The PACER Project


The Post Acute COVID-19 Exercise and Rehabilitation (PACER) Project is an initiative formed by multiple APTA sections & academies as a resource for administrators, and to increase practitioner proficiency in cardiovascular and pulmonary (CVP) physical therapy, including critical illness sequelae. Subject matter experts are organizing educational resources to guide the rehab professional through the challenges seen in patients with and following the COVID-19 virus. These learning modules will be released through the APTA's Learning Center. These videos are also available for free on the Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Section's YouTube Channel.

BFR'S ROLE IN PACER? Johnny Owens, PT 

It is currently unknown if this patient population will tolerate moderate to high-intensity exercise, potentially creating long-term disability and re-hospitalizations. Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) rehabilitation may provide a low load alternative to restore muscle quantity and quality. Additionally, our most recent Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis conducted with leadership in the APTA Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section revealed that aerobic capacity is improved to a greater extent when low-level aerobic exercise is performed with BFR rehabilitation vs low-level exercise alone. This may afford an opportunity to address the significant loss in pulmonary function utilizing low intensities.

PACER Project Topics/Courses: 

• Covid-19 Specific Physical Therapist Considerations - Heidi Engel

• Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Anatomy & Physiology - Steve Tepper

• Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Examination - Morgan Johanson

• Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Medications - Michael Tevald & John Lowman

• Vital Signs, Exercise Prescription, Oxygen devices - Ellen Hillegass

• Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) - Patricia Ohtake & Jim Smith

• Chest PT & Other Airway Clearance Techniques - Annie Downs

• Posture, Breathing, Ventilation - Mary Massery

• Inspiratory Muscle Training - Larry Cahalin

• Blood-Flow Restriction Training - Johnny Owens & Larry Cahalin

• Outpatient Pulmonary Therapy - Pam Bartlo & Naomi Bauer

• Cardiopulmonary Outcome Measures - Kristin Lefebvre

• Pediatric Considerations - Ashley Parish

• Geriatric Considerations - Suzanne Greenwalt

• Home Health Considerations - Melissa Bednarek & Ken Miller

• Music Therapy - Donna Frownfelter