Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy,
School of Health Sciences and Practice
Bringing public health perspectives to physical therapy
Tell us a little about your own personal journey. What motivated you to pursue a career in physical therapy and what were some highlights along the way?
I discovered physical therapy as a career after college. I hoped to work in health care, and had a great interest in science. My goal was to find a career where I could continue to learn and explore health and science, while interacting with and helping people, and teach future providers.
As a physical therapist, I have had the honor of working with U.S. veterans and the challenge of helping injured persons return to a normal life. Physical therapy provides the opportunity to help patients maximize their physical capabilities, and to discover movement as a way to stay healthy. NYMC provides the opportunity to work within a community of goal-oriented professionals to help develop the next generation of health professionals.
What do you consider NYMC’s greatest asset for its students?
Students, alumni and faculty comprise NYMC’s greatest asset. Together, they create a rich professional, learning network. The D.P.T. program has the benefit of alumni working as adjunct instructors, as well as local professionals who contribute to the depth of the learning environment.
What is a typical day like for you?
When I am teaching, I spend two full-days or four half-days per week with students, in lecture and laboratory classes, where they learn about kinesiology, and physical therapy examination and intervention for patients with orthopedic conditions, including therapeutic exercise and manual therapy. Seeing students apply their knowledge base to develop effective ways of managing patient care is very rewarding. Other days are spent working on scholarly endeavors and service tasks. I am in the midst of two research projects using big data to investigate factors influencing utilization of physical therapy for low back pain, and access, barriers, and outcomes to rehabilitation for Medicare beneficiaries with arthritis. I currently serve on several SHSP and department of physical therapy committees.
What is the most fascinating part of your job?
Developing and implementing creative teaching strategies to enhance student learning, and performing research that examines physical therapy from a population health perspective.
What achievement have you been most proud of during your time at NYMC?
I have several: being part of a program that graduates well-prepared doctors of physical therapy, completing my Dr.P.H. (Health Policy and Management) in 2014, and publishing a target article in the 2016 health services research special series of Physical Therapy, one of the leading journals of our profession.
What do you believe to be the biggest challenge facing your students today? How does NYMC prepare students to address these challenges?
I believe the biggest challenge is the changing health care system and helping to meet the health needs of the U.S. (and world) population. NYMC prepares students to address these challenges through a well-rounded curriculum that includes public health related courses, interprofessional education experiences, and a hybrid problem-based curriculum that fosters critical thinking and professionalism.
What is the most important piece of advice you can give incoming SHSP students?
Be curious, don’t be afraid to be wrong, and study with your classmates!
What advice would you give graduating SHSP students?
Have confidence in your abilities to solve patient problems, deliver high-quality health care, lead others, and evolve with the changing health care system.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Probably my husband. He is a physical therapist who has worked around the world in several health systems. He is an out-of-the box thinker with strong skills across several specialty areas, including adult orthopedics and neurology, sports, and manual therapy.