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Health Professions department renamed to reflect new athletic training program

April 15, 2021

By Kay Hawes

football player injured on field with athletic trainer

It's not every day you get a new name. And for the Department of Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Science and Athletic Training, it's only the second time in 77 years. The department, housed in the KU School of Health Professions, received approval recently from the Kansas Board of Regents to expand its name to fit its new degree offerings and its new mission.

A new master of science in athletic training program begins classes this summer.

The new name reflects an expansion that is in keeping with the department's growth, explained department chair and professor Patricia Kluding, PT, Ph.D.

"Historically we have been focused on excellence within the discipline of physical therapy and on training future faculty and scientists in our Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science program," she said, noting that 20 years ago, the department went from Physical Therapy Education to Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science as a Ph.D. program was added.

"Now, we are adding a world-class athletic training program to our department's portfolio. We have a strong connection with KU Athletics and with our clinical partners, including The University of Kansas Health System, who are leaders in care of athletes across the region," Kluding said.

The new master's degree will offer many opportunities for synergy, including among students. "Our physical therapy and athletic training students will have classes together and benefit from each other's knowledge in many areas, including concussion and sports injuries. It is a very exciting opportunity."

For more information about the new master's degree program, visit the MSAT program page.

Updated Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Science, and Athletic Training is to achieve excellence and leadership in education, research, and healthcare through a collaborative, innovative, and evidence-based approach, while integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Last modified: Apr 15, 2021
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