Students from Fresno and Japan collaborate in the Gait, Balance, and Mobility Clinic.

Last week, the Department of Physical Therapy welcomed some familiar friends and colleagues from Japan’s Niigata Health and Welfare University (NUHW). Their cross global visit is part of longtime collaborative partnership between the two universities, which has existed since 2007. Every year, faculty and students from the University visit Fresno State in order to collaborate on research and enhance academic and educational opportunities.

Fresno State is just one of eight other universities around the world that NUHW visits yearly. Their University offers a four year bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, as well as various other disciplines common to the College of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Marcia Thompson hosted students in her neurosciences lab.

Dr. Masayoshi Kubo, physical therapy faculty from NUHW, brought 11 physical therapy students and one doctoral student, Dr. Matsuaki Edama, who are specializing in anatomy and sports medicine. The goal of the visit was to engage NUHW’s second year PT students with Doctoral of Physical Therapy students at Fresno State. It was quite the eye opener for many of the Japanese students, who have never traveled outside of the U.S.

They were treated to a week of informative and educational activities, including visits to our onsite clinics: the Musculoskeletal Care Clinic with Dr. Paul Ullucci and the Gait, Balance, and Mobility Clinic with Toni Tyner. They also participated in a variety of courses with Fresno State faculty and students, including: Anatomy with Dr. Robert Martin; Gait and Biomechanics with Dr. Bhupinder Singh; Orthopedics with Dr. Jenna Sawdon-Bea; and Electrotherapy with Dr. Cheryl Hickey; Nuerosciences with Drs. Monica Rivera and Marcia Thompson; and Foundations with Drs. Gary Lentell and Deborah Walker.

NUHW visitors treated to pizza and bowling.

In addition, Kubo and Edama got the opportunity to demonstrate their skill set and discuss collaborative research with our DPT students and faculty. However, it wasn’t all labs and lectures during their trip! The NUHW group also got to participate in the E.D.G.E. high ropes course and were treated to an evening of pizza and bowling in the University Student Union, hosted by the Organization for Physical Therapy Students.

“Three of our faculty have had opportunities to visit NUHW in the past (two times in 2007 and 2012) and our hope is to take a group of DPT students from Fresno State to Japan by Summer 2016,” said Dr. Peggy Trueblood, chair in the Department of Physical Therapy at Fresno State.

Faculty and students from Fresno State and NUHW.

Thank you to Dr. Peggy Trueblood and the faculty from the Department of Physical Therapy for providing photos and information.