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Ellen Hillegass

PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA

Dr. Ellen Hillegass is a physical therapist with APTA board certification in the cardiovascular and pulmonary clinical specialty. She is currently a professor on the core faculty at South College Knoxville and South College Atlanta and is an adjunct professor at Mercer University in Atlanta in the department of physical therapy. Ellen is also the president and CEO of PT Cardiopulmonary Educators, a web-based education company providing webinars for continuing education and residency education that also has a core curriculum in cardiopulmonary for DPT programs. She is also the founder of a clinical residency in cardiopulmonary through Mercer University in conjunction with Piedmont Hospital.

Ellen Hillegass was the chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Revision Committee on Venous Thromboembolism for the APTA (published in Physical Therapy journal in April 2022) and is the past chair of the Oxygen Recommendations Task Force for the APTA. She is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association, the highest honor given by the APTA. She is the editor of Essentials in Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy, an entry-level text with its fourth edition published in June 2016, as well as the author of a clinical notes book entitled PT Clinical Notes (formerly Rehab Notes).

Ellen received her entry-level training in physical therapy from the University of Pennsylvania, her Master of Medical Science in cardiopulmonary physiology from Emory University, and her doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Georgia. Her dissertation involved muscle morphology in the spinal cord-injured patient.

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Early Mobility Best Practices: Evidence and Barriers

Presented by Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA

Early Mobility Best Practices: Evidence and Barriers

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Video Runtime: 49 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 46 Minutes

This course was developed to help the clinician working with complex patients, mostly those who are found in the ICU and who would do worse if left on bed rest. Bed rest and inactivity have their own set of problems that prevent functional improvement in a timely manner after a serious illness. Therefore, early mobility is described in great detail in this course, including the history; the team and their roles; the who, what, where, when, why, and how of early mobility; and the evidence and barriers to mobility. This course is appropriate for all members of the mobility team, including PTs, PTAs, OTs, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, and nurses.

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Early Mobility Best Practices: Assessment and Activity Considerations

Presented by Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA

Early Mobility Best Practices: Assessment and Activity Considerations

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Video Runtime: 67 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 51 Minutes

This course was developed to help the clinician working with complex patients, mostly those who are found in the ICU and who would do worse if left on bed rest. Bed rest and inactivity have their own set of problems that prevent functional improvement in a timely manner after a serious illness. Early mobility requires additional knowledge and skills that are presented in this course, including activity requirements and the contraindications to mobility; the medications, lab values, and diagnostic tests that are essential to know and understand when working with these patients; and the evidence on safety when mobilizing with different lines and tubes. An overview of the initial examination is discussed, as are interventions for the ICU patient and outcome measures that could be utilized in the ICU. The course ends by briefly discussing key factors that are essential for developing or improving an early mobility program. This course is appropriate for all members of the mobility team, including PTs, PTAs, OTs, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, and nurses.

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Early Mobility Best Practices: Case Studies

Presented by Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA

Early Mobility Best Practices: Case Studies

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Video Runtime: 47 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 36 Minutes

This course was developed to help the clinician working with complex patients, mostly those who are found in the ICU and who would do worse if left on bed rest. Bed rest and inactivity have their own set of problems that prevent functional improvement in a timely manner after a serious illness. In this course, case studies are presented to apply the principles of early mobility, including the chart review, initial examination, interventions, and outcome measures. This course is appropriate for all members of the mobility team, including PTs, PTAs, OTs, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, and nurses.

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Obstructive Lung Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management

Presented by Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA and Morgan Johanson, PT, MSPT, CCS

Obstructive Lung Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management

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Video Runtime: 52 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 35 Minutes

This course is meant for rehabilitation professionals working with patients with obstructive lung disease and will provide an overview of the commonly seen obstructive lung diseases. Risk factors and causes will be presented, as well as explanations of how the diseases progress, including a discussion of the diagnostic testing and medical management of the diseases. In addition, determining severity of the obstructive disease and prognosis will help clinicians accurately select interventions and prescribe exercise safely in all practice settings. Fully understanding obstructive pulmonary diseases and their progression is often beyond entry-level education. This course will apply the pathophysiology of obstructive lung disease to a case study to be able to choose appropriate interventions.

