Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2016 begins clinical studies at SMHS

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News Article

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School of Medicine & Health Sciences


GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Fifty-two physical therapy students, members of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Class of 2016, started the clinical studies portion of their journey to become doctors of physical therapy this week at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The students received white coats at the Entrance Into Professional Service Ceremony held at the Alerus Center on July 17.

The students, 16 men and 36 women, range in age from 21 to 36 years, with the average age of 23. Many are from North Dakota, and most completed their pre-PT coursework at UND.

Keynote speaker was William A. Hatherill, chief executive officer of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Hatherill has over thirty years of experience in health-care strategy and management and has spent the last 15 years as CEO of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. His broad and deep experience includes expertise in organizational design and management, feasibility analyses, and operations, enabling companies to improve their productivity, quality, and competitiveness. Before joining the FSBPT, Hatherill held executive positions, including president and corporate operations officer, in a variety of organizations, including Texas Tech University Health Science Center, American Medical International, Republic HealthCorp, and St. Paul HealthCorp.

"The ceremony emphasizes to the students the professionalism required in the clinic and within the physical therapy profession," said David Relling, PT, PhD, associate professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy.

After completing their first year of the professional component of the physical therapy curriculum, the students have to pass an intense, comprehensive examination of their knowledge before they begin their clinical studies. The first three years of the curriculum are considered to be pre-physical therapy (pre-professional). The professional component of the DPT requires three academic years and two summer sessions following completion of the 90-credit pre-physical therapy entrance requirement.

Clinical experiences are a crucial component of the UND physical therapy curriculum and take place at more than 300 clinical sites across the nation, the majority of which lie outside the Greater Grand Forks area. These experiences meld academic information with hands-on clinical experience. Students participate in direct delivery of physical therapy services in a variety of settings under the direction and supervision of one or more clinical instructors. A physical therapist is on-site during the delivery of any service by a student physical therapist.

"Students are making the transition from being a student to being a health-care professional," Relling said. "With that transition comes a great deal of professionalism, responsibility and accountability to themselves and to their patients. For many students, this will be the first life experience they will have had that carries the level of responsibility that is expected of them. We have trained them well, they have worked hard, and we anticipate they will do a great job working as part of a health-care team."

The students and their hometowns are the following:

  • Katie Rose Anderson , Fargo, N.D.
  • Kayla Jane Andreasen , Hoffman, Minn.
  • Alexander Todd Barney , Perham, Minn.
  • Ty Bommersbach , Ellendale, N.D.
  • Michael Grant Brooks , Fargo, N.D.
  • Anthony Heath Charbonneau , West Fargo, N.D.
  • Gabrielle Morgan Dahl , Plymouth, Minn.
  • Eric James Estes , Bloomington, Minn.
  • Julia Ann Fisher , Warroad, Minn.
  • Jamie Thomas Flint , Aberdeen, S.D.
  • Natalie Kay Gleason , Devils Lake, N.D.
  • Lisa Grandpre , Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Brittany Kay Griffith , Moorcroft, Wyo.
  • Heidi Jane Hansen , Rutland, Vt.
  • Amy Harmon , Wilson, Wyo.
  • Sierra Heeren , Kenneth, Minn.
  • Catherine Michelle Heggie , Camano Island, Wash.
  • Brittney Herbst , Moorhead, Minn.
  • Erica Elise Hjelmstad , Towner, N.D.
  • Kayla Marie Hoff , Mandan, N.D.
  • Nicole Lynn Jefferson , Moorhead, Minn.
  • Anna Valerie Caroline Jung , Sandy, Utah
  • Robert Kasprick , Roseau, Minn.
  • Holly Noelle Koch , Oregon City, Ore.
  • Joel Alan Kramer , Fargo, N.D.
  • Corissa Kruse , Thief River Falls, Minn.
  • Toni Jo Linneman , Reynolds, N.D.
  • Mary Lynn Loken , Roseau, Minn.
  • Sierra Jeanne Maucort , Fargo, N.D.
  • Adam Lee Meidinger , Wishek, N.D.
  • Kelsey Anne Meyer , Pierz, Minn.
  • Brandon James Moeller , Pipestone, Minn.
  • Lisa Kay Monson , Hinckley, Minn.
  • Brett Scott Morlock , Moorhead, Minn.
  • Eric Lee Nefstead , Canby, Minn.
  • Laura Kaye Nelson , Oslo, Minn.
  • Paige Shannon Nordstrom , Sandstone, Minn.
  • Rachel Dawn Pederson , Bismarck, N.D.
  • Jennifer Lynn Ramsay , Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Kelli Rae Renner , Aberdeen, S.D.
  • Elizabeth Kae Richards , Bemidji, Minn.
  • Cory Daniel Sailer , Bismarck, N.D.
  • Ashley Lynn Sebelius , Devils Lake, N.D.
  • Braidy Scott Solie , Fertile, Minn.
  • Megan JaNean Storstad , Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Joseph Daniel Taylor , Post Falls, Idaho
  • Talya Lori Tysver , Fergus Falls, Minn.
  • Brooke Vandenbergh , De Pere, Wis.
  • Daniel Vilaubi
  • Megan Volden , Temecula, Calif.
  • Brittany Elizabeth Wirth , Munich, N.D.
  • Lyndsey Julia Wunderlich , Grand Forks, N.D.