Virtual CREATE™ - Childhood Cancer Rehabilitation

November 5, 2021 to November 6, 2021

Greater than 80% of children diagnosed with cancer will survive for five or more years.  With cure rates rising, emphasis in pediatric oncology is being placed not only on cure, but also on improving the quality of life of pediatric cancer survivors. Functional impairments and physical activity limitations are among the documented late effects of childhood cancer. These impairments begin early in treatment and can contribute to functional performance limitations long into adulthood. Currently, cancer patients are severely underserved by rehabilitation services with treatment rates as low as 1-2%.3-7  This course will provide comprehensive cancer rehabilitation program training designed to educate the inter-professional team in providing evidence-based rehabilitation services to a complex population in a complex setting. This course will include education on functional impairments of childhood cancer survivors, evidence-based rehabilitation assessment and interventions (physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology), oncology provider screening recommendations, the prospective surveillance model of care across the cancer continuum, and inter-professional program development components.

A peer-reviewed article surveying cancer rehabilitation providers across the world recently identified Children's Minnesota as a source of recommended education stating "When respondents identified relevant continuing education opportunities they typically referenced professional organizations or courses conducted by or at 3 institutions: Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital."1

Participants from last course stated:

"It was an amazing course!!! I love how much application and discipline specific information was included."


Target Audience

PTs, OTs, SLPs, RNs, Oncology providers

Learning Objectives

1. Summarize the functional impairments found in the literature and rehabilitation evidence in childhood cancer survivors

2. Compare and contrast the different cancer types, treatments, and implications for rehabilitation

3. Outline the inter-professional program development and execution required for a successful cancer rehab program

4. Describe and apply rehabilitation assessment and intervention strategies for children with cancer


1. Houdeshell MJ, Thomas KM, King AA, L'Hotta AJ. Limitations of Current Rehabilitation Practices in Pediatric Oncology: Implications for Improving Comprehensive Clinical Care. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2021 Jul 30: doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2021.05.021. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34339659. 

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 13.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 13.00 ANCC
  • 13.00 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
11/05/2021 - 8:30am CDT
Event ends: 
11/06/2021 - 4:30pm CDT

Day 1 - November 5, 2021



8:30 - 9:00 a.m.Childhood Cancer Rehabilitation Intro
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.Cancer Types and Treatment Basics
10:00 - 10:15 a.m.Break
10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.Functional Impact of Childhood Cancer and Treatment
12:15 - 1:15 p.m.Lunch
1:15 - 1:45 p.m.Childhood Cancer Rehabilitation from an Oncology Medical Director Perspective
1:45 - 3:15 p.m.Functional Impact of Childhood Cancer and Treatment cont.
3:15 - 3:30 p.m.Break
3:30 - 4:00 p.m.Activity Limitations and Participation Restrictions
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.Discipline specific case study discussion

Day 2 - November 6, 2021



8:00 - 9:00 a.m.                         Rehabilitation assessment and intervention evidence
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Discipline Breakouts - Assessment and Intervention

A) Physical therapy – Assessment and Intervention in children with non-CNS cancer

B) Occupational therapy – Assessment and Intervention in children with non-CNS cancer

C) Speech-language pathology – Assessment and Intervention: Feeding and swallowing

D) Oncology provider – Screening and referral

10:00 - 10:15 a.m.Break
10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Discipline Breakouts - Assessment and Intervention

A) Physical therapy – Assessment and Intervention in children/AYA with CNS cancer

B) Occupational therapy – Assessment and intervention in children/AYA with CNS cancer

C) Speech-language pathology – Assessment and intervention regarding communication

D) Oncology provider – Collaboration approaches, toxicity management, late effects

12:15 - 1:15 p.m.Lunch
1:15 - 2:45 p.m.CREATE Childhood Cancer Rehabilitation Program Components and Evidence from Children's Minnesota
3:45 - 3:00 p.m.Break
3:00 - 3:30 p.m.All Discipline Case Studies
3:30 - 4:30 p.m.Inter-professional Panel Discussion



It is our intent that any potential conflict should be identified openly so that the listeners may form their own judgments about the presentation with the full disclosure of the facts. It is not assumed any potential conflicts will have an adverse impact on these presentations. It remains for the audience to determine whether the speaker’s outside interest may reflect a possible bias, either the exposition or the conclusions presented.                                                                                                           

Planning committee members and presenter(s) have disclosed they have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing selling re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients and have disclosed that no conflict of interest exists with the presentation/educational event.

Lynn Tanner, PT, is a Rehabilitation Clinical Specialist in Oncology and Scientific Director of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Children’s Minnesota. She is also a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. In her current role, she provides PT services to the oncology population, conducts research investigating peripheral neuropathy and the impact of PT in pediatric oncology, and leads cancer rehabilitation and telerehabilitation program development. She has published multiple research manuscripts in collaboration with other experts in the field and leads a cancer rehabilitation program development training for other hospitals interested in evidence-based care. She has presented for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), American Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nursing Association Conferences, Children’s Hospitals Association, Children’s Oncology Group, and local Universities. Honors include the APTA Oncology Jeri F. Walton Award for Service, APTA Emerging Leader Award, Oncology Section Stephen Gudas Award for Outstanding Publication in Rehabilitation Oncology with Dr. Laura Gilchrist, and the Children’s Minnesota Board Quality award. She was co-creator and chair of the Pediatric Oncology Special Interest Group of the APTA from 2010 to 2014. Currently, she serves as the Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy Balance and Falls Special Interest Group Chair and the co-chair of the Cancer Rehabilitation Networking Group Pediatric Task Force of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Laura Gilchrist PT, PhD, is a Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at St. Catherine University, in St. Paul, MN. Since 2007, she has also held the position of Clinical Research Scientist in the Oncology Program at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. She has a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. Her current research focuses on assessing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathies and their impact on balance control and overall physical function. She has externally funded grants from the American Cancer Society and St. Baldrick’s Foundation for this work. In addition, she has published 2 clinical practice guidelines in oncology rehabilitation. She has served on the board of directors for the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association and currently heads the Development of Evidence-Based Practice documents for this group.



