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PTA students raise funds for regional burn foundation

PTA students raise funds for regional burn foundation

NORFOLK, Neb. – Students in the physical therapy assistant (PTA) program at Northeast Community College have raised funds to benefit an organization whose central purpose is to work to reduce the number of injuries and deaths associated with burn trauma.

The St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation serves Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. It was founded in 1993 through the efforts and partnership of nurses at the St. Luke’s Burn Center and the Sioux City Professional Fire Fighters IAFF Local #7.

“PTA students participated in a service learning project where they raised money and awareness for St. Florian,” said Andrea Suhr, PTA instructor. “The foundation's mission is ‘Empowering the burn community to come together, to build strength and hope along the journey and to become a unified voice for support and prevention.’ Together, Northeast’s PTA class of 2022 raised $1,115 and collected three donation items that were part of the silent auction at this year's 2nd Annual St. Florian Miracle Burn Camp Gala in Sioux City.”

It takes approximately $1,000 to send one burn survivor to camp for seven days. Suhr said burn wounds are included in the curriculum of her students. PTA students learn how to care for burn injuries during their training in pathology.

Even in a time where extraordinary medical advances have been made in treating survivors, burn injuries that leave scars are not only painful and long lasting, but can be emotionally and mentally devastating. St. Florian reports that current burn patients and their caregivers benefit from seeing others who have made a successful recovery through things such as the SOAR (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery) program. Pediatric and young adult burn survivors can also learn from each other as well as older burn survivors through its Miracle Burn Camp program and the Young Adult Burn Survivor Retreat.

The St. Florian Foundation has special meaning to Suhr. She is a burn survivor and a former attendee of the Miracle Burn Camp. She attends many of the St. Florian programing and fundraising events.

To learn more about the St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation, visit,