PACER Project

Post-Acute Covid-19 Exercise & Rehabilitation (PACER) Project




The sheer number of cases and novelty of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, causing the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 (WHO, 2020), presents a challenge to physical therapy practitioners. Facility resources and personnel might be strained with a volume of clients with significant cardiovascular and pulmonary impairments with which they might not be proficient. The PACER Project is an initiative led by the APTA Academy of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy, along other APTA sections & academies, as a resource for administrators and to increase practitioner proficiency in cardiovascular and pulmonary (CVP) physical therapy, including critical illness sequelae. Additionally, the clients with COVID-19 most likely to need physical therapy services are those who are elderly and/or possess chronic health issues, such as diabetes, COPD, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. These educational courses are intended to educate physical therapy and other rehabilitation clinicians. This education is not to take place of individual institutional competency training. The PACER Project coordinators urge institutions who lack the needed internal CVP competencies to consider seeking consultation by an ABPTS board-certified Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Clinical Specialist (CCS*), experienced acute/critical care PT, or similarly trained practitioner (live or virtual) (

Objectives: Upon completion of this course series the learner will understand the components of physical therapy management for patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary impairments, specific to those components most commonly encountered related to post-acute COVID-19 and related conditions. LEVEL: Beginner to Intermediate

CEU INFORMATION – Full PACER lectures are embedded below and posted on our Academy YouTube channel. To obtain FREE CEU certificate, access them through the APTA Learning Center (type PACER into COVID19 Resources catalog search box).

Topics/Courses and Faculty:*

  • Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Anatomy & Physiology & COVID-19
         Steve Tepper, PT, PhD, FAPTA
  • Vital Signs, Exercise Prescription, Oxygen devices   
         Ellen Hillegass, PT, PhD, CCS, FAPTA
  • Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Examination
         Morgan Johanson, PT, DPT, CCS
  • Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS)       
         Patricia Ohtake, PT, PhD, James Smith, PT, DPT, Hallie Zeleznik, PT, DPT
  • Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Medications      
         Michael Tevald, PT, PhD & John Lowman, PT, PhD, CCS
  • Chest PT & Other Airway Clearance Techniques       
         Anne Mejia Downs, PT, PhD, CCS
  • Posture, Breathing, Ventilation           
         Mary Massery, PT, DPT, DSc
  • Inspiratory Muscle Training          
         Lawrence Cahalin, PT, PhD, CCS
  • Blood-Flow Restriction Training     
        Johnny Owens, PT, MPT & Lawrence Cahalin, PT, PhD, CCS
  • Outpatient Clinic (Ortho/Sports) Considerations  
        Lauren Mellett, PT, DPT, CCS, essica Riggs Garton, PT, DPT, OCS & Nicole Surdyka, PT, DPT, CSCS
  • Pelvic Health: Respiratory & Pelvic Floor Coupling   
        Julie Skrzat, PT, PhD, DPT,CCS & Karen Snowden, PT, DPT, WCS
  • Music Therapy                 
        Donna Frownfelter, PT, DPT, CCS, RRT, FCCP, FAPTA
  • Outpatient Pulmonary Rehab/ Therapy       
        Pamela Bartlo, PT, DPT, CCS & Naomi Bauer, PT, DPT, CCS
  • Pediatric Considerations                            
        Ashley Parish, PT, DPT, CRT, CCS
  • Geriatric Considerations        
        Suzanne Greenwalt, PT, DPT, GCS, CCS
  • Inpatient Competency Expectations (IRF, SNF, Acute Care)  
        Matthew Walko, PT, DPT, CCS
  • Home Health Considerations       
        Melissa Bednarerk, PT, DPT, PhD, CCS & Kenneth Miller, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA
  • Covid-19 Specific Physical Therapist Considerations         
        Heidi Engel, PT, DPT

 *American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties Designation Abbreviations
CCS = American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties Board Certified Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Clinical Specialist
GCS = American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties Board Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist
OCS = American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
WCS = American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties Board Certified Women’s Health Clinical Specialist

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Examination by Morgan Johanson


Pediatric Considerations Post-Acute COVID-19 By Ashley Parish


Vital Signs, Oxygen, & Exercise Prescription. How are these impacted by COVID-19


Anatomy, Histology, and Pathophysiology of COVID 19


Pulmonary Rehab Post-Acute Care for COVID-19


Airway Clearance


Posture and Breathing: Linking them Together Post COVID-19


Geriatric Considerations COVID-19


Providing Physical Therapy During the COVID-19 Pandemic