Welcome to the
Department of Health Professions
The delivery and management of high-quality health care requires the knowledge and talents of many different health care professionals, each of whom plays an integral part in the overall health care team. Practitioners with formal education and clinical training have crucial roles in prevention, diagnosis and therapy. They work in many different environments such as hospitals, specialized-care facilities, schools, the performing arts, government, and more.
Employment in health care occupations is strong and will continue to grow in the coming years driven by the increasing demands of an aging population and longer life expectancies. Working in health care is interesting and rewarding. Please explore the programs the department offers. One of them might be just right for you!
Featured News & Kudos
Physical Therapy to Host Free Outdoor Event for Children with Disabilities
|Physical therapy students are certain to bring enthusiasm to the event. (Photo by Abi Bell)
UPDATE: "The event was a huge success," reported faculty advisor Jennifer Tucker. "We had about 30 children, and the students did a phenomenal job. I'm already receiving inquiries about next year's event."
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program will host a free event to encourage physical activity in children with a developmental disability. The program will sponsor “Let’s Ignite! Building Better Bodies” on April 19, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at UCF’s Memory Mall, across from the CFE Arena.
Children must be 5 to 18 years old and accompanied by a parent or caregiver to participate. They will engage in activities with UCF physical therapy students; UCF’s mascot, Knightro; members of Orlando City Soccer and other volunteers.
Read the full story
For additional information, contact D.P.T. student Robyn Zuromski at 407-453-9457 or UCFKidsFieldDay@gmail.com.
Levine Awarded Highest Honor by American Physical Therapy Association
Steve Levine (photo), an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and accomplished consultant in the field, has been named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (FAPTA). The FAPTA designation is the highest honor among the association's membership categories.
Levine is a partner in Fearon & Levine, a national consulting firm that focuses on practice management in outpatient rehabilitation settings. At UCF, he teaches Management of Physical Therapy Services I and II.
Levine, Pabian Speak at Statewide Physical Therapy Conference
Two members of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program spoke at the 2014 Florida Physical Therapy Association Spring Conference, held April 4-5 in Orlando.
Patrick Pabian (photo), director of the D.P.T. program, presented on “Clinical Radiology for Physical Therapists.”
Carol Levine, director of continuing education for the D.P.T. program, presented on “The Role of Physical Rehabilitation in the Changing Landscape of the Oncology Population."
13 D.P.T. Students Participate in Graduate Research Forum
Thirteen students in the Doctoral of Physical Therapy program presented posters on their research at UCF's 2014 Graduate Research Forum on April 1. Five faculty members from both the program and department participated as well: Drs. William Hanney, Patrick Pabian, Michael Rovito, Carey Rothschild and Jennifer Tucker.
||(Left to right) Michelle Alvarez, Kristen Kalemeris and Brittany Hughes
D.P.T. Students Receive Scholarships at National Physical Therapy Meeting
Sarah Beckett (photo, left) and Lindsey Seidelman (photo, right), students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, have been selected to receive $200 scholarships from the American Physical Therapy Association based on their research.
Beckett and Seidelman's research study, “Incidence and Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Injury Among Collegiate Marching Band and Color Guard Members,” earned them scholarships from the APTA's Performing Arts Special Interests Group.
They received the scholarships at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting on Feb. 7 in Chicago.
Igniting the scientific curiosity of caribbean youth
Danielle Webster (center), lecturer of pre-clinical health sciences, is making her mark by helping to advance S.T.E.M. in a region with fewer resources.
Webster is the vice-chair and co-founder of the Society for Scientific Advancement (SoSA), a community-benefit organization whose goal is to stimulate the development of the sciences in the Caribbean.
Tucker Featured in Television Segment
Jennifer Tucker, instructor of physical therapy, was recently in the news! She is the only nationally board-certified pediatric physical therapist within 50 miles of Orlando, and she has recently entered into a five-year partnership with United Cerebral Palsy to expand the availability of pediatric physical therapy services. Take a look at this video to see the wonderful things being accomplished! http://www.myfoxorlando.com/video?&clipId=9562510&autostart=true
Expanding Pediatric Physical Therapy Services
UCF is partnering with a leading provider of physical therapy services in the
region, UCP of Central Florida, to address a shortage of pediatric physical
therapists with support from ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.
