NANT 11 Speaker Highlight: Catherine R. Smith, PhD, DPT, PCS, CNT

By Sue Ludwig

Before you learn more about the topic Dr. Smith will present at NANT 11, I want to say this to her publicly:

Congratulations on being awarded the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year (2020) award by the American Physical Therapy Association! We are privileged to learn from your knowledge and your example.

(Had we not received a note from her husband last year, we may never have known about this award. He knew she would not share that news on her own behalf. We are so glad he did.)

Dr. Smith’s talk is scheduled for Thursday April 8th at 2:45pm ET during NANT 11.

Title: When Our Hands Touch Our Babies, Everything Changes

Description: This presentation will review general guidelines to consider when developing and applying handling interventions in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The benefits of using manual contacts to support neuromotor development in preterm infants will be discussed, and the potential negative effects of applying incorrect augmented facilitation techniques will be reviewed.

1. Discuss the influence of augmented input to the central nervous system (CNS) via manual contacts on biomechanical, neuromuscular and sensorimotor systems of preterm infants.

2. Explain the factors that influence decisions regarding when, where, how and why to augment input to the CNS via manual contacts.

3. Describe manual dynamic support techniques that enhance self-regulatory motor responses, reduce stress reactivity and support resilience in low-threshold preterm infants.

Speaker bio: Dr. Smith holds the Doctor of Physical Therapy and PhD in Human Ecology. She currently serves as Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She is an ABPTS Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist in Physical Therapy (recertified, 2013), and is an NTNCB Board Certified Neonatal Therapist (certified, 2017). She is also a certified BNBAS, NIDCAP and GM examiner. Dr. Smith has been an invited speaker for over 60 educational sessions at professional meetings and continuing education courses at the national, state and regional level in the United States. She has provided guest lectures, workshops and seminars internationally in 9 European universities in the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, Spain, Romania and Bosnia as well as having observed and participated in direct clinical services internationally in central and western Europe and the Caribbean.

Dr. Smith served on the APTA Pediatric Academy Task Force to develop and publish the 1999 NICU Competencies for physical therapists working in the NICU setting. She is a member of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT) Professional Collaborative to develop core scope of practice and core competency document for therapists representing PT, OT and SLP providing services in the NICU practice setting. Recent publication includes: Craig JW, Smith CR. Risk adjusted / neuroprotective care services in the NICU: The elemental role of the neonatal therapist (OT, PT, SLP). J Perinatol (2020) 40:549–559 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41372-020-0597-1

Dr. Smith has served as a mentor for professionals from multiple disciplines for practice in the NICU and early intervention follow up services for NICU graduates through formal and informal teaching for over 30 years. She has served on multiple advisory boards and provided consulting support at the local, regional, national and international level, and she was recently awarded the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year (2020) award by the American Physical Therapy Association. Additionally, she received the National Association of Neonatal Therapists NICU Pioneer Award (2015) and the TPTA Physical Therapy Educator of the Year (2015).

Learn more about all of the NANT 11 speakers here.

Click here to register now.

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