USF hosts Dreamcatchers for rehabilitation ethics consortium

On June 9, the USF School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences hosted 24 ethics educators and scholars from the fields of physical therapy, occupational therapy, communications disorders, nursing, and medicine as part of the “DREAMCATCHERS – An Interprofessional Conference.”

Dreamcatchers is an interdisciplinary visionary consortium dedicated to rehabilitation ethics whose mission is to promote the development of innovative pedagogical approaches, scholarship, partnerships, and dialogue to advance the theory, art, and practice of rehabilitation ethics.

The focus of the Tampa meeting was to examine new paradigms for research, scholarship, education and practice in rehabilitation ethics. Attendees included nationally and internationally recognized educators and scholars.

“It was an honor for the USF School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences to host such an illustrious group of scholars and educators in the developing field of rehabilitation ethics,” said Laura Lee (Dolly) Swisher, PT, MDiv, PhD, one of the original Dreamcatchers group, and organizer of the 2012 Dreamcatchers meeting at the USF School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences.

Founders of the Dreamcatchers Consortium (Ruth Purtilo, Charlotte Royeen, and Gail Jensen) with Founders Awards.

“There is currently a great deal of conversation about interprofessional education but the rehabilitation professions have not always been included in that discussion within the United States. It was a wonderful opportunity to focus on rehabilitation ethics and how rehabilitation professionals might contribute to interprofessional education competencies.”

This is the third meeting of the Dreamcatchers consortium.  The first meeting was held at Creighton University in 2003, bringing together ethics educators in physical and occupational therapy.  Presentations at that meeting were collected in the book Educating for Moral Action: A Sourcebook in Health and Rehabilitation Ethics, edited by Dreamcatchers founders Ruth Purtilo, PT, PhD, FAPTA; Gail M. Jensen, PT, PhD, FAPTA; and Charlotte Royeen, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA.  The three founding members of the Dreamcatchers Consortium were honored at the conference with the inaugural presentation of Dreamcatchers Founders Award for their contributions to rehabilitation ethics.

Some of the members of the Dreamcatchers group are collaborating on a book about rehabilitation ethics.

The Conference was supported, in part, by a Conference Support Grant provided by the University of South Florida System Internal Awards Program (Grant No. 0021334).