Lana Svien, Ph.D., professor and chairperson of the Department of Physical Therapy at The University of South Dakota, was recognized with the Dr. Ronnie Leavitt Award for Leadership in the Promotion of Social Responsibility in Physical Therapy by the Global Health Student Interest Group (GHSIG) at the February American Physical Therapy Associations Combined Sections Meeting in New Orleans, LA.
For nearly two decades, Svien has traveled regularly to American Indian reservations in South Dakota serving as the physical therapist on an inter-professional team that provides comprehensive evaluations and recommendations to families with young children who have developmental or neurological and musculoskeletal impairments. Last year, Svien receive a Fulbright Scholarship to assist the physical therapy program at Catolica University in Valparaiso, Chile as the universitys physical therapy department sought national accreditation for the first time. She has also served as a clinical instructor for students at Creighton Universitys ILAC Center in the Dominican Republic.
Svien also serves as a consultant for Asociacion Refugio de Esperanza (Project of Hope Haven), traveling around the world through this organization often with USD students to fit and distribute wheelchairs to individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford one. She is past president of the board of Sharing the Dream, a non-governmental organization that is committed to employing and caring for widows and elderly women in Guatemala, and received an M.A. in anatomy from the School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota, a B.S. in physical therapy from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
The GHSIG is part of the American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA) Section on Health Policy and Administration. Its goal is to create connections among APTA members interested in advancing and promoting cross-cultural and international issues in physical therapy and rehabilitation.