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Clinical Research & Movement Lab

Bridging the Gap Between Research and Clinical Practice

The Research Program at the Children's Therapy Unit (CTU) bridges the gap between research and clinical practice to improve the lives of children who have movement disorders and to maximize their function.

Kinematic and kinetic data collection

In the CTU's Movement Laboratory, clinicians use kinematic, kinetic and electromyography measures to conduct groundbreaking research. They utilize these tools to explore a variety of subjects, including the benefits and effects of physical and occupational therapy, orthotic design and electrical stimulation. In conjunction with the Adult Rehabilitation Department at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital, they also conduct research on treating neurological disorders, such as strokes. The team has published numerous articles in nationally acclaimed peer reviewed journals, received over $1 million in grant funding from national and local sources, and taught professional courses around the world.

Clinical assessments are also conducted outside of the Movement Laboratory. For example, electromyography and video recorded during a child's treatment, as shown above, allow the team to evaluate the way a child's muscles are working, and therefore focus on improving their skills. The data also help neurologists, orthopedists and physiatrists make important medical and surgical decisions.Example of a child's electromyography study

For information on the program, call the Movement Lab at 253-697-5255,or contact David G. Embrey, PT, PhD, at, or Brenna Brandsma, PT, DPT, PCS, at

Ways to Support the CTU

To help continue the tradition of providing children with special needs specialized care, get involved.

Support the Children's Therapy Unit by making a donation to the Good Samaritan Foundation or exploring volunteer opportunities.

Make a Donation