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2022 Disruptive Innovation in Physical Therapist Education Virtual Summit:

“Are We Really Educating PTs to Transform Society?”

Keynote Speaker   |  Topics Speaker & Summary    |   April 8-9, 2022

Keynote Speaker: Holly J. Humphrey, MD, MACP

Friday, April 8, 2022 4:15p-4:45p ET

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Medicine Foundation, and a past President of the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine. During her tenure as Dean for Medical Education, her signature programs focused on equity, diversity and inclusion, mentoring, and professionalism. In 1989, Dr. Humphrey and a colleague delivered the country’s first White Coat Ceremony address. She co-founded the Bowman Society, which explores issues of health disparity and provides mentoring for those underrepresented in medicine. She was the founding dean of the school’s Identity and Inclusion Committee, which advances civil discourse in the medical school. Plus, graduating medical students at The University of Chicago have honored Dr. Humphrey five times with the Gender Equity Award and more than 25 times with the Favorite Faculty Teaching Award.

Holly J. Humphrey Keynote Presentation Slides

View the recording of the keynote speaker session below:

Dr. Humphrey is President of Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. The Macy Foundation is the only national foundation dedicated solely to improving the education of health professionals. Their guiding principle is that health professional education has at its core a strong social mission: to serve the public’s needs and improve the health of the public. Dr. Humphrey also served for 15 years as a Professor in Medicine and Dean for Medical Education at The University of Chicago. She is Chair of the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine’s Board of Directors, Chair Emeritus of both the American Board of Internal


Ndidiamaka (Didi) Matthews,



Associate Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California   

Topic 1: After the Seats are Filled: Building a Culture Equity and Inclusivity for a Diverse Community of Faculty and Learners

Saturday, April 9, 2022 11:00a-12:30p ET

New diversity recruitment practices and holistic admissions processes fosters a diverse set of students that are different from previous program cohorts. Evidence indicates that students from historically excluded populations experience a lower sense of belonging and lower academic persistence. As this new diverse group of students progresses within PT curriculums, how do faculty create inclusive, equitable, culturally responsive, and supportive environments that are sustainable? What are the most appropriate next steps to evaluate and assess learning environments, curricular content, and faculty development needs? How do faculty create learning environments where students from diverse backgrounds feel like they belong and can openly share their experiences?

Ndidiamaka Matthews Topic 1 Slides

Topic 1

Laurel Abbruzzese,



Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine at CUIMC at Columbia University Programs in Physical Therapy; New York, New York

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Topic 2: The Impact of Admissions Decisions and Curricular Content on the Profession’s Ability to Meet Urgent Societal Needs

Saturday, April 9, 2022 1:00p-2:30p ET

Are we preparing students to be able to meet urgent and pressing societal needs related to population health, primary care, aging adults, and managing multi-morbidity? Are we admitting students interested in managing sick, disabled, aging, or complex patients living with multiple chronic conditions; and are we fully preparing them to manage this rapidly growing segment of the population? What impact does the ‘gig economy’ have on attracting graduates to work with this population? What role do accreditation standards play? How do admissions decisions and curricular content affect the profession’s identity? What long-term impact do these actions have on public perception of the profession, and the evolution of the physical therapist’s role in the medical model (if that is a place we wish to remain)?

Laurel Abbruzzese Topic 2 Slides

Topic 2

Kimberly Varnado,



Director, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the College of Saint Mary; Omaha, Nebraska

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Topic 3: Fully Embracing Lifelong Learning: Building Cultures of Change

Saturday, April 9, 2022 3:00p-4:30p ET

To meet societal expectations, DPT education and therefore DPT educators must be responsive to change.  Our profession affirms the value of lifelong learning, but do we have the intellectual and emotional muscle we need to build the cultures necessary to affect continuous reflection and change?  Are we ready to choose courage over comfort?  ​​To innovate, we need to overcome the barriers that stand in the way of implementation of creative ideas. How do we develop the humility and curiosity within our organizations to reconsider our institutional traditions and practices?  How can we avoid letting our expertise or experience prevent us from moving to action?  Without fully embracing the lifelong learning concept, progress on important societal initiatives (e.g., healthcare disparities, reduction of student debt, racial/ethnic diversity in PT practitioners) may be delayed. This session will provide a forum for discussing strategies to assess readiness for change and to build the individual and collective capacity to act.

Kimberly Varnado Topic 3 Slides

Topic 3

Questions? Please contact Summit Organizers Karen Abraham at or Greg Hartley at 

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