Certificates of Achievement in Oncology Physical Therapy (CAOPT)

The Certificates of Achievement in Oncology Physical Therapy (CAOPT) program was developed by the Oncology Section, in conjunction with leading educators, researchers and clinicians to provide in-depth education in the physical therapy evaluation, examination, and treatment of oncological and HIV diseases.

Certifications in various skills or knowledge areas will be awarded to those who complete online and/or site training in specialty areas related to oncological and HIV diseases. Participants are required to pass written and clinical tests to receive the certification. The first certification offering is the Certified Edema Specialist (CES).

The FIRST CAOPT offering is "The Comprehensive Management of Peripheral Edema" course. It consists of several didactic elements as well as a one-week, hands-on workshop. Upon completion, participants with a passing grade in the written and clinical examination will receive the CES certification.

Description | Objectives | Fees | Location | Instructors | Requirements | FAQs


August 17 - 22, 2017
Grand Haven, Michigan

The Comprehensive Management of Peripheral Edema
This evidence-based course on management of edema, including lymphedema was developed by the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. Successful participants will receive certification in the management of edema from the Oncology Section and will be designated as Certified Edema Specialists (CES). This certification will be part of the new Certificate of Achievement in Oncology Physical Therapy (CAOPT) through the Oncology Section.

Dates: Thursday, August 17, 2017 through Tuesday, August 22, 2017 (6 days)
Who Should Attend: Physical and Occupational Therapists and PT/OT Assistants

Course Description: Peripheral edema is a common impairment secondary to many medical diagnoses encountered by physical and occupational therapists across all practice settings. Differential diagnosis of the cause of the edema is essential in the clinical reasoning process that leads to appropriate intervention. This case-based course will address the pathophysiology, examination, evaluation and clinical management of peripheral edemas of the upper and lower extremities, head, neck and genital areas. The course utilizes an online format to present didactic material that must be completed prior to attendance at a regionally located lab. Active learning strategies include small and large group discussions of patient cases to facilitate integration of the didactic material into patient care. Feedback will be provided during supervised labs for manual lymphatic drainage and multiple layer compression bandaging. Joint and soft tissue mobilizations and therapeutic exercise will be incorporated into case discussions and labs. A Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to participants who demonstrate competency in bandaging and manual lymphatic drainage skills.

Course Objectives:
Upon completing this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Develop a personalized plan of care for management of individuals with peripheral edema across all practice settings
  2. Describe the anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the lymphatic system that results in peripheral edema
  3. Utilize principles of differential diagnosis and clinical decision making to determine the cause or contributing factors resulting in peripheral edema
  4. Identify clinical presentations where referral to other health care professionals is indicated
  5. Perform an examination and evaluation of the lymphatic system to define the patient problem and guide interventions
  6. Safely and effectively implement appropriate interventions for lymphatic system dysfunction of the head, neck, upper extremity, genital and lower extremity areas
    1. Demonstrate competency in manual lymphatic drainage skills
    2. Demonstrate competency in multiple layer bandage compression skills with and without foam
    3. Select safe and effective exercises for edema management
    4. Integrate joint and soft tissue mobilizations into comprehensive patient interventions
    5. Select appropriate compression garments for day and nighttime use
    6. Instruct the patient in risk reduction, prevention and long-term management of edema
    7. Discuss best evidence for examination and intervention procedures
  7. Appropriately document treatment progress and outcome measures
  8. Discuss billing and marketing issues for management of a lymphedema clinic

Course Requirements and Fees:
The certification process includes an online pre-course study and 6 days of hands-on, onsite learning. The online pre-course study is approximately 16 hours, organized into 4 modules. This state-of-the art didactic material was developed by the Oncology Section and offered online by EDUCATA. The onsite portion of the certification process is 6 days.

