CureDuchenne, the national nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, today launched the CureDuchenne Cares Physical Therapist Certification Program. The CureDuchenne Cares Certification Program provides advanced training to help physical therapists and other health care professionals deliver superior care to meet the specialized needs of Duchenne patients.
The CureDuchenne Cares Certification Program will train physical therapists on the most current standards of care for Duchenne through a continuing education program including ongoing training and testing. The program will begin in 2016. Trained physical therapists will have the expertise and network to refer patients to primary and allied healthcare professionals. Jennifer Wallace, PT, a physical therapist who is recognized for expertise in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, will be directing this program. Those physical therapists who complete the training will be recognized as a qualified CureDuchenne Cares Certified Physical Therapist.
“It is critical to have physical therapists in the community trained to provide optimal physical therapy for Duchenne patients, the CureDuchenne Cares Certification Program provides this specialized training,” said Dr. Brenda Wong, Director of the Comprehensive Neuromuscular Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Wong is an advisor for the CureDuchenne Cares Certified Physical Therapist program. “Daily physical therapy is crucial for those with Duchenne to help maintain function and quality of life. We need to keep those with Duchenne as healthy as possible so they can participate in clinical trials and benefit from pharmaceutical treatments when they become available.”
Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an inherited genetic disease with no cure and no treatment, causes progressive muscle degeneration, leaving patients wheelchair bound by their mid-teens. The average life expectancy of someone with Duchenne is their mid-20s.
“CureDuchenne Cares Certification Program is a seal of approval giving Duchenne families confidence that those physical therapists who have completed the program are qualified providers and have the knowledge and expertise to treat their children,” said Debra Miller, founder and CEO of CureDuchenne.
CureDuchenne Cares was created to answer the call of parents who need advice and best practices for managing the various facets of Duchenne in a manner that will improve their child’s quality of life and encourage the child’s amenability to pharmaceutical treatments when they become available. The program helps to increase the health and wellbeing of patients living with Duchenne through educating parents, caregivers, clinicians and physical therapists on best practices for Duchenne management, stretching, equipment, orthopedics and adapting all of these factors to the different stages of the disease. It also discusses the latest scientific developments in Duchenne research, including status and participation in clinical trials. The CureDuchenne Cares Certification Program will expand this program and benefit more patients around the country. The CureDuchenne Cares program is supported by educational grants from BioMarin, Lilly, PTC Therapeutics, Sarepta Therapeutics and PhaseBio.