Debbie Hanka PT, GCS
Debbie graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1995 with a Bachelors Degree in Physical Therapy. In 2005, she became a Geriatric Certified Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy. She has been a member of APTA since 1993 and is a geriatrics section member. Debbie has been active in the MN Chapter as a peer reviewer and previous Quality Practice Training & Education Co-Chair.
For the past 3 years, Debbie has worked for a community based non-profit and an insurance company to coordinate health and wellness programs for older adults; as an adjunct professor, guest speaker and clinical instructor at St. Catherine’s University’s DPT program for 5 years and as physical therapist in a variety of settings for 12 years primarily treating older adults.
In 2011, Debbie began the transition Doctor of Physical Therapy program and Fellowship in Optimal Aging at Regis University. She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband Greg. They have three grown children who live in AZ and CA. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, yoga, biking and hiking.
Laura Sage PT, MEd, WCC
Laura has been practicing physical therapy in a variety of clinical settings since graduating from Boston University’s Sargent College with a BS in 1981. She earned her Masters in Education from University of Massachusetts, Boston in 1991. Her areas of clinical specialty are wound care and clinical education. The five year Wound Care Certification (WCC) was renewed in 2010. She has been a credentialed CI instructor since 2003.
Since 2004 Laura has served on the Commission for Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education. After participating in 4 on-site review teams, she is now a commissioner on the PTA panel.
Laura serves locally as the chairperson and treasurer of the Clinical Educators Forum. This group of Denver area clinical and academic clinical educators meets monthly during the school year to address and discuss issues pertinent to PT and PTA students in the clinic. Laura is also on the Advisory Board of the Pima Medical Institute PTA program, where she has been a guest lecturer in wound care.
She has worked in four states: New York, Massachusetts and California (where she worked a total of 15 years providing home care), and now in Colorado. She is presently working full-time at Longmont United Hospital as an outpatient wound care specialist three afternoons a week, and as an acute care PT. Her responsibilities also include coordinating the PT student program as the CCCE. She served as the lead physical therapist from 2003 through 2008.
For the last 5 years Laura has been an affiliate faculty member at Regis University, assisting the lab component of the medical management course and participating in practical exams. In both 2010 and 2011 she assisted Regis faculty and students in data collection for their geriatric exercise study. She is in the Clinical Scholars program, committed to a close relationship with the Regis program and their students in the clinic.
As an APTA member Laura has joined many specialty sections, including Geriatrics, Acute Care, Electro & Wound Care and Education. Continuing education courses have included attending national conferences, particularly the Combined Sections meetings. Content areas have ranged from balance and geriatric orthopedics & manual therapy to wound care, differential diagnosis and clinical education.
In her free time, Laura enjoys travel and hiking, having recently hiked down to Phantom Ranch in the Grand Canyon. She is also a quilter. In the past 15 years she has designed and created bed-sized quilts as well as wall-hanging art quilts. She earned the Toastmasters “Competent Communicator” distinction in 2010.
Deborah L. Walker PT, MPT, OCS
Deborah Walker is a devoted Christian whose ministry is physical therapy. Ms.Walker is the proud wife of a deployed California Army National Guard SFC, and of her four children, young men ages fourteen through twenty. Ms.Walker has been a board certified specialist in Orthopedics since 1999. Ms. Walker graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Long Beach in 1988, and from the University of Southern California in 1990 with a Masters degree in Physical Therapy. Ms. Walker spent her first two years as a physical therapist working at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center in the inpatient orthopedic service which included patients with orthopedic, plastics, problem fracture, and rheumatologic diagnoses. Ms. Walker has spent the majority of her career as clinical educator or senior physical therapist in the outpatient orthopedic clinic for Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Loma Linda University Medical Center, in Southern California. Ms. Walker has recently left orthopedics to pursue a part time consultation position at a therapist owned outpatient physical therapy clinic that specializes in neurologic disorders, to pursue her transitional Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy, and to work in home health physical therapy. Ms. Walker is pending graduation from Regis University with her tDPT in spring 2011. Ms. Walker is beginning the Fellowship in Optimal Aging in preparation for sitting for the clinical specialist examination in geriatrics. Ms. Walker is interested in fall prevention in the elderly, and clinical research that contributes to the establishment of clinical prediction rules for the evidence based treatment of falls with an emphasis on prevention.