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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 Jenna Bauman and I am an orthopedic physical therapist working in the small town of Newberg, OR, just outside of Portland. I graduated from Pacific University with my Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2018 and went on to complete an orthopedic manual residency in Seattle, WA in 2020. 

My interest in becoming a certified lymphedema therapist (CLT) began when I took a special topics course as a physical therapy student. I was encouraged by how well intervention for lymphedema worked to drastically improve patient function, but shocked by the small number of providers who can provide these interventions. A common theme I encountered was how frustrated clinicians were by their long waitlists and inability to see patients frequently enough to provide the best care. For several years this was occurring in my clinic, with one CLT-LANA certified clinician splitting time between two local clinics. With only one other CLT provider in the region, they were both treating all lymphedema and oncology patients in the surrounding rural area with waitlists averaging 2 months. 

I am forever grateful for the scholarship opportunity that the Lymphatic Education and Research Network (LE&RN) provided me this year. With this financial gift, I was able to complete my training to become a CLT this March and have already started using my skills to serve my local community. With this certification, my goal is to work closely with local and rural physician groups to improve patient accessibility to lymphedema treatment. I also plan on becoming a mentor to clinicians who are interested in certification and treating this specific population, increasing patient accessibility to intervention in my region. 

Jenna Bauman, PT, DPT, COMT, CLT

My name is Donna Batwin-Chonigman, and I have just retired from full-time work after 30 years in a managed care PACE setting. At the training, I became aware that to properly treat people, especially in the start of treatment, a full-time 5 days/week schedule is most effective. I am looking to be helpful to the Lymphedema population in a different kind of way.  

My interest was piqued after my sister had CA surgery and ended up with lifelong Lymphedema of her left lower extremity. Through her, I have learned the personal real-life struggles that patients go through, after the therapy phase is over. Patients live with it every day for the rest of their lives.

Through receiving this scholarship, I aspire to be the intermediary voice to turn to for fitting issues, supplies, and education for Complete Decongestive Therapy. As well, I hope to provide patients with encouragement and support. I also have an interest in the political side of the field. Making the needs of the Lymph community known to the state and regional politicians, advocating for changes in policy, insurance coverage, and funding for this large and growing population.

Donna Batwin-Chonigman, PT MS