Online Courses (required prior to workshop):


Fee for Online Portion of Course (paid online):

Regular Price - $539.01


  1. Click on each image to get to the course on EDUCATA.COM
  2. Add each course to your shopping cart

At checkout, enter coupon code CES2017 and press "redeem"

Fee for Onsite Portion of Certification (paid directly to Generation Care): 

Oncology Section Member - $1,900
APTA Member - $2,000
Non-Member - $2,200
To register for onsite portion, send e-mail to hollyld@generationcare.org or cell 231-750-7966

Course Location:
Generation Care
16760 Lincoln Street
Grand Haven, MI 49417
616-935-3300; Course coordinator (Holly) cell: 231-750-7966

Course Content Authors: Marisa Perdomo PT ,DPT, MS ,  Antoinette P. Sander, PT, DPT, MS and the Oncology Section

Course Instructors:
Marisa Perdomo, PT, DPT, MS, CCES is an Assistant Professor in Clinical Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California and has over 30 years of clinical practice focusing on orthopedic, oncologic and lymphatic dysfunctions. She received her lymphedema training and certification from the Foldi Clinic in Hinterzarten Germany in 1997. Dr. Perdomo also has extensive training in all areas of orthopedic manual therapy via the North American Institute of Manual Therapy. She received her Master's and Clinical Doctorate degrees at the University of Southern California where she developed a physical therapy practice for cancer survivors at the USC Faculty Practice. Dr. Perdomo integrates manual lymphatic mobilization techniques with her orthopedic manual therapy background and provides a unique intervention protocol for individuals with orthopedic related peripheral edema.

At USC Dr. Perdomo developed the curricular content regarding the management of oncological related impairments that includes evaluation, examination and treatment of peripheral edema. Additional teaching responsibilities include Differential Diagnosis, Cardiopulmonary and Medical Conditions, and Pharmacology. She also serves on the steering committee for the USC Institute of Integrated Health and has developed yoga based physical therapy interventions for individuals recovering from cancer. Her scholarly interests include oncology rehabilitation, and management of peripheral edema. Publications include systematic reviews of outcome measures for survivors of breast cancer.

Lisa VanHoose, PT, PhD, MPH received her PhD in Rehabilitation Science and MPH from the University of Kansas Medical Center. She completed the NHLBI PRIDE Summer Institute with an emphasis in Cardiovascular Genetic Epidemiology. Her BS in Health Science and MS in Physical Therapy were completed at the University of Central Arkansas. Dr. VanHoose's teaching interests include pathology, physical agents, oncology rehabilitation, population health, and cultural competency. Dr. VanHoose's research focuses on the incidence, prevalence, and severity of cancer related side effects with an emphasis on the disease burden of minority cancer survivors. She also investigates strategies to diversify the healthcare workforce to reduce health disparities. She has received both NIH and industry funding to support her research agenda. Dr. VanHoose is the Principal Investigator of the Cancer Rehabilitation and Wellness Laboratory. She is also the past President of the Oncology Section of the APTA.

Accommodation and Transportation to and from Course:
There are 2 nearby airports: 

1) Muskegon - flies United, small airport - 15 minutes from Grand Haven.

2) Grand Rapids International airport – 45 minutes from course

Suggested Hotels in the Perimeter Area:
Book early - Grand Haven is a big tourist location on the Lake Michigan beaches - beautiful! And this is Coast Guard festival time, too!

Holiday Inn-Spring Lake: 855-516-1090 http://www.reservations.com/hotel/holiday-inn-grand-haven-spring-lake?rmcid=rcc11&gclid=CMu9vYPxydMCFY62wAodWcAPIg

Baymont Inn in Grand haven: 844-433-6021 http://www.reservations.com/hotel/holiday-inn-grand-haven-spring-lake?rmcid=rcc11&gclid=CMu9vYPxydMCFY62wAodWcAPIg

Course Contact:

For questions, registration and to arrange payment by credit card or check, please contact:
Holly Lookabaugh-Deur
Generation Care
16760 Lincoln Street
Grand Haven, MI 49417
Best way to reach me is email: hollyld@generationcare.org or cell 231-750-7966



  • Registrants must complete the following didactic elements via EDUCATA (click on the links below to enroll):

Note: all of the above courses have testing mechanisms and an 80% passing rate is required.

  • Attend the hands-on workshop

A competency skills examination will be given after the lab course. The content will integrate material from the online modules and the lab course.


