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2021 LE&RN/Lymphnotes U.S. Lymphedema Therapist Scholarships

2021 LE&RN/Lymphnotes U.S. Lymphedema Therapist Scholarships

My name is Stephanie Baker and I live in Chattanooga, TN with my husband, 3 year old son, and Australian Shepherd mix. I graduated from Emory University with my Doctorate of Physical Therapy and have been a physical therapist for 12 years. I’ve spent most of my career working in hospitals and was starting to feel ready for a career change. My current workplace has a lymphedema program that serves the North GA and Chattanooga area and after I was able to observe what the amazing Certified Lymphedema Therapists (CLT) do and the wonderful patients they work with, I knew I had found my next calling.

There are not many CLTs in our area and the extensive education and certification that is required can often be a barrier. I was incredibly thankful to learn about the scholarship opportunity that the Lymphatic Education and Research Network (LE&RN) provides, and was even more thankful when I found out I was selected to receive the scholarship. After the gracious gift of the scholarship, I was able to complete my training and became a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. Now I am starting my work in our community, which is in great need of this service. The patients I have met here in this underserved area have been some of the strongest and willing fighters that I have met in my life. My goal is to serve them in lymphedema care as well as oncology care, approaching their treatment in a more holistic way. Being able to assist as a CLT will help me serve these patients in a more well rounded approach.

Thank you, LE&RN for this gift that will allow me to serve others that need our care!

Stephanie Baker

Hi, my name is Stephanie Struck. I am a recent recipient of the LE&RN scholarship. I am very grateful to have been awarded this gift and wish to thank the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) and for selecting my application in the belief that I will join the group of lymphedema therapists. I hope to honor the memory Ann Ehrlich, who was a lymphedema advocate and who initiated this awards program. 

I have been practicing in the field of Occupational Therapy (OT) for ten years. During the first seven years I worked as a COTA and found I absolutely loved the OT field. I then went back to school for my Master’s degree and have worked as an OTR for the past three years.  While initially working as a COTA, I saw the need to treat lymphedema in patients, yet it was difficult to find an OTR who was certified to supervise me.  This situation created my special focus in lymphedema treatment and hence my goal to become an OTR who was lymphedema certified. 

Currently, I work in Fargo, ND at an outpatient clinic, which also provides Home Health. I enjoy the variety in my work, doing a little bit of everything!  It would be fulfilling to expand the services of my outpatient clinic to provide lymphedema care. I feel there is an underserved population who could experience amazing life changing results if provided with the correct lymphedema treatment. 

I am very grateful to be a recipient of this scholarship. Taking classes to expand knowledge can be cost prohibitive, so this scholarship is a great financial gift to me.  The scholarship gives me encouragement to move ahead and fulfill my goal of being certified lymphedema therapist. The scholarship also moves me closer to another possible goal of opening my own lymphedema clinic someday.  Receiving this scholarship also means that I have the opportunity to expand my knowledge base, grow in the field of OT, and most importantly, help my patients. Sharing and collaborating with fellow therapists is an additional bonus that this scholarship provides.  

Again, thank you LE&RN and for this generous gift! Please extend my gratitude to your members. And, yes, I plan to make a difference in the OT field because of this training.  

Stephanie Struck