Monday, October 18, 2010

Community Advisors

Below are several members of our physical therapy community (in alphabetical order) who are active in governmental affairs and advocacy efforts. These individuals have offered their wisdom and guidance to support student physical therapy advocates, and may be contacted by the methods provided.

Jennifer (Jen) Hide PT, DPT, ATC, CMT

Jen graduated from the University of Colorado Denver Doctor of Physical Therapy porgram in 2007. In 2000 she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Human Performance and Sport with minors in Computer Management Systems and Nutrition from Metropolitan State College of Denver with a focus in Athletic Training and graduated from the Cottonwood Scool of Massage Therapy. She is a licensed Physical Therapist, a Certified Athletic Trainer and a Certified Massage Therapist. As a student Jen was secretary of the Student Special Interest Group from 2005-2006 and President from 2006-2007. From 2005-2007 she also acted as the Students Liason for her DPT class.

Jen is currently a member of the Society for Neuroscience and is very active in the Colorado American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). In the CO APTA she currently holds the position of Delegate-at-Large, Co-Chairs the Mentoring Committee and Governmental Affairs Committee, holds membership in the Sunset Task Force and the Research Committee and is the Historian for the Section of Neurology. From 2008-2010 she held the position of Director-at-Large for the CO APTA.

Advice for new advocates

  • Get involved in any way you possibly can. Volunteers are always needed at the state level.
  • Networking is key! Always introduce yourself to PTs and PTAs that you are around. Don't be shy. PTs are a great group.
  • Keep in contact with your classmates and faculty. They are great resources to utilize in the future.
  • Find a mentor through the new Mentoring Committee to help further your knowledge base and continue to grow.

Contact Information

Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD

Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD is a Professor in the School of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Department of Pediatrics, at the University of Colorado where she is the Assistant Director of the Physical Therapy Program. Dr. Rapport has extensive experience in clinical practice and as academic faculty, a productive record of publications, and has been involved with many grant funded projects. She has been actively involved in physical therapy and in promoting pediatric physical therapy through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), serving on numerous committees and task forces as well as in a variety of leadership roles in the Section on Pediatrics.

Advice for new advocates
Don’t give up. Learning and action both take time. Stick with your passions and beliefs, and keep plugging away. The more you know, the more you will want to know. That’s a good thing, because the more you know, the more you will believe and feel the need to act.

Contact Information

Kyle Ridgeway PT, DPT

Dr. Kyle Ridgeway PT, DPT graduated from University of Colorado Denver in 2010 with his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. He graduated from Pomona College (Claremont, CA) in 2007 with a bachelor of arts in neuroscience. At Pomona College, Kyle was a varsity football player.

While in school Kyle was involved in a variety of activities, including serving as the co-coordinator of the UC Denver Marquette Challenge Team. The Marquette Challenge is grassroots fundraising competition between physical therapy students that raises money for the Foundation for Physical Therapy. The UC Denver Team placed 3rd and 2nd respectively out of over 60 participating schools raising over $25,000 total for the Foundation.

Kyle was also the national social chair for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapist’s (AAOMPT) Student Special Interest Group (sSIG). His blog posts examining research, advocacy, language, and physical therapy related issues received local and national attention from students, physical therapists, and faculty.

Further, he served on the Capitol Hill Day committee for AAOMPT, recruited students to attend Capitol Hill Day 2009 in Washington, DC, and organized a grass roots letter writing campaign through the sSIG blog. He has met with members of congress at the state and national level in both Washington, DC and Washington State. In October 2009 as a part of the AAOMPT National Conference in Washington, DC he spoke with members of Congress regarding physical therapy. In early 2010, he participated in a Legislative Action Day in Washington State, advocating alongside 700 PT’s and PT supporters for the passage of legislation allowing PT’s to provide thrust manipulation of the spine. He spoke with members of the state legislator regarding thrust manipulation and physical therapy.

In 2010 Kyle had the honor of receiving the Pauline Cerassoli Academic and Clinical Excellence Award from the Colorado Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association as Physical Therapy Student of the Year. During graduation he received the Outstanding Doctor of Physical Therapy Student Award from the University of Colorado Denver Physical Therapy Program.

Dr. Kyle Ridgeway has a broad array of professional and personal interests. He currently practices in 3 settings/locations: Acute Inpatient (University of Colorado Hospital), Private Outpatient Orthopaedics and Sports (Panther Physical Therapy), and Long Term Acute Care (Colorado Long Term Acute Care Hospital). He is interested in blogging as well as leveraging technology to improve clinical care, efficiency, communication, and access to scientific research. He loves the mountains and enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and golfing in his free time.

Advice for new advocates
  • Know your audience
  • Know your message 
  • Speak clearly and concisely 
  • You are the expert
  • Be confident
  • Believe in yourself and physical therapy
Contact Information

Tami Struessel PT, DPT, OCS, MTC

Tami is a Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus and a clinician in Denver, CO specializing in Orthopedics. Her full biography can be found on the program website.

Advice for new advocates
Never underestimate the impact individual contact can make in the advocacy process for healthcare issues in general, and physical therapy issues in particular. In addition, a great way to get started in advocacy for the profession is to join the Colorado Chapter Governmental Affairs Committee.

Contact Information (preferred contact)

303-724-9140 (Alternative)