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DEI: From Idea to Action - Forging Powerful Strategic Partnerships for Advancing Diversity in the Physical Therapy Profession

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    • Non-Member - $99
    • PT Member - $50
    • PTA Member - $50
    • Student - $50
    • Post-Professional Student - $50

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and APTA North Carolina are committed to advancing diversity in the physical therapy profession. In doing so, a strategic partnership with NC Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) was formed to help advance student outreach across the state, increasing knowledge about the profession of physical therapy and the steps to become a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. In the inaugural year of this partnership, the NC Health Careers Liaison team shared information about physical therapy to over 350 students. In this presentation, participants will learn about both organizations’ commitment to diversity, early challenges faced during the partnership, strategies to overcome barriers to outreach, and future considerations. Most importantly, participants will learn how they can recruit and influence the future generation of physical therapists so that the profession better reflects the communities it serves.  

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this educational session, participants will be able to:

1. Recognize the impact of a diverse healthcare workforce and the shared commitment that APTA NC and NC AHEC have to advance diversity in healthcare.

2. Learn the stages and life cycle of how to establish standards for partnerships from conception, action, and review of outcomes/metrics of success.

3. Implement strategies for establishing educational and engaging student outreach activities.

4. Identify areas of progress, ongoing challenges, and opportunities for collaboration to foster pathways to physical therapy programs and the workforce.

Deidra Debnam Charity


Deidra is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is engaged in clinical practice and academic instruction for UNC’s Division of Physical Therapy. She is a residency trained Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She has a passion for sports rehabilitation, injury prevention, professional development, and improving diversity within the profession. She is a member of the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy and the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise and Sport Science and returned to UNC and earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. She is actively involved with APTA North Carolina where she serves as Vice-Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee and is a delegate to the House of Delegates. In North Carolina, she has led statewide efforts to increase student exposure to the field of physical therapy. 

Paris Andrew


Paris is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) for the North Carolina Health Education Center (NC AHEC). In this role, Dr. Andrew leads statewide DEI initiatives and oversees efforts to recruit, train, and retain individuals from rural and low-income communities and from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in health professions programs and the health career workforce. Building upon a scholarly background in Exercise Physiology, Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations, Dr. Andrew is a multi-industry Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Strategist, with expertise ranging from leading DEI councils, liaising equity audits, and Project Directing multi-million-dollar federal grants. One of which being the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) AHEC Scholars grant within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A hallmark of Dr. Andrew’s leadership is her ability to focus not solely on access to - but inclusion, and meaningful sustained engagement - once in educational enrichment programs and the workforce. Prior to joining NC AHEC, Dr. Andrew was Director of Partnerships and Engagement for Duke University’s Talent Identification Program.  

Course Instructions

  1. Click on the Contents tab to watch the course recording.
  2. Click the Take Quiz button to complete the assessment. Learners will have 3 attempts to pass and must answer at least 70% of questions correctly.
  3. Click Fill Out Survey under the Evaluation listing to provide valuable course feedback. Scroll down on all questions as there may be answer options that expand past the size of the window.
  4. Click the View/Print Your Certificate button under the Certificate listing. You can view/print your certificate at any time by visiting the APTA Learning Center and clicking the CEU Certificate/Transcript link on the left-hand side of the page. 

Need Assistance?

For assistance logging in, accessing activities, claiming credit, or for other questions or concerns, please e-mail learningcenter@apta.org. 


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10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  7/10 points to pass Please complete the post-course assessment with a score of 70% or better. You have three attempts to obtain a passing score.
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CEU Certificate
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