Welcome to the APTA Michigan Oncology Rehabilitation Special Interest Group (SIG).

The APTA Michigan Oncology Rehabilitation SIG was created in effort to increase physical therapy educational events, research, and treatment in the context of oncology rehabilitation. Our goal is to provide a base of communication and collaboration among SIG members in order to provide optimal physical therapy services to our oncology patients. We look forward to your involvement and contribution!

APTA MI Oncology Rehabilitation SIG Mission
 To serve members of APTA Michigan who care for patients following a cancer diagnosis through touchpoints of education, patient and professional advocacy, collaboration, research and innovation in Oncology Rehabilitation.

APTA MI Oncology Rehabilitation SIG Vision
To become a statewide leader and national model for an oncology rehabilitation special interest group for physical therapy professionals and to progress interdisciplinary collaboration within the state and national organization


SIG Events


SIG Resources

Current: Lori Boright, PT, DPT

As president of this esteemed group, I have the privilege of collaborating and engaging with the other leaders of this organization who are leaders and visionaries in this specialty area of practice. We collectively have a very diverse clinical and academic skill set that enhances our ability to live out our mission and values in a very tangible way. I bring 2 decades of adult and geriatric experience to this group, the last 6 years have been focused on cancer rehabilitation at various points in the survivorship continuum. My research line highly emphasizes prehabilitation for a variety of cancer diagnoses.

Current: Holly Lookabaugh-Deur, PT, DSc

As VP for the SIG, I am continually amazed by the energy, creativity and focus of this team.. While I have a diverse background of 4 decades of practice in a variety of specialty areas, oncology rehab has truly been the most rewarding for me. As I continue to learn from my colleagues, I serve the SIG with ideas for improving awareness, skill sets, and an interdisciplinary team focus on all we do. My primary clinical interests have been research on treating cancer -related fatigue in the aquatic setting. I see a growing unmet need for oncology rehab integration through my GCS lens, and hope to share strategies to improve quality of life. Quite an honor to serve with this team!

Current: Mary Alice Hewelt, PT, MPT, Board Certified Oncology Clinical Specialist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist

As Secretary, I work directly with the President/Vice-President to set/distribute the agenda for each executive board meeting. I record (type feverishly) the comments and summaries of the discussions during the executive board meetings and membership meetings and distribute the minutes to board members via our communication platform. For more than 2 decades, my passion has been caring for clients with limitations due to oncology and lymphedema related diagnoses. As a Board Certified Oncology Clinical Specialist, Beaumont Health Oncology Residency Faculty member, guest lecturer and APTA Advanced Credentialed Clinical Instructor, I strive to share my knowledge and experiences with as many students and clinicians as possible. My professional goal is to facilitate access to survivorship care with a Rehab professional from the time of diagnosis to the end of life for all patients living with cancer.

Current: Emily Compagner, PT, DPT

As communications committee chair, I have the honor of connecting and facilitating leaders of the field of oncology rehabilitation with student liaisons from each of Michigan's 7 Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs. Each student liaison comes with their own background, interests and experiences with oncology rehabilitation and are eager to network and research in this newly developing field of oncology rehabilitation. Through collaborations with the exec board and other committees in the SIG, we have made great strides connecting with professionals around the world and increasing awareness of oncology rehabilitation. We have created multiple patient educational handouts, an oncology rehabilitation lab value reference guide, an oncology rehabilitation exercise prescription guide, increased LGBTQIA+ Oncology Rehabilitation Awareness, created student observation opportunities, and much more. As a new graduate from Central Michigan University's DPT Houghton Cohort, I currently serve on the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine's Pediatric Oncology Task Force and collaborate with professionals at world renowned children's hospitals. As a student, I was honored to have 2 major clinical rotations with components of developing pediatric oncology rehabilitation programs. I have been part of the APTA Michigan Oncology Rehabilitation Group for 3 years, originally starting as a student liaison.

Current: Courtney Witczak, PT, DPT, GCS

As the education chair of the APTA Michigan Oncology SIG, I have the pleasure of connecting our members with evidence based educational opportunities throughout the state. By the partnership amongst the leadership team enhancement of education in oncology rehab is a key objective in advancing our members clinical skills. Clinical education and mentorship has always been a priority in my career. My ultimate goal to inspire clinicians to be engaged and on the forefront of oncology education.

