Excellence in Continuing Education: Brooks Innovative Topics in Rehabilitation Series (ITRS)

Beyond Magazine

Apr 12, 2021

This article was originally published in our Spring 2021 Issue of Brooks Rehabilitation Beyond Magazine. Subscribe online.

The Brooks Innovative Topics in Rehabilitation Series (ITRS) is part of the Brooks Institute of Higher Learning (IHL), consists of live webinars providing cutting-edge information for a wide spectrum of clinical practice topics. Held each Thursday at noon Eastern time, March through December, the one-hour sessions offer a formalized curriculum with core learning opportunities for all rehabilitation professionals, regardless of discipline. Participants can earn up to 30 contact hours / 3.0 continuing education units (CEUs) during the ITRS season.

Bob Rowe, PT, DPT, DMT, MHS, Executive Director of Brooks IHL, is the creator of ITRS. The idea came from Dr. Rowe’s clinical background, where years ago busy medical professionals would get together in an auditorium for a quick lunch break and discuss current topics. With today’s technology, the “auditorium” now is wherever the participant is located.

A critical component of ITRS, which sets it apart from other seminar series, is that weekly topics are important and relevant across all rehabilitation disciplines. “Whichever field you are in, there are foundational issues of concern for all of us,” said Dr. Rowe. “We all need to be up to date on common ground topics like clinical decision making, research, outcome measures, leadership, technology and the future of health care.”

Planning for a March-December season begins in the spring of the previous year. Choosing topics and scheduling the best presenters requires early coordination. Yet, there is always flexibility for a hot topic that comes out of the blue. “We talk with the various rehabilitation professional organizations to learn what their members are asking about,” said Sara Cristello, PT, DPT, Director of Clinical Operations at Brooks Institute of Higher Learning. “While each ITRS session stands on its own, there can be course blocks that provide complementary and synergistic information.”

Dr. Rowe stresses that sessions are geared to be engaging and interactive. “There’s always time for questions during and at the end of a session,” said Dr. Rowe. “And often there will be polls and surveys going on in real time.”

The CEUs available to the participants are an important component of ITRS. “When participants from new states enroll, we work with the different state professional organizations as needed to ensure that ITRS meets their requirements for continuing education,” said Dr. Cristello. “And we maintain a database so that participants get credit for their ‘seat-time.’”

Pricing for a one-year (March-December) ITRS season is a flat rate based on the number of participants from an organization. For a facility signing up more than 250 people, the annual price in total caps out at only $2,500.

“Brooks has been forward thinking in their approach to ITRS,” said Dr. Rowe. “The multi-disciplinary curriculum; the quality of the presenters and their latest information; the convenience of the webinar format; and the pricing all reflect Brooks’ commitment to continuing professional education.”

The ITRS is not limiting itself to live sessions. Coming soon will be an expansive ITRS resource video library. Although not available for CEU, the videos will present a vast range of topics in different styles and lengths – all free and on-demand. “The residencies, fellowships, CEUs, certification prep and courses in general offered by the Brooks Institute of Higher Learning have always been a differentiator for the Brooks system. Establishing this resource video library is the next step in that commitment to education.” – Dr. Cristello

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