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REACH Lab archive

Billinger Receives Distinguished Teaching Award
Sandra Billinger, Ph.D., PT, was honored with the 2016 Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award. It recognizes and rewards teaching ability of the highest degree.

Research by Billinger's REACH lab team suggests that greater emphasis should be placed on increasing physical activity during a patient's hospital stay following an acute stroke. Their findings were reported in the July issue of the Journal of Neurological Physical Therapy. Read story

Sandra Billinger authored a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association on the importance of exercise in recovery from stroke. Read

Billinger Receives 2014 APTA Outstanding New Faculty Award
The American Physical Therapy Association named assistant professor Sandra Billinger, director of the Research in Exercise and Cardiovascular Health (REACH) Laboratory, the organization's 2014 Margaret L. Moore Award for Outstanding New Faculty Member. The award recognizes a new faculty member who is pursuing a career as an academician while demonstrating excellence in teaching and research. Read

Chancellor's Report 2014

The Walk Across Kansas effort was featured in the recently published Chancellor's Report 2014.

Billinger leads Stroke Walk in KC
Assistant professor Sandy Billinger, PT, Ph.D., FAHA, who completed the 570-mile Walk Across Kansas this summer with her son to raise awareness about stroke, led a walk for stroke survivors on Sept. 7 at Theis Park in Kansas City, Mo. The director of the REACH Laboratory, Billinger will also be the guest of honor at The Stroke Walk sponsored by the American Stroke Foundation. Money raised by the event will benefit the American Stroke Foundation. The walk is open to both stroke victims and non-stroke victims. More information/donate

KU Researcher on NPR
Sandy Billinger, PT, Ph.D., joined several area experts to discuss heat-related health issues during the summer months on NPR's "Up to Date" with Steve Kraske, July 24. Listen

Walk Across Kansas journey ends
Sandy Billinger, PT, Ph.D., and her son, Michael, completed their 23-day, 570-mile journey across Kansas on June 7 and raised more than $20,000 to benefit stroke research! • PhotosVideo

Michael and Sandy walking

On the Air: Billinger and her son appeared on KCUR 89.3 FM's Up to Date with Steve Kraske June 11. Listen

Golden Synapse Award recipients

Sandra Billinger was recognized by the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy for one of her published studies on stroke and cardiovascular health. She and lab team co-authors received the Golden Synapse Award which recognizes the most outstanding article published in the journal during the 2012 calendar year. Read

KU Researcher Appointed Vice Chair of AHA Stroke Committee (Sandy Billinger image)

June 27, 2012 – Sandra Billinger, PT, PhD, FAHA, was appointed vice chairperson of the American Heart Association's Rehabilitation and Recovery Committee. This committee is part of the Stroke Council, one of 16 scientific councils within the American Heart Association uniquely dedicated to advancing the science of stroke prevention, treatment and recovery through research and education.

An assistant professor in the KU Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Billinger has served on the committee for two years prior to her selection as vice chair. Rehabilitation and recovery from stroke is a rapidly growing area with increasing significance to community health. By promoting the science behind recovery, the committee will foster leadership and collaboration among clinicians and scientists in the field.

Billinger leads the Georgia Holland Research in Exercise and Cardiovascular Health laboratory located on the ground floor of the Hemenway Life Sciences building at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.

Exercise is Medicine group photo (image)

Exercise Is Medicine 2012 a Success
KU Medical Center was again host to the Exercise Is Medicine Conference May 18, 2012. More than 125 fitness experts, scientists, health care professionals and members of the local community joined KU to learn about the positive effects of physical activity and to promote the importance of exercise in the design of treatment plans for patients.

EIM 2012 received sponsorship from the Central States Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, the KU Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Rockhurst University's Exercise Science Department and KU's Women in Medicine and Science committee.

In addition, the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology sponsored Dr. Michael Joyner from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., through the J. Hambleton Abrahams Lectureship in Physiology Endowment.

In recognition of this important community health effort, Gov. Sam Brownback proclaimed May as Exercise Is Medicine month.

DPT Student Awarded Scholarship
The Neurological and Rehabilitation Sciences Graduate Training Program has awarded DPT student, Sara Karcher, a scholarship for the summer research training program. Sara will spend the summer in the REACH lab learning about the various facets of research. We are excited to have her in the lab. More

Join KU Database of Fitness Levels
Interested in knowing your body composition and/or fitness level? See how you can be a part of the FitHAWKS (Fitness, Health Assessment and Wellness in Kansas) Database. The goal of the FitHAWKS Database is to learn about the fitness levels of people living in Kansas and Missouri. Details

REACH Lab Member Wins at Student Research Forum
Congratulations to REACH lab member, DPT/PhD student, Angela Lentz: At the 2012 KU Medical Center Student Research Forum, Lentz won first place in the Clinical Science I for her platform presentation,Recumbent Stepper Submaximal Exercise Test to Predict Peak Oxygen Uptake. Lentz's session was also selected as the top presentation in the School of Health Professions.