Current: Deb Doherty, PT, PhD

Dr. Deborah Doherty is a physical therapist, Chair of the Human Movement Science Department at Oakland University, and a professor in the Physical Therapy Program at Oakland University. She is the co-developer and coordinator of the first international online Graduate Certificate for Oncology Rehabilitation Program at Oakland University. Dr. Doherty developed an Oncology Rehabilitation Program at St. Mary's of Michigan, and Hills and Dales Hospital. Her research focus is Oncology Rehabilitation with an emphasis on Survivorship and Prehabilitation. Dr. Doherty is serving as the APTA Michigan representative to the Michigan Cancer Consortium where she is the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors, the Chairperson of the Survivorship Workgroup and a member of the Membership Committee. She serves as the Research Committee Chairperson for the APTA Michigan Oncology Rehabilitation Special Interest Group and is the owner of Center for Survivorship where she treats patients diagnosed with cancer. She is a thirteen-year breast cancer survivor and frequently lectures on Oncology Rehabilitation to medical professionals and survivors.

Current: April Gamble, PT, DPT, CLT

As founding chair of the Global Outreach Committee (GOC), I have the honor to support this group to embed health justice and global health principles into every aspect of what we do. My work as a physical therapist and global health professional is embedded in my core belief that we can create a world where health justice is the reality for all. I live, work, and play full time in Kurdistan, Iraq where I mobilize alongside the community to strengthen rehabilitation services, including oncology rehabilitation. As my own healing, freedom, and opportunities are intimately interconnected with those of every human, I do not come to save or heal or fix. Rather, I strive to create a space where differences are celebrated, where collaboration breeds growth and healing, where acts of resistance to assimilation and oppression are embraced, and where a new way of being can be imagined - within ourselves, our clients, our profession, our organizations, and our communities.


Student Liaisons/Communications Committee

The Communications Committee is compromised from students of Michigan's Doctorate of Physical Therapy Programs. We organize the website, develop educational handouts, collaborate with a variety of healthcare professionals, seek feedback from the community, work to increase equity and inclusion, set up opportunities for clinical education or volunteering and much more! We have the honor of working with oncology rehabilitation specialists who are the best in the state and the country. We also have the honor in collaborating with Oncology Board Certified Specialists.

  • Andrews University
    • None at this time
  • Central Michigan University
    • Cullen Lane, SPT (Class of 2021)
    • Megan Premo, SPT (Class of 2021)
    • Scott Feldpaush, SPT (Class of 2022)
  • Grand Valley State University
    • Benjamin Havenaar (Class of 2022)
  • Oakland University
    • Nicole Dailey, SPT (Class of 2020)
    • Alyssa Logie, SPT (Class of 2021)
    • Sarah Welch, SPT (Class of 2022)
  • University of Michigan - Flint
    • None at this time
  • Wayne State University
    • Stephanie Fudalla, SPT (Class of 2022)
  • Western Michigan University
    • Kyle Weck, SPT (Class of 2021)

Research Committee

Current Members

Deb Doherty - Oakland University
Emilee Bohde - The Recovery Project
Cynthia Tan - Beaumont Health
Mary Lynn Coughlin - St. Mary's of Michigan
Ruth Haefner - Michigan Visiting Nurses
Gomati Kanphade - University of Michigan
Pat Blount- Ascension Health
Cindy Marsili- Beaumont Health


Global Outreach Committee

We are working towards a world where all persons can get equal benefits from oncology rehabilitation services.

We aim to address systemic factors that create barriers to cancer rehabilitation services specifically for populations that have been historically marginalized due to unearned advantages - in our communities, our state, and around the world.

We hope to role model how all professional activities can embody our APTA Code of Ethics 8B: "Physical Therapists shall advocate to reduce health disparities and health care inequities, improve access to health care services, and address the health wellness, and preventative health care needs of people."

For 2021, rather than taking on specific projects that work towards health justice, our aim is to mindfully direct all of our SIG's activities - from webinars, meetings, educational activities, to advocacy - to address the root causes of health disparities specific to oncology rehabilitation.

Please contact April Gamble if you are interested in being a part of the GOC: april.dpt@gmail.com

Oncology Global Outreach Webinar By: April Gamble on November 19, 2019, - https://youtu.be/7igB95xFWNM


Current Members

April Gamble

Deborah Doherty

Geeta Peethambaran

Gomati Kanphade

Emily Companger

Andrew Chongaway


Educational Events/ Previously Recorded Webinars

Webinar Presentations-

  1. Working Towards Health Equity and Justice Within the World of Rehabilitation By: April Gamble PT, DPT, CLT; Prisca M. Collins, PT, PhD; Jill Binkley, PT, MSc, CLT, FAAOMPT and Mallory Mark, PT, DPT - https://aptami.org/?eiv342
  2. Oncology Global Outreach Webinar By: April Gamble - https://youtu.be/7igB95xFWNM
  3. Compassion Fatigue By: Laura Munger- https://youtu.be/9bLU8buKB8I
  4. APTA Michigan Oncology Rehabilitation SIG Fall Conference and COVID-19 Case Studies - https://youtu.be/0tunSbhmsHg

Educational Oncology Upcoming Events

  1. Spring 2021- Genitourinary Oncology Rehabilitation Symposium (more information to follow)


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