World-renowned physical therapist Emma Stokes to share insights at URI as Visiting International Scholar, April 8-11

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KINGSTON, R.I. – March 12, 2014 – Emma Stokes, a renowned physical therapist who travels the world inspiring patients and providers to rethink healthcare in the 21st century, will bring her ideas to the University of Rhode Island during a weeklong visit.

A specialist in neurological disorders, Stokes will deliver her keynote speech Wednesday, April 9, at 7 p.m., at Edwards Hall, 64 Upper College Road, on the Kingston campus. In this talk, she’ll encourage audience members – providers and patients – to consider how they can shape the swiftly changing healthcare field.

A senior lecturer at Trinity College in Dublin and vice president of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, Stokes speaks throughout the world about health and wellness and international healthcare issues. She has worked as a physical therapist for the last 20 years.

Her keynote – “A Cabinet of Curiosities: How Opportunity and Innovation Can Shape Healthcare” – will include personal and professional examples about the impact of ideas and opportunities on the profession. The talk is free and open to the public.

During her visit, she will also meet with students, faculty and administrators:

• She will be the guest speaker for a meeting of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association Tuesday, April 8, at 6 p.m. in the Agnes G. Doody Auditorium at Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, on URI’s Kingston campus. She will talk about the different ways to collect and measure data for patient care. The public is invited as well.

• On Thursday, April 10, at 1 p.m., at Independence Square, 25 West Independence Way, on the Kingston campus, Stokes will talk to students studying in health programs at URI. “Your Profession is You” is open only to students.

Stokes will also participate in a panel discussion about healthcare Friday, April 11, at 2 p.m. in the State Room at the Statehouse in Providence. Panelists will discuss patient advocacy, the Affordable Health Care Act, and challenges to healthcare access.

The moderator is Phillip Clark, professor of gerontology at URI. Other panel members include Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, Dr. Michael Fine, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, and Christine C. Ferguson, director of the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange. Seating is limited, so registration is required.

“We are honored to have Emma Stokes as a guest,” said Samantha Brown, clinical assistant professor in URI’s Department of Physical Therapy. “Her message will bring a global perspective on the physical therapy profession and on issues unique to health and rehabilitation in the 21st century. I encourage anyone interested in knowing more about health disparities, insurance models and patient self-referral to attend her talks and learn from her vast international experience.”

The April 9 keynote speech is part of URI’s College of Human Science and Services Speaker Series, which showcases the range of the college’s academic diversity while connecting alumni with students, faculty, staff and the outside URI community. Speakers discuss issues involving health, education, and human science.

“We are delighted that Emma Stokes will be the keynote speaker for our speaker series,” said Lori E. Ciccomascolo, dean of HSS. “We wanted this series to focus on healthcare, both the practices and challenges, at the national and international level.”

Stokes’ visit is also part of URI’s Distinguished Visiting International Scholars Program, which provides funding to invite scholars outside the United States to visit URI to meet with students, faculty and administrators and present a public lecture.

URI’s Office of the Provost and College of Human Science and Services are sponsoring Stokes’ visit. For more information, contact Samantha Brown at or click on Stokes’ schedule.

Stokes is also featured in a video.

Those unable to attend the April 9 lecture can watch it live online at URI Live!

Pictured above: Emma Stokes, a world-famous physical therapist who specializes in neurological disorders, will discuss healthcare challenges during a talk Wednesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. at the University of Rhode Island. The talk is in Edwards Hall, 64 Upper College Road, on URI’s Kingston campus. Photo by Simon Hadley