Physical Therapy Faculty Present at American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting


ATLANTA – Multiple faculty members representing Mercer University’s Department of Physical Therapy in the College of Health Professions presented at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Feb. 21-24 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The meeting convened more than 12,000 innovative and dedicated professionals for the largest conference on physical therapy in the country.

Dr. Alyssa Fiss, associate professor of physical therapy, co-presented three educational sessions and one poster on topics related to children with cerebral palsy for the Academy for Pediatric Physical Therapy, a section of the APTA. Topics included adaptive behavior and mastery motivation, monitoring change over time of impairments, parents’ perception of environmental supports and resources for participation, and physical activity and walking.

Dr. Ann Lucado, assistant professor of physical therapy, and Dr. Jeffrey Ebert, clinical assistant professor of physical therapy, provided a platform presentation for the Orthopaedic Section on a pilot study on orthotic management of thumb stability during joint mobilizations.

Dr. David Taylor and Dr. Ellen Perlow, clinical assistant professors of physical therapy, provided a platform session on an interprofessional education approach to fall prevention for the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy. Additional Mercer co-contributors include Dr. Ruth McCaffrey and Dr. Humberto Reinoso in the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, Dr. Johnathan Hamrick and Dr. Christine Klein in the College of Pharmacy, Dr. Henry Heard and Dr. Lisa Dickerson from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in the College of Health Professions, and Dr. Mary Mathis and Suzie Madden from the Department of Public Health in the College of Health Professions.

Dr. Deborah Wendland, assistant professor of physical therapy, presented an educational session on physical therapy management of a patient with diabetes for the Section on Clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Management. Additionally, in collaboration with Dr. Lucado and Dr. Tony Stillman, associate professor of clinical medical psychology, Dr. Wendland presented a poster on the use of focus groups for patient-centered diabetes prevention and health promotion programming for the underserved. Dr. Wendland and Dr. Taylor also presented a poster on facilitating empathy in students.

Dr. Ellen Hillegass, adjunct clinical professor of physical therapy, co-presented educational sessions for the Cardiopulmonary Section on venous thromboembolism and becoming a cardiovascular and pulmonary specialist. Dr. Tiffany Haney, adjunct clinical assistant professor of physical therapy, along with Dr. Hillegass and other co-contributors, presented on interstitial lung disease. Dr. Erica Colclough and Dr. Stephen Ramsey, adjunct clinical assistant professors of physical therapy, and Dr. Haney provided an educational session on critical care rehabilitation for the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy.

“We are proud to have six core faculty and four adjunct faculty members presenting at our professional association’s largest annual meeting,” said Dr. Jeannette Anderson, clinical associate professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. “These 10 individuals presented for six sections of the APTA. This demonstrates a high level of practice and research among our faculty across the breadth of physical therapy.”

APTA is a national professional organization representing more than 100,000 members with the goal of fostering advancements in physical therapy practice, research and education. For more information, visit

About the College of Health Professions

Mercer University’s College of Health Professions is composed of five programs: physical therapy, physician assistant studies, public health, clinical medical psychology, and athletic training. The College offers a doctoral-level physical therapy program, master’s-level physician assistant program, bachelor’s- and master’s-level public health programs, doctoral-level program in clinical medical psychology, and master’s-level athletic training program. The Department of Physical Therapy offers residencies in orthopaedic, neurologic and cardiovascular/pulmonary physical therapy; a fellowship in orthopaedic manual physical therapy; and an onsite clinic. Each program is housed in a department that provides students with comprehensive didactic courses taught by an extraordinary faculty and extensive clinical experience enhanced by outstanding service-learning opportunities. For more information, visit