Stroke Camp

Des Moines, IA US
August 20, 2018 to August 24, 2018


Registrations are being accepted by invitation only. Please contact Dr. Kathy Mercuris at 515-271-1734 or to register yourself or a patient. 

Stroke Camp is an elective course offered to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students at Des Moines University.  During the camp, individuals post-CVA receive intensive physical therapy treatment delivered by the DPT students under the supervision of faculty and clinician volunteers.

Join the camp for a day (or more!) as a supervising therapist! In addition to benefiting patients with stroke, you will make an invaluable contribution to DPT students who are eager to learn and practice. You also can earn up to four continuing medical education hours.

Encourage your clients with stroke to register for this free program. They’ll work with a team of DPT students, faculty and supervising clinicians who will plan therapy sessions customized to meet their needs. Each participant also will receive a post-camp home exercise program. 

Intensive, individualized physical therapy can help stroke survivors improve their gait, balance, strength and dexterity. That’s the purpose of Des Moines University’s annual “stroke camp,” hosted on campus since 2012 by DMU’s DPT program. Watch the video below to learn more.


8:45 amClinical Examination/Testing
10:45 amBalance, Gait, Upper Extremity (UE)
11:45 amLunch
12:30 pmBalance, Gait, UE
1:30 pmBalance, Gait, UE
2:30 pmWrap Up
3 pm Adjourn
Tuesday - Thursday
8:45 amGroup Exercise
9:45 amBalance, Gait, UE
10:45 amBalance, Gait, UE
11:45 amLunch
12:30 pmBalance, Gait, UE
1:30 pmTai Chi
2 pmGroup Game - Per Students 
2:30 pmWrap Up
3 pm Adjourn
8:45 amClinical Examination/Testing
10:30 amGroup Exercise
11:30 amLunch
12:15 pmInstruction in HEP and Tai Chi
1:15 pmSummarize Test Results and Wrap Up


  • List potential benefits of backward and lateral walking upon muscle strength and gait.
  • Describe how to best incorporate lateral walking gait training into the physical therapy treatment plan for a person post-CVA.
  • Describe the following clinical measures: Trunk Impairment Scale, Function in Sitting Test, and Postural Assessment Scale for Stroke.
  • Explain a sequence for core stabilization exercises for patients post stroke.

During the camp the participants will participate in a one-hour group exercise and/or tai chi lesson and/or instruction in weight supported treadmill training led by the course instructor. The clinician will be able to:

  • List three mat exercises utilizing proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) to increase trunk strength.
  • Demonstrate a pelvic PNF pattern designed to improve the patient’s gait pattern.
  • Explain the benefits of tai chi for balance and fall prevention.
  • State safety precautions for the patient and therapist during unweighted treadmill training.


Kathy Mercuris, P.T., D.H.S.

Kathy Mercuris, PT, DHS, C/NDT, CEEAA received her BS in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University and her Doctorate in Health Sciences at the University of Indianapolis. She is certified in adult hemiplegia by the Neurodevelopment Association, is a certified Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention instructor, and has Certification as Exercise Expert in Aging Adults.  She has 38 years of experience working with individuals with neurologic dysfunction and teaching in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Des Moines University.

    Course summary
    Available credit: 
    • 4.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
    Course opens: 
    Course expires: 
    Event starts: 
    08/20/2018 - 8:00am CDT
    Event ends: 
    08/24/2018 - 4:00pm CDT
    Des Moines University
    3200 Grand Avenue
    Des Moines, IA 50312
    United States
    +1 (515) 271-1596

    Des Moines University is located on a 22-acre campus in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa. Just west of downtown on Grand Avenue, the University is located in one of Des Moines' most prestigious neighborhoods. The campus is in a historic neighborhood filled with tree-lined streets and gracious older homes and businesses. Its central location makes it easy to access the rest of the city and outlying communities. The campus is close to the Des Moines International Airport, located on the bus line and just blocks from local shopping and downtown Des Moines.



    Offered to clinicians completing one full day of supervision during the Stroke Camp. Prior to the camp, the clinician volunteers will:

    • Read two required articles.
    • Participate in a one-hour on-line or phone discussion with all of the clinicians and course instructor. Scheduled for late afternoon or early evening in August. 
    • Complete a post-test related to the content in the two provided research articles.

    Available Credit

    • 4.00 CE Contact Hour(s)


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