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Physical therapy department head Klappa wins Education Innovator Award

Dr. Susan Klappa, department head and professor of physical therapy at UNG, recently won the Physical Therapy Learning Institute's (PTLI) Education Innovator Award.

Dr. Susan Klappa, department head and professor in the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Physical Therapy Department, was awarded the Physical Therapy Learning Institute's (PTLI) Education Innovator Award for her research presentation at the American Physical Therapy Association Educational Leadership Conference held virtually in October.

Klappa shared her findings from a pro bono stroke survivors' camp she started while working at Briar Cliff University in Iowa. Klappa said the camp gave survivors a chance to find purpose.

"It's really about building community and how that can transform a person's life," Klappa said. "Students really valued this camp experience because they could learn more than they could from their textbooks or even their lab experiences."

Klappa aims to help UNG Doctor of Physical Therapy students connect with a stroke survivors' camp once the COVID-19 pandemic improves.

PTLI's "mission is to provide leadership and advocacy to challenge the status quo and drive innovation in physical therapy education, research, and practice," according to its website. Klappa appreciates that mindset.

"How do we prepare future clinicians to be change agents and not be satisfied with complacency?" she said.

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