(Photo by Abi Bell)
Students Learn from Young Visitors
UCF's Doctorate in Physical Therapy program partners with the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida to provide physical therapy students with an opportunity to interact with children with Down syndrome and their families.
Today, nine children and their parents met with students in the physical therapy lab. The children's ages ranged from 18 months to 10 years old.
"This hands-on experience helps student truly appreciate the individuality of each child and the journey of their family beyond just the larger diagnosis of Down syndrome," said Instructor Jennifer Tucker.
Click image to enlarge (Photos by Jennifer Chavis)
Pabian and Hanney published in Strength & Conditioning Journal
Congratulations to Dr. Patrick Pabian and Dr. William Hanney for having two articles published in the August 2013 issue of the Strength & Conditioning Journal. The first is a study they conducted, Low Back Pain: Movement Considerations for Exercise and Training. The other published article, Sport Concussion Implications for the Strength and Conditioning Professional, was written with Mary Vander Heiden, director of sports medicine and head athletic trainer for UCF football.
Guillermo Named UCF Undergraduate Researcher of the Month
Congratulations to Guillermo Alfonso, a junior in the health sciences pre-clinical program, on his selection as "Undergraduate Researcher of the Month" for August 2013 by the UCF Student Undergraduate Research Council! Alfonso is looking at the role of perceived masculinity influence upon injury concealment among athletes, according to his research supervisor, Instructor Michael Rovito.
Physical Therapy Program Partners
with United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida
We are excited to announce our new partnership with the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Central Florida.
The UCF-UCP of Central Florida Pediatric Physical Therapy Initiative will capitalize on the existing academic strengths of the UCF DPT program and extend the vision of the UCP of Central Florida and its Bailes School as a model for innovative academic and social service collaboration. Further, the Initiative will address the global needs for high-quality pediatric physical therapy in the central Florida community. It is anticipated that UCP will be able to serve more children with special needs with greater efficiency, and UCF constituents will further the development of students and faculty and carry out its mission to be a leading partnership university.
This project will fund one DPT faculty member and two DPT graduate students to improve services for children with special needs in central Florida and develop an infrastructure for research and clinical excellence for one of the leading providers of pediatric physical therapy in Central Florida, United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida.
Hanney Comments on Back Pain,
MRIs in Radio Interview
Assistant Professor William Hanney, a member of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, commented today on the necessity of MRIs to evaluate back pain in a segment on WMFE radio. His interview follows a new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association on the treatment of back pain.
Listen to the segment
Dyson Wins National Award for Teaching Excellence
Congratulations to Adjunct Instructor Jamie Dyson on his receipt of the Signe Brunnstrom Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching at the American Physical Therapy Association's meeting in June in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was nominated with the support of numerous academic institutions from around the country for his contributions to the clinical education of physical therapy students, according to Patrick Pabian, director of UCF's Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
Dyson is the lead instructor for many courses in UCF's physical therapy curriculum, including Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy Integration and Acute Care Physical Therapy. In addition, he provides guest lectures and labs in Patient Care Skills and Gerontology.
Photo: Dyson (left) with Paul Rockar, Jr., president of the APTA
Undergraduate Student Publishes Peer-Reviewed Article
Health Sciences Pre-Clinical major Chase Cavayero is the author of a peer-reviewed article published this spring in the University of Central Florida Undergraduate Research Journal. "Under the professional mentoring of Dr. Michael Rovito, Cavayero successfully pursued a rigorous course of research resulting in the peer-reviewed publication of his article, 'A Practicality Analysis Pertaining to Minimally Invasive Robot-Assisted Urologic Surgery,'" wrote Tison Pugh, editor of the journal.
Read Cavayero's article at www.urj.ucf.edu.
Schack Dugre Speaks at Leadership Institute
Physical therapy Instructor Judi Schack Dugre spoke on "Leading with Integrity" at The Institute for Leadership in Physical Therapy, held May 18-19 at UCF. The institute invited her to make the presentation as part of an overall course titled "Leading Others: Adaptive and Transformational Leadership in Physical Therapy" for members of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Rothschild Offers Advice on Switching to Barefoot Running
WFTV Channel 9 Orlando recently turned to Carey Rothschild, instructor of physical therapy, to learn how runners should switch from running in athletic shoes to running barefoot. Watch the segment
Saleh Receives Collegewide Teaching Excellence Award
Congratulations to Assistant Professor Suha Saleh, director of the Health Sciences Pre-Clinical program, on her receipt of a College of Health and Public Affairs' Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award for 2012-13!
