DPT program celebrates five-year milestone
With a glance back and a look at the program today, Radford University's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program celebrated its five-year anniversary with corporate partners, friends, alumni and guiding lights.
On March 31, President Penelope W. Kyle and 40 guests commemorated the program’s inception and growth at the DPT’s eighth-floor facilities in the Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital in Roanoke.
"We took it and ran with it. We couldn’t have done it without our corporate partners," said President Kyle. "Today we celebrate the teamwork demonstrated by the folks from the NRV and the Roanoke Valley and us as a university. We all worked together to make this happen."
President Kyle reflected on the impetus given by Heywood Fralin, chairman of Medical Facilities of America (MFA), who alerted Kyle early in her tenure as Radford president to the region’s need for trained physical therapists. Kyle singled out Fralin and MFA for their wholehearted support of the university’s initiative that included a substantial inaugural first gift as well as vocal support in Richmond as the program was reviewed for approval.
President Kyle also acknowledged vital DPT corporate partners from Carilion Clinic, Genesis Rehab Services and Friendship Retirement Communities.
"That was the start. It was a citizen of our community letting us know that there was an academic program that no other institution was supplying," Kyle said.
Delegate Joseph P. Yost '06, M.S. '08 also joined the celebration that featured four presentations and demonstrations by DPT students, such as an "Applied Cardiopulmonary Demonstration" and a "Genesis Gait Analysis Demonstration." Founding DPT Chair Ed Swanson and retiring Professor of Communication Science and Disorders Raymond Linville, who was Waldron College of Health and Human Services dean at the time of the program’s inception, were also singled out for their pioneering contributions.
The DPT program graduated its first cohort in May 2014 with its inaugural White Coat Ceremony. Kyle lauded the program’s contribution to the academic culture at Radford when she said, “This program has certainly elevated the profile of Radford University as a whole.”
The DPT program, chaired by Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Kristen Jagger, is one of three Radford doctoral programs. A doctor of Occupational Therapy will soon join Radford’s elite level of academic program offerings and be based in Roanoke.
The DPT program now has almost 60 students and is served by nine faculty and staff in three classrooms, three teaching labs and three research labs. More than 40 Radford-trained, licensed practitioners now practice in Southwest Virginia, the Commonwealth and the region.
“From very humble beginnings sprang this most impressive program of which we at Radford are so proud,” President Kyle said. “Five years ago, the DPT program began in the basement of this facility. From that beginning, we built the legacy that we celebrate today.“