Daniel L. Young, PT, DPT, PhD
School of Integrated Health Sciences - Physical Therapy
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
1. What makes a problem interesting and worthwhile for you to want to tackle?
A couple of the key values that give foundation to my life and work are being of service to others and lifelong learning. Problems that create harm or suffering for people are problems that I want to work on, especially if I will have the opportunity to learn new concepts or skills along the way. My clinical training as a physical therapist and my research training in epidemiology and statistics lead me to be interested in large scale problems at the health system and even population level related to rehabilitation. First understanding the scope and scale of the problem, then designing implementation efforts to correct deficiencies while at the same time testing the effectiveness (real world effects) of those interventions. These are the types of problems that are interesting and worthwhile to me. Most of my work is focused on understanding the harms caused by too much bed rest among hospital inpatients and how to promote more regular and appropriate activity and mobility among these patients.
2. What impact has CTF support had on your work?
I have been interested in improving the care of hospitalized patients since the beginning of my career as a physical therapist. When people come to the hospital with a medical problem they typically spend too much time not moving and in bed. This immobility and inactivity quickly weakens the body and creates new problems for the person on top of the original medical problem for which they were hospitalized. In 2007 I came to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to begin working on understanding and correcting this problem. In 2016 I began a collaborative relationship with a group of clinician scientists at Johns Hopkins who were interested in this same problem. Together we have created a systematic approach to addressing the hospital immobility problem. Preliminary success within the Johns Hopkins system now needs to be adapted and tested in other hospital systems.
During my years at UNLV I had the privilege to work with Cyrus Tang and get to know about the work of his Foundation. In 2019 Foundation leaders and I talked with rehabilitation and medical leaders at the Jiangsu Shengze Hospital about the possibility of implementing the Johns Hopkins Activity and Mobility Program there. They were enthusiastic about the opportunity and we initiated a partnership, facilitated by the Foundation, to implement and test JH-AMP at the first mainland Chinese Hospital. Because of the Foundation we have begun this work, have eager engaged partners in China, and look forward to improving the care of the people there.
3. What inspires you to give back?
I have had the opportunity to travel and see how and where people live all over the world. The extremely fortunate circumstances of my life compared to my observation of others lives is a big part of my motivation to give back. So many people are smart, hard working, and kind and just need the opportunity to succeed by being put into an environment where their efforts can bear fruit. Sharing knowledge and resources with others is incumbent on me because of my success. Service to others, that I have engaged in, has also given me inner peace and satisfaction that helps to sustain my interest and effort to give. I feel a duty to serve and then am rewarded with joy when I do.