Pair from REACH Lab Team Receive KPTA Awards
Doctor of Physical Therapy students Gabe Harter and Eileen Coughenour were selected by the KPTA research committee to receive the 2012 KPTA Scientific Inquiry Award for best platform presentation. Harter and Coughenour, conducting research in the REACH Lab, were recognized for their abstract, "Benefits of aerobic exercise on cardiovascular and physical function in sub-acute stroke."

Predoctoral Award Granted to REACH Lab Member
Congratulations to our newest REACH lab member, Anna Mattlage. Mattlage was selected to receive a NIH T32 predoctoral award (Nudo, PI) in the Neurological and Rehabilitation Sciences Graduate Training Program. Her project could have a significant impact on the therapeutic effects of exercise in clinical practice, rehabilitation research, and improve quality of life for the survivors of stroke. More

Frontiers Awards Pilot Grant
Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research has awarded more than $1 million in pilot study and training grants to investigators from KUMC and partnering institutions. Dr. Sandra Billinger was one of 70 applicants to receive the Frontier's pilot grant.

KU Researcher Receives NIH Research Grant
Under the tutelage of an expert mentoring team lead by Randolph Nudo, PhD, director of the Landon Center on Aging, Sandra Billinger will explore how stroke affects vascular function over a 6-month period and the role of exercise intervention during in-patient stroke rehabilitation. Press Release

KU Student Receives Award
DPT/PhD student, Angela Lentz, receives 2011 American Heart Association Scholarship in Cerebrovascular Disesase and Stroke

Grant Awarded to KU Researcher by APTA
Sandra Billinger received a grant from the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section of the American Physical Therapy Association for her project, "Aerobic exercise, cardiovascular regulation and metabolic efficiency during in-patient stroke rehabilitation."

Billinger to Assist APTA Neurology Section
Sandra Billinger, PT, PhD, FAHA, has been selected to participate in the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Neurology Section Strategic Planning Meeting. At the end of April, Billinger will travel to Alexandria, Va., to help the APTA in their efforts to advance neurologic physical therapy research. While there, she will assist in the development of a full-scale strategic plan as well as a comprehensive implementation strategy.

New Ultrasound in REACH Lab

REACH ultrasound equipment

The REACH laboratory is now equipped with a new Siemens Sequoia ultrasound with a 9MHz linear array transducer. This advanced piece of equipment is primarily used for the non-invasive assessment of blood vessel wall properties and blood flow during resting and reactive hyperemic states.

Billinger's Trip to Nova Scotia in APTA's News
Sandra Billinger was one of only 4 Americans and the only physical therapist from the United States invited to join a Canadian workshop tasked with developing poststroke exercise guidelines. Read the article at apta.org. PT in Motion: News Now (formerly PT Bulletin Online) is published weekly by the American Physical Therapy Association.

National Appointment for KU Researcher
Sandra Billinger, PT, PhD, FAHA, has been appointed to serve on the American Heart Association's Stroke Rehabilitation, Prevention and Recovery Committee. A research assistant professor in the KU Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Billinger studies the cardiovascular and pulmonary adaptations to chronic disease in the REACH laboratory.

Exercise is Medicine (photo)Exercise is Medicine Conference
Fitness experts, health care professionals and members of the local community joined KU in raising awareness of the importance of physical activity by hosting the Exercise is Medicine conference May 14. The event, which featured internationally known speakers, also recognized KU's efforts to promote this cause across the state with the declaration of May as Exercise is Medicine month by Gov. Parkinson.

Clinical Pilot
March 2010: Sandra Billinger receives 2010-2011 Clinical Pilot Award by KU Medical Center's Research Institute. This grant will examine the effects of aerobic exercise on cardiovascular function in people with sub-acute stroke.

APTA Honors KU Researcher
Sandra Billinger received the 2009 Dorothy Briggs Memorial Scientific Inquiry Award from the American Physical Therapy Association. Established in 1969, the award recognizes a student member of the APTA whose experimental investigation is published in the academic journal Physical Therapy.


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blood flow ultrasound image

man's legs using NuStep machine

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Last modified: May 19, 2020

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green speaker/audio iconBillinger lended her expertise on a podcast titled "Regular Walking Breaks Prevent the Decline in Cerebral Blood Flow Associated with Prolonged Sitting." Listen

Billinger was featured on a podcast discussing her paper published in Journal of Applied Physiology titled "Dynamics of Middle Cerebral Artery Blood Flow Velocity During Moderate Intensity Exercise." Listen


To contact the REACH lab or schedule an appointment, please call 913-945-6630 or send us an email.

Interested in internship opportunities? Please contact Dr. Billinger directly.

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