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  • APTA President Sharon Dunn Named Dean of LSU Shreveport's School of Allied Health Professions

    APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, can now add another achievement to an already lengthy list: Dean of School of Allied Health Professions at Louisiana State University (LSU) Shreveport.

    On April 23, LSU Shreveport announced that Dunn will take over the reins at the school, which includes the Department of Rehabilitation Science (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and postprofessional residencies) and the Department of Clinical Sciences (cardiopulmonary science, medical laboratory science, and the physician assistant program). The school is also responsible for a children's center, a rehabilitation faculty clinic, and the Mollie E. Webb speech and hearing center.

    The current chair of LSU Shreveport's Department of Rehabilitation Science, Dunn, a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy, has been on faculty at the university's school of allied health for 24 years. She served in multiple roles in the school, including program director of the DPT program for 15 years and director of the LSUHSC Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Program, where she was instrumental in developing and gaining program accreditation. Dunn became president of APTA in 2015 and was reelected to the position in 2018.

    Dunn received her bachelor of science degree in physical therapy followed by a master’s in health sciences from the School of Allied Health Professions in Shreveport. She obtained her PhD, cellular biology, and anatomy at the School of Graduate Studies at LSU Health Shreveport.

    "It is gratifying that one of our own faculty members, Dr Sharon Dunn, has been selected as the Dean of the School of Allied Health Professions. Dr Dunn brings a strong clinical and administrative background with a clear vision for the future," stated LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor G. E. Ghali, DDS, MD, in an APTA news release.

    APTA Chief Executive Officer Justin Moore, PT, DPT, believes LSU Shreveport couldn't have made a better choice.

    "Sharon has been a tireless advocate for the profession, the highest standards of health care, and patients' rights everywhere," Moore said. "Her kindness, passion, commitment, and dedication have been an inspiration to me. She is an outstanding colleague and, more importantly, friend. I offer her my warmest congratulations on her new appointment and cannot think of anyone more deserving. I know she will serve the position well."

    And as for Dunn—she's ready for the challenge.

    "I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to serve our faculty, students, and our community in my home town and at my alma mater, LSU Health Shreveport!" Dunn said. "Becoming the dean during these times of economic challenge to higher education and while LSU is engaging in a new partnership with Ochsner Health System provides exciting opportunities to integrate and collaborate across disciplines in education, practice, and research. I have much to learn, but I am enthusiastic about our team and our potential! Geaux Tigers!"

    Beyond the Sessions: 7 NEXT Opportunities Worth Checking Out

    The APTA NEXT Conference and Exposition has a reputation for on-point educational sessions and inspiring lectures, and this year's event, taking place in Chicago June 12-15, is no exception.

    But as anyone who attended a NEXT conference can tell you, there's more to it than that: NEXT offers hands-on experiences, interactive learning opportunities, and plenty of ways to network and have a great time—this year, in 1 of the most vibrant cities in the country.

    If you've already registered for NEXT, think of the items below as possibilities for your conference "must do" list. And if you haven't registered, take a look at what you could be missing (besides all the sessions and lectures, of course).

    NEXT is all about connecting (and reconnecting) with others who share your passion for the profession—and those connections don't just happen around sessions. Plan on joining fellow attendees for the conference opening reception in the exhibit hall on Wednesday, June 12, and get things started right.

    Join the conversation.
    What would you do? The NEXT Experience Zone is the place for interactive learning, including a June 13 session on shoulder and knee issues, with speakers presenting cases and then involving the audience in discussion and, ultimately, a vote on the best course of treatment.

    Take a deep dive with a small group.
    The NEXT Inspiration Hub offers a series of discussions in a small group setting that allows for a more intimate look at topics including rural health, community collaboration, and the integration of education, practice, and research. There's even a session on how APTA can be your not-so-secret weapon in enriching your career.

    Get hands-on with GoBabyGo!
    The popular GoBabyGo! program returns to NEXT, with an opportunity for you to see firsthand how commercially available children's ride-on toys can be retrofitted to become effective assistive devices for children with mobility limitations. You'll come away inspired.

    Feel the blues.
    Join PT-PAC supporters for an evening of top-notch blues at Buddy Guy's Legends, which calls itself "the premiere blues club in the world," on Wednesday, June 12. A $50 ticket, purchased when registering for NEXT at the PT-PAC booth in the exhibit hall or outside the House of Delegates, buys you appetizers, drinks, and a night of live entertainment you won't soon forget.

    Make a kid's day.
    Again this year, APTA is working with Shoes4Kids to provide underprivileged children with new athletic shoes and socks. This service opportunity will benefit Chicago's Woodlawn Community Elementary School, which is part of the Small Schools Coalition offering students an African culture-centered curriculum in reading, language arts, math, science, cultural arts, and social science. Shoes4Kids collection bins will be located outside of the House of Delegates beginning Monday, June 10, and at NEXT through Wednesday, June 12. Find out more, and how you can help.

    Party with the Foundation.
    The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research has funded groundbreaking research and researchers for 40 years. This year’s PT Party, on Thursday, June 13, will be a celebration of this special anniversary and the research that keeps making our profession stronger. Join colleagues, friends, and Foundation family in celebration. PT Pintcast's Jimmy McKay will liven up the evening as emcee. And don't forget to wear your dancing shoes. You can register for this event online.