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Restrictive Lung Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management

Presented by Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA and Morgan Johanson, PT, MSPT, CCS

Restrictive Lung Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management

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Video Runtime: 75 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 29 Minutes

This course is meant for rehabilitation professionals working with patients with restrictive lung disease and will describe the commonly seen restrictive lung diseases. Risk factors and causes will be presented, as well as explanations of how the diseases progress, including a discussion of the diagnostic testing and medical management of the diseases. In addition, determining the severity of the restrictive disease and the prognosis will help clinicians accurately select interventions and prescribe exercise safely in all practice settings. Fully understanding restrictive pulmonary diseases and their progression is often beyond entry-level education. This course will apply the pathophysiology of restrictive lung disease to a case study to demonstrate how to choose appropriate interventions.

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Outpatient Physical Therapy Management of Pulmonary Disease

Presented by Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA and Morgan Johanson, PT, MSPT, CCS

Outpatient Physical Therapy Management of Pulmonary Disease

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Video Runtime: 78 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 24 Minutes

There is a lack of pulmonary rehabilitation programs across the country to provide adequate care to all the patients with pulmonary deficits. In addition, due to the pulmonary deficits seen in many patients post SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the limitation in the number of outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation centers, many outpatient physical therapy clinics are creating programs designed to treat patients with pulmonary disease. Due to the fragility of these patients, clinicians are seeking further education for the management guidelines for this patient population. This course will discuss the purpose of pulmonary rehabilitation, specific Medicare requirements for pulmonary rehabilitation, staffing, examples of structured programs, billing, and logistics. This course will provide answers to frequently asked questions and will include information on telehealth, home health, and other patients with pulmonary disease who do not meet Medicare requirements for pulmonary rehabilitation. After this course, clinicians will have the necessary information to be able to start programs in their clinics.

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Outpatient Physical Therapy Management of Cardiovascular Disease

Presented by Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA and Morgan Johanson, PT, MSPT, CCS

Outpatient Physical Therapy Management of Cardiovascular Disease

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Video Runtime: 66 Minutes, Learning Assessments: 23 Minutes

There is a lack of cardiac rehabilitation programs across the country to provide adequate care to all the patients with cardiovascular deficits. Due to the cardiovascular deficits seen in many patients post SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the limitation in the number of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation centers, many outpatient physical therapy clinics are creating programs designed to treat patients with cardiovascular disease. Due to the fragility of these patients, clinicians are seeking further education for the management guidelines for this patient population. This course will discuss the purpose of cardiac rehabilitation, specific Medicare requirements for cardiac rehabilitation, staffing, examples of structured programs, billing, and logistics. This course will provide answers to frequently asked questions and will include information on telehealth, home health, and other patients with cardiovascular disease who do not meet Medicare requirements for cardiac rehabilitation. After this course, clinicians will have the necessary information to be able to start a program in their clinic.

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Developing Exercise Programs for Complex Patients (Recorded Webinar)

Presented by Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA

Developing Exercise Programs for Complex Patients (Recorded Webinar)

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Video Runtime: 177 Minutes, Learning Assessments: 19 Minutes

This course is a recording of a previously hosted live webinar event. Polling and question submission features are not available for this recording. Format and structure may differ from standard MedBridge courses.

Clinicians are currently dealing with a wide variety of complex patients and are concerned about how much to push them to do activities due to safety, yet clinicians know they should not be too conservative.

This webinar will provide physical and occupational therapists with tools and strategies to help problem-solve regarding the level of complexity of the patient as well as the patient's tolerance to exercise and activities of daily living as demonstrated on an exercise assessment, and determine if the responses to activity are normal or abnormal. From this information, the learner will be able to make appropriate clinical decisions for an initial exercise prescription, including tolerance to activities of daily living, for these complex patients.

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Clinical Concepts for COVID-19: Pathophysiology and Related Impairments

Presented by Angela Campbell, PT, DPT, CCS and Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA

Clinical Concepts for COVID-19: Pathophysiology and Related Impairments

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Video Runtime: 51 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 7 Minutes

COVID-19 presents a challenge in the post-acute phase of rehabilitation, due to the large numbers of individuals with new cardiovascular and pulmonary (CVP) and critical-illness-related impairments in a system not prepared to accept them. The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 has been unprecedented and unpredictable in many ways--from its infectious nature to the surprising impairments it causes. This is the first course a three-part series that will provide: (1) an overview of COVID-19 pathophysiology, diagnostics, and medical management, along with comparisons of COVID-19 to post-intensive-care syndrome (PICS); (2) considerations for examination and outcomes assessment; and (3) presentation of representative post-acute COVID-19 patient cases across disease severity, with application of interventions. Evidence from other countries will be presented, but due to the lack of published evidence, presenters will extrapolate best practices from research and practice principles with existing conditions, integrated with current case anecdotes.