Bonnie Carlson-Green PhD, LP, is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist at Children's Minnesota. She earned her PhD from Georgia State University in Atlanta, completed her internship at Children's Memorial Medical Center (now Lurie Children's Hospital) in Chicago, followed by a 2-year fellowship in neuropsychology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. She remained there as a staff pediatric neuropsychologist until joining Children's in 1996 to develop the neuropsychology program for pediatric cancer patients. In addition to her work with children with various forms of cancer, she sees a variety of patients with medical, learning and developmental disorders from infancy to young adults and enjoys the opportunity to follow her patients over the course of childhood into adulthood. Dr. Carlson-Green’s research includes Cogmed working memory interventions with brain tumor survivors and other neurocognitive and developmental outcomes in brain tumor patients. Dr. Carlson-Green's interests include parent advocacy for students with special needs, transition planning, and neurodevelopmental outcomes after childhood cancer and cancer survivor issues. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, travel, Nordic skiing, and open water swimming.

Samargia-Grivette, PhD CCC-SLP, is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She earned her B.A.S. and M.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and her PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She is interested in optimizing neuroplasticity for motor and communication recovery after stroke and brain injury through an integrative rehabilitation approach including neuromodulation.





Nathan Gossai, MD is a Pediatric Oncologist with Children's Minnesota and the Director of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Program.His areas of interest include the care of medically complex patients and the care of children with high risk leukemias. At Children’s he leads involvement in the Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma (TACL) consortium and is a part of study development within the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). He is author of dozens of abstracts, papers and chapters, and has presented his clinical research both domestically and international.





Diane Lesmeister, OTR/L is an occupational therapist at Children’s Minnesota leading the occupational therapy team in the Cancer and Blood Disorders clinic. She began working at Children’s Minnesota in 2001 and has contributed to the multidisciplinary feeding clinic, OT practice board, and development of best clinical practice guidelines for children and adolescents with oncology diagnosis. She has received her certification in pediatric vestibular rehabilitation to improve assessment and intervention in children with concussion and oncology diagnoses. She also works on the clinical research team investigating chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in young children and a functional outcome database for children treated for blood cancers. She co-authored an invited manuscript on Cancer Rehabilitation in the Pediatric and Adolescent/Young Adult Population.


Leah Podergois, CCC-SLP, is an acute care inpatient Speech-Language Pathologist at Children’s Minnesota. She earned her B.S. in Speech Language Pathology at Marquette University and her M.A. at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. She has worked at Children’s Minnesota for 4 years with focus towards feeding/dysphagia and cognitive communication for oncology and other acute care populations.

Teresa Herriage, DNP, APRN, CNP, CPHON is a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Cancer and Blood Disorders Program at Children's of Minnesota. She received her undergraduate nursing degree from the University of Iowa and received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at the University of Minnesota. Teresa has worked in hem/onc nursing for the past 15 years. Her interests include solid tumors, general oncology, end of life and patient/family education. She is also the current Children’s Oncology Group Patient and Family Education Member at Large. 





Heather Johnson, PNP completed her nursing degree at Winona State University and received her master’s degree from Saint Catherine University. Heather started at Children’s in 2008 and worked in the Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic for 11 years before transitioning over to become a nurse practitioner. Her focus has always been neurooncology. Heather sees patients while in the hospital and in the clinic. Outside of work Heather enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children, working on their hobby farm, and spending time with friends and family. 


Susan Sencer, MD, is currently the Chief and VP of Specialty Pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota, where she was previously the Medical Director of the Cancer and Blood Disorders Program. She attended Grinnell College and medical school at the University of Minnesota. She completed her pediatric residency and pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship there as well. She has been at Children’s Minnesota since 1990 and was the ‘founding mother’ of the Integrative Medicine program there, the first clinical integrative medicine program for pediatrics in the country. Susan was also instrumental in starting the Pain and Palliative care program, which emphasizes the use of integrative therapies for symptom control. She lectures and writes about pediatric integrative oncology, and more recently on the use of medical cannabis in children.

Accreditation Statement:

In support of improving patient care, Children’s Minnesota is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Children’s Minnesota takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific interest of its accredited continuing education events.

Credit Statement:


Children’s Minnesota designates this live internet activity for a maximum of 13.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent to their participation in the activity.


Children’s Minnesota designates this live internet activity for a maximum of 13.00 ANCC credit hours. Nurses should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent to their participation in the activity.

This program offers 13.0 contact hours of continuing education.  Most medical professional organizations accept AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  It is the individual’s responsibility to determine whether an education activity meets the continuing education requirements of their respective licensures and/or professional boards.  Go to your respective organization’s website for more detailed information regarding credit requirements.

This course has been approved for 13 continuing education credit hours by the Minnesota Board of Physical Therapy. Course approval #5332.

Available Credit

  • 13.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 13.00 ANCC
  • 13.00 Attendance


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Do you live outside of the U.S. or currently a student?

We encourage participation from our colleagues around the world. Our registration fees are based on country of residence. Please refer to the current World Bank classification link below, as discounted rates are available for participants residing in countries of the low and middle-income categories. In addition, we encourage students to attend at a discounted rate.

World Bank Country Classification

If you are eligible for a discounted rate, please email Children’s MN at for further qualification criteria and discount code.

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