  1. Why the CES?
    • The Certified Edema Specialist designation provides a mechanism for therapists to obtain the training needed to provide edema management in a variety of settings. The course provides the skills and knowledge needed for the generalist. We acknowledge that many therapists are challenged by the need to provide care for edema caused by systemic pathologies such as vascular and idiopathic edemas. Therefore this course was created to address this need. Therapists will also receive comprehensive education for the care of lymphedematous conditions. An additional programing will be offered in the future for those therapists interested in complex and unusual lymphatic dysfunctions.
  2. What if I am already a CLT?
    • The course is defined to address the needs and interest of both the novice and the advanced therapist. The content is structured to encourage a holistic and evidenced based approach to the treatment of peripheral edemas. Participants will examine and evaluate system interactions that impair lymphatic and cardiovascular flow. We will also address the common questions of advanced therapist regarding compression strategies, orthopedic assessment, and unique presentations of edema in head, neck, genital, and atypical regions. The course will meet requirements for recertification of your CLT or LANA credentials.
  3. Do I need to be certified as a lymphedema therapist to treat individuals with lymphedema?
    • NO, as long as you are a licensed physical therapist/assistant or occupational therapist/ assistant. Lymphedema is a subcategory of edema and is under our practice act.
  4. Do I need to be certified in order for Medicare to reimburse my facility?
    • NO, again as long as you are a licensed physical therapist/assistant or occupational therapist/ assistant your treatments are covered. The reimbursement difficulty is for those providers such as massage therapists or nurses. These providers typically must work under the supervision of a PT/OT or physician to receive reimbursement.
  5. How do I bill for lymphedema treatments?
    • Billing codes for lymphedema are tied to the intention of the intervention just like all of our other diagnoses. Manual lymphatic drainage mobilizations fall under the Manual Therapy code, as an example. Bandaging interventions can fall under therapeutic exercise codes.
  6. Why is the regional lab course "Comprehensive Edema Management" 6 days?
    • The regional lab course is 6 days as it covers the treatment techniques for the entire body. Sufficient lab time is needed to competently address various treatment options available for each patient.
  7. I don't want to treat lymphedema, I just want to use these techniques for my orthopedic post-surgical patients. Do I need to take this 6-day regional lab course?
    • Foundational knowledge in edema management and basic compression and manual lymph drainage skills are essential for best practice with orthopedic post-surgical patients. This course will address these components.
  8. What is the difference between certification and specialization?
    • Typically certification indicates expertise in a particular skill or content knowledge to perform tasks within one's job or career. Specialization indicates a unique and distinct practice area within the profession. Someone may be certified to perform lymphedema management techniques, but not meet the criteria to be identified as an oncology rehabilitation specialist.
  9. Is certification important?
    • Certification gives each participant documentation of their knowledge in edema management for marketing, employers and third party payers.
  10. What is Certification of Achievement in Oncology Physical Therapy (CAOPT)?
    • CAOPT is a program developed by the Oncology Section, leading educators, researchers and clinicians to provide comprehensive physical therapy evaluation, differential diagnosis and treatment in various clinical domains. The management of peripheral edema is the first domain developed for certification.
  11. What is LANA certification?
    • The Lymphology Association of North America (LANA) offers an exam for persons who have completed didactic and lab hours that meet identified standards. Upon successful completion of the exam, the therapist may use the Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT - LANA) designation following their name.
  12. Will the 'Comprehensive Management of Edema' course allow me to sit for the LANA exam?
    • The Comprehensive Management of Edema course series hours can be used for credit toward LANA. The participants will need to take additional programming offered by the Section to achieve the 135 hours from one training program as stated in the LANA Candidate Information Brochure. Please refer to the LANA website for additional details. Please note that this course is the first phase of a two phase course offering. The completion of both phases will provide the needed hours to apply for the LANA examination.
  13. Is testing out a possibility?
    • Yes, you can test out of the online modules. The therapist will need to register and pay for the online modules. The therapist will take the pre-test. If the therapist successfully passes the pre-test, he or she can request a refund from EDUCATA minus the administrative costs. Therapists cannot test out of the skills laboratory portion of the certification. The content covered during the laboratory portions includes technical skills, but also instruction in evidence based clinical decision making that is necessary for direct access and autonomous practice.
  14. How is the course only 6 days?
    • In the development of the course, the authors and the review team took into consideration the educational preparation of rehabilitation professionals (PT, OT, and SLP).


oncology physical therapy coapt

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