This three-part course series presented by Ellen Hilligass and Angela Campbell includes

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Case Studies on Post-COVID Recovery

Presented by Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA and Angela Campbell, PT, DPT, CCS

Case Studies on Post-COVID Recovery

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Video Runtime: 32 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 7 Minutes

COVID-19 presents a challenge in the post-acute phase of rehabilitation, due to the large numbers of individuals with new cardiovascular and pulmonary (CVP) and critical-illness-related impairments in a system not prepared to accept them. The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 has been unprecedented and unpredictable in many ways--from its infectious nature to the surprising impairments it causes. This is the third course in a three-part series that will provide: (1) an overview of COVID-19 pathophysiology, diagnostics, and medical management, along with comparisons of COVID-19 to post-intensive-care syndrome (PICS); (2) considerations for examination and outcomes assessment; and (3) presentation of representative post-acute COVID-19 patient cases across disease severity, with application of interventions. Evidence from other countries will be presented, but due to the lack of published evidence, presenters will extrapolate best practices from research and practice principles with existing conditions, integrated with current case anecdotes.

This three-part course series presented by Ellen Hilligass and Angela Campbell includes

View full course details

Assessment and Outcomes for COVID-19 in the Outpatient Setting

Presented by Angela Campbell, PT, DPT, CCS and Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA

Assessment and Outcomes for COVID-19 in the Outpatient Setting

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Video Runtime: 38 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 4 Minutes

COVID-19 presents a challenge in the post-acute phase of rehabilitation, due to the large numbers of individuals with new cardiovascular and pulmonary (CVP) and critical-illness-related impairments in a system not prepared to accept them. The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 has been unprecedented and unpredictable in many ways--from its infectious nature to the surprising impairments it causes. This is the second course in a three-part series that will provide: (1) an overview of COVID-19 pathophysiology, diagnostics, and medical management, along with comparisons of COVID-19 to post-intensive-care syndrome (PICS); (2) considerations for examination and outcomes assessment; and (3) presentation of representative post-acute COVID-19 patient cases across disease severity, with application of interventions. Evidence from other countries will be presented, but due to the lack of published evidence, presenters will extrapolate best practices from research and practice principles with existing conditions, integrated with current case anecdotes.

This three-part course series presented by Ellen Hilligass and Angela Campbell includes

View full course details

Preventing Readmission With COPD: Transition From Acute to Home Care

Presented by Rebecca Crouch, PT, DPT, MS, CCS, FAACVPR, Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA, and Kenneth L. Miller, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA

Preventing Readmission With COPD: Transition From Acute to Home Care

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Readmission to the hospital for patients with COPD is a national concern. It is a problem for hospitals because it comes with a penalty from CMS if the readmission occurs within 30 days of discharge. Patients with COPD require monitoring beyond the acute care setting, and the current evidence supports continued monitoring of these patients beyond the acute care setting and the acute exacerbation. However, transition from the acute care setting to the home (or outpatient setting) is not always smooth, and communication is often lacking. This course will discuss the problem of readmission and transition of care, as well as the patient with COPD who is treated in the acute care setting and moves to the home setting. The identification of COPD patients at high risk for readmission will be discussed, along with the medications the patients may be sent home with and best practice for care in the home and outside the hospital.

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Preventing Readmission With Heart Failure

Presented by Rebecca Crouch, PT, DPT, MS, CCS, FAACVPR, Ellen Hillegass, PT, EdD, CCS, FAPTA, and Kenneth L. Miller, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA

Preventing Readmission With Heart Failure

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Readmission to the hospital for patients with heart failure is a national concern. It is a problem for hospitals because it comes with a penalty from CMS if the readmission occurs within 30 days of discharge. Patients with heart failure require monitoring beyond the acute care setting, and current evidence supports continued monitoring of these patients beyond the acute care setting. However, transition from the acute care setting to the home (or outpatient setting) is not always smooth, and communication is often lacking.
This course will discuss the problem of readmission and transition of care, as well as how heart failure is treated in the acute care setting and moves to the home setting. The identification of heart failure patients at high risk for readmission will be discussed, along with the medications the patients may be sent home with and best practice for care in the home and outside the hospital.

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Webinars with Ellen Hillegass

View upcoming webinars View all free recordings

Mar 13, 2024

Physical Therapy Management of Peripheral Artery Disease

Presented by Angela Campbell and Ellen Hillegass

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Mar 30, 2021

Developing Exercise Programs for Complex Patients

Presented by Ellen Hillegass

No Recording Available

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