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School of Nursing and Health Sciences


A Message from Dean Judy Beal:

Dear SNHS friends,

I am thrilled to follow up on the message I sent in late April last year sharing the good news that the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) removed our probationary status. Today, I am writing with additional wonderful news about our PT program which will be fully staffed with outstanding new faculty, and will benefit from enhanced teaching and laboratory space by the start of the summer.

I am delighted to announce a new PT Chair who will join Simmons on May 1. Dr. Amy Heath '01, '03HSD is a recent graduate of the doctoral program in educational psychology at Drexel University and comes to us from Drexel where she has been teaching and serving in the role of director of clinical education. We are thrilled to have such a strong administrator and scholar join our PT program as its new leader. Dr. Amy Heath will replace Dr. Annette Iglarsh, who intends to retire this June. I am very grateful for Dr. Iglarsh's seven years of leadership to the department and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. A celebration in her honor will be held in June.

Last year, we added two new faculty to the department. Both are Ph.D. prepared physical therapists with strong research programs in the area of orthopedics. Dr. Amit Dashottar joined us in January 2013 from the Ohio State University and Dr. Justin Beebe joined us in July 2013 from the University of South Dakota. Both have similar research interests in upper and lower extremities.

I am excited to share with you the fact that we just completed a state-of-the-art research laboratory that we are officially "christening" next week. In addition, we have increased our teaching space for students with the allocation of a large classroom to be dedicated to PT. We are working now to replace two faculty due to transitions. A faculty member resigned to move to the west coast; we have posted her job and anticipate filling her position with a doctorally prepared PT educator by the end of the spring semester. And, sadly, our director of clinical education passed away unexpectedly in the fall of 2013. We are currently interviewing candidates to hire as soon as possible.

Enrollment of pre-PT/exercise science students is the strongest it has ever been and post-baccalaureate applications are plentiful. All of these additions and changes position us very well for full compliance with CAPTE requirements and our self-study and site visit scheduled for fall 2015.

Thank you all for your support and faith in us as we have rebuilt the PT department to a competitively strong - and as always - exceptional academic program.

Judy BealDean Judy Beal

Judy A. Beal, DNSc, RN, FNAP,FAAN
Dean School of Nursing and Health Sciences
Professor of Nursing
Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow 2008-2011
Simmons College


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