Physical Therapists Earned ImPACT Certification

March 31, 2016

Pat Dennison and George Fatula

Penn Highlands DuBois outpatient physical therapists, George Fatula and Patrick Dennison, recently obtained certification as ImPACT Trained Physical Therapists.

ImPACT Trained Physical Therapists, or ITPTs, are certified physical therapists who are trained and credentialed to work with physicians, neuropsychologists and certified athletic trainers in the management and rehabilitation of concussions.

Head injuries are on the rise for athletes at all levels of play. An estimated 4-5 million concussions occur annually, with increases emerging among middle school athletes. Concussions also occur from falls and accidents.

ImPACT stands for immediate post-concussion assessment and cognitive testing. It is the most-widely used and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. ImPACT provides trained clinicians with neurocognitive assessment tools and services that have been medically accepted as state-of-the-art best practices - as part of determining safe return to play decisions.

“We are excited with what we have to offer patients suffering from post-concussion syndrome,” Dennison said. “We approach each patient on a case by case basis and use evidence based assessment and treatment to help facilitate recovery. Treatments include vestibular rehab for dizziness and balance issues, exercise to prepare for return to sport or work, and therapy for neck-related problems. Additionally, we provide baseline and post-injury ImPACT testing.”

“We have worked hard to bring the highest quality and most up to date concussion management to our rural area,” Fatula said. “And while we take this approach to treating orthopedic problems, vertigo, chronic pain and other conditions, we are very happy to help athletes and others suffering from concussion injuries return to their sports and normal activities.”

“I am extremely proud of Pat and George for working so hard to gain this certification and skill set. This adds to the high level of expertise we already have in dealing with balance and concussion issues and diagnoses,” said Marty Maloney, director of PH DuBois Orthopedic and Inpatient Rehabilitation units and PH DuBois and Penn Highlands Brookville Therapies and Athletic Trainers.

Dennison received his master’s degree in physical therapy from Gannon University and his doctorate in physical therapy from Chatham University. He has practiced physical therapy for 16 years with the past seven years at PH DuBois.

Fatula received his master’s degree in physical therapy from Hahnemann University and his doctorate in physical therapy degree from Chatham University. He has 20 years of experience as a physical therapist at PH DuBois.

To receive concussion treatment, a patient is first examined by a physician or concussion specialist before referral to physical therapy. PH DuBois offers free baseline ImPACT testing to area youth. For more information, call 375-3372.