Kathryn Schmitz is a Professor of Public Health Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine. She has led many exercise trials and her work has been translated into clinical practice. Dr. Schmitz has published more than 230 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has had $25 million dollars in funding for her research since 2001. She was the lead author of the first American College of Sports Medicine Roundtable on Exercise for Cancer Survivors, which published guidance for exercise testing and prescription for cancer survivors in July 2010. In June 2017, she became president-elect of that organization, assumed its presidency in June 2018, and became Immediate Past President in June 2019. While serving as chairperson in March 2018 of an International Multidisciplinary ACSM Roundtable on Exercise and Cancer Prevention and Control, participants agreed it is time for exercise oncology to go prime time. The question is how. Her professional mission is to answer that question. Her doctorate is from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
She began Part Two of her presentation by indicating that as a result of the intervention described in Part 1, arm swelling among lymphedema patients was reduced by 70% among women with five or more nodes removed. A big question that arose was who was going to do all the things necessary that were part of a research study? Problems with sustainability and dissemination occurred. There also were safety concerns and costs that could not be met. She then described another initiative that was undertaken. Following a referral by an oncologist, physical therapy evaluation and education in a group setting occurred. Participation could occur in a YMCA setting or at home, but a challenge was to figure out how to pay for equipment in the home after the program ended. Subsequently, the program was renamed Strength After Breast Cancer, which is paid for by insurance. She described a series of lessons learned involving transportation, competing demands affecting patients with jobs, location, keeping up with training requirements, and cost. A need also exists for provider education on matters, such as progression of the weights used by patients. She concluded by noting that her mission and the Rusk mission are a shared mission.