Learn about this dedicated faculty member's teaching philosophy at
Teaching in the Tech Age Poses Challenges
Assistant Professor Suha Saleh, director of the Health Sciences Pre-Clinical program, recently shared her thoughts on what it's like to teach students who use
electronic devices in the classroom in an article written by Emon Reiser for the Central Florida Future. Read
Rothschild Offers Tips for Runners
In a local TV segment, Carey Rothschild, instructor of physical therapy, recently offered tips for runners on how to assess their body strength. Watch the segment
HSPC Students Host World Sight Day
The second Thursday of October is World Sight Day, a time to bring awareness of vision disorders and vision health to the forefront. This year Dr. Suha Saleh and students of the Health Sciences Pre-Clinical program set up information tables in front of HPA-I and the Student Union and invited students, faculty, and staff to participate in games and activities while learning about eye diseases. Visitors were encouraged to use the vision tester to check their eyesight. Dr. Saleh collaborated with Lions Club International to collect used glasses to be distributed to people in need. The drop boxes are located at the Recreation & Wellness building, HPA-I and HPA-II. Collection goes through the end of October.
Health Sciences Pre-Clinical Hosts 3rd Annual Meet & Greet Social
The 3rd Annual Health Sciences Pre-Clinical Meet & Greet Social was held on October 10, 2012 with the help of APPA, the Association of Pre-Physician Assistants, and UPTA, the Undergraduate Physical Therapy Association. Students had the opportunity to meet with health sciences pre-clinical and health professions faculty, staff, and fellow peers. Thanks to the students, volunteers, and faculty, the event was a success!
D.P.T. students Study Pediatric Physical Therapy
Second-year students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program recently observed babies and toddlers during a lab on human development milestones (photo) as part of the course, "Pediatric Physical Therapy." The course provides a foundation in gestation and normal development and covers disorders and diseases encountered in pediatric physical therapy. "This lab provided a foundation for future labs, such as one this week in which we will look at children with different diagnoses, including Down syndrome," said Instructor Jennifer Tucker.
Click photo to enlarge
Athletic Training Students Highlighted in UCF Sports Medicine Video
A new video about UCF Sports Medicine highlights the importance of student athletic trainers to the program. "The athletic training students do an absolutely great job," said Assistant Athletic Trainer Jud Fann, a 2003 graduate of UCF's athletic training program. "They're a huge asset to what we do." Students Caitlin "Katie" Michaels (photo, left) and Michelle Galvin (right) are featured in the video. Watch the video
Health Sciences Pre-Clinical Major Among UCF's Most Popular
Enrollment in the health sciences pre-clinical major has surpassed 2,000
students this fall, making it one of the most popular majors at UCF. Reaching
this milestone is all the more remarkable given that the program began just six
years ago with 224 students. Learn more
The Olympics and Bare Feet: What Have We Learned?
Instructor Carey Rothschild studies bare foot running. Her research shows that there are risks to running no matter what someone puts on his or her feet. Learn more
Dr. Schellhase Earns Prestigous Award
Congratulations to Dr. Kristen Schellhase, program director and interim chair for the Department of Health Professions. She received the 2012 NACADA Outstanding Advising Certificate of Merit for Faculty Academic Advising. Read more.
Congratulations Dr. Hanney!
Congratulations to Dr. William Hanney. Not only has he successfully defended his Ph.D., he has also been awarded the 2011 Strength and Conditioning journal editorial award in recognition of his service to the association.
Welcome Aboard Brianna Moore
A big welcome to Brianna Moore, new office assistant for the Doctorate in Physical Therapy program. Brianna received her B.A. in Hospitality Management from the Rosen College and is a wonderful addition to the staff.
Thank You Altamonte Crossfit
The Program in Athletic Training extends a very big thank you to the folks at Altamonte Crossfit. Each year they allow the students in the program to work with their staff to learn the proper techniques for Olympic weightlifting. The experience is invaluable to the students.