bono physical therapy services, contact the clinic at 227-3527.