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!"