Course Description

This course will build on Parts 1 & 2 of “Applying a Population Health Framework in Physical Therapist Practice” by moving the discussion from strategies to policy. The course will provide an overview of population health and differentiating it from individual based clinical practice. How health policy affects individual health will be discussed and how it can affect physical therapist practice. There will be a focus in this part to discuss professional activities a physical therapist can be involved in at the policy level that can help improve the health at the community, neighborhood and even county or state level.

Meet our Presenters

Dawn Magnusson, PT, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She received a PhD in Population Health Sciences (with a minor in Anthropology), a certificate in Global Health, and an MS in Physical Therapy from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in General Academic Pediatrics (with a focus on health disparities research) through the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her research broadly explores the mechanisms underlying health disparities in vulnerable populations, and seeks to inform the development of innovative, community-based models of care that advance health equity for traditionally underserved populations of children with developmental delay or disability. In recognition of her research and dedication in the area of health equity, Dr. Magnusson received a 2013 Wisconsin without Borders Award from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, the 2015 Dissertation Award from the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy, and the 2016 Social Responsibility Research Award from the HPA-The Catalyst Section of the APTA. She was also named a 2016 semi-finalist for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Leaders Program.

Ira Gorman PT, PhD, is currently the assistant dean and associate professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Regis University. He has been a member of the faculty since 1996. Prior to coming to Regis, Dr. Gorman was coordinator for clinical education at Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital and was one of the first APTA-credentialed clinical instructors in Colorado. Following practice at Spalding he owned and practiced in an outpatient private physical therapist practice and then managed a corporate owned PT practice. He received his PT degree from SUNY Stony Brook and later his Ph.D. in Health and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Colorado-Denver with a research interest in the effect of the built environment on childhood physical activity and obesity. He also holds a Master of Science in Public Health from the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Science Center, Department of Preventive Medicine. In addition, Dr. Gorman is the clinical director of RegisCares, the school of physical therapy on campus faculty practice. Dr. Gorman’s research interests are in two different areas: the effect of environmental and policy changes on physical activity in children and adults, and the application of diagnostic imaging to physical therapy. He has published his work related to these two topics in Journal of Orthopedics and Sports Physical Therapy and in Physical Therapy. Dr. Gorman is presently the President of HPA The Catalyst, the Section on Health Policy and Administration of the APTA and previously served on the Payment, Policy and Advocacy Committee for APTA. He serves on the APTA/Colorado Chapter Government Affairs Committee and was the state’s Federal Affairs Liaison to APTA. He was previously the Colorado Chief Delegate to the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) House of Delegates. He was the chair of the Colorado Referral for Profit task force. He has served on the APTA PT-PAC board of trustees. He also serves as the physical therapy representative to the Trailblazer Health Enterprises, Medicare Intermediary Advisory Committee for the Colorado region. He has been on the board of directors of various physical therapy network provider organizations, served on the Colorado Division of Labor, Dept. of Worker’s Compensation medical treatment guidelines task force, and is a physical therapy consultant to the advisory committee member of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Physical Therapy Licensure.

Dr. Gorman has been recognized by the Colorado chapter of the APTA as an Outstanding Physical Therapist in 2005 and by the national APTA with the Lucy Blair Service Award in 2012. He has been involved in health care reform issues and injury prevention for over 30 years with his present research interest in child physical activity and obesity. Dr. Gorman served as a member of the Colorado Commission for Affordable Health Care, a three year Governor’s appointed legislative mandated commission charged to study the cost drivers of healthcare in Colorado and make recommendations to the Governor and legislature by 2017.

Chris Hinze, PT, DPT is a community health advocate and Physiotherapist practicing in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan. When not helping his older adult clients in the clinic, Dr. Hinze is advocating for a community that encourages safe and equitable physical activity through his work as vice president of Norte, Traverse City's bike-centric advocacy group. Dr. Hinze also serves the Michigan Chapter of the APTA as Chair of the MPTA's Northern District and also as Michigan's Chief Delegate.

Zachary Rethorn PT, DPT is a board-certified orthopedic physical therapist and certified health coach with expertise in health behavior change. He earned his DPT degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Belmont University. Dr. Rethorn has completed a residency in orthopedic physical therapy through Benchmark Rehab Institute and is currently pursuing a DSc in health promotion and wellness. He currently serves the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association as a member of the board of directors and chair of the Chattanooga district. He has presented at state and national conferences on topics related to orthopedic physical therapy and health promotion.

Course Code:




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Completion Instructions

Review the pre-recorded content, compile questions for the live Q and A session, attend live session (if possible) or review the recording of the live session after September 5th.

NO CEUs are awarded for this webinar.

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Dawn Magnussen,PT, PhD; Ira Gorman, PT, PhD; Chris Hinze, PT, DPT; Zachary Rethorn, PT, DPT

Learning objectives

  1. Describe how a PT clinician can and should be involved in community based policy activities as it relates to PT practice.
  2. Describe examples of policy activities at various levels ( local, state, federal) that a physical the therapist can be involved in such as; physical activity promotion, injury prevention, and health screening.
  3. Compare health policy and health in all policies.
  4. Describe how policies affect individual and population health.
  5. Identify policy levers to improve population health.
  6. Introduce a unique model of enhancing community level physical activity through education, programming, and advocacy.
  7. Describe specific examples of community-level health policy that encourage physical activity participation.

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1LMS-890B_PopHealth_Sept 2018.mp4
Type:E-Learning Course
Domains:policy, Chris Hinze, Zachary Rethorn, Dawn Magnussen, Ira Gorman, population health