St. Augustine, FL—October 1, 2014—Four faculty members from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USA) were elected to leadership positions of the Florida Physical Therapy Association on Aug. 27. Dr. Jodi Liphart was elected secretary of the Board of Directors, Sandra Davis was elected speaker of the assembly, Dr. Eric Chaconas was elected vice speaker of assembly, and Dr. Matthew Daugherty was elected northern district chair. Dr. Liphart and Davis join FPTA’s executive committee.
“At the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, we recognize the importance and responsibility of serving in leadership roles,” said Dr. Wanda Nitsch, USA’s president and chief academic officer. “The commitment of Jodi, Sandra, Eric and Matthew to the profession and their service to physical therapists throughout Florida sets an exceptional example for our students.”
Dr. Liphart is the director of the transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at USA’s Florida campus. She is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy, and her clinical expertise and research interests involve patients with neurological disorders, especially patients who have had a stroke or who have balance or vestibular dysfunctions. She earned her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from The Ohio State University, her master’s degree in health science from the University of Central Florida, and a Doctor of Health Sciences from USA.
Professor Davis is a contributing faculty member. In addition to her role with FPTA, she was appointed by the American Physical Therapy Association Board of Directors to their national Ethics & Judicial Committee for 2014-2018. She previously served as a research physical therapist at the Brain Rehabilitation Research Center at the Malcolm Randall Veterans Health Administration in Gainesville, Florida, for 13 years, where she was instrumental in leading the development of the Clinical Trials Center and maintaining its operation. She received a B.S. in Physical Therapy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Dr. Chaconas is assistant professor in the entry-level DPT program, assistant director of the St. Augustine DPT Program and a mentor in the Orthopaedic Manual Therapy Fellowship program at USA’s Florida campus. He also practices clinically in outpatient and home health settings. Dr. Chaconas completed a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Towson University and a DPT, Manual Therapy Certification and Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship at USA. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Physical Therapy at Nova Southeastern University. His research interests include investigating the effectiveness of specific exercise interventions for patients with musculoskeletal dysfunction. Prior to this election, he was co-chair of the FPTA’s Government Affairs Committee.
Dr. Daugherty is also an assistant professor at USA. He has more than seven years of clinical experience with a wide variety of orthopaedic conditions. He practiced in a small outpatient clinic in Sarasota, Florida, before returning to USA for the fellowship program. In 2012, he became an Orthopaedic Certified Specialist (OCS) through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) and currently serves as a test item writer for that examination. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Akron and his Master of Occupational Therapy in 2006 and his DPT in 2007 from USA. He has maintained both licenses and used his dual degrees to further his orthopaedic experience including upper extremity pathology.
USA is a member of Laureate International Universities, a network of more than 75 institutions in 29 countries and one of the most significant global higher education providers for health sciences.
The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USA) is a graduate institution that emphasizes health science education through innovative quality classroom and distance education, and is a member of the Laureate International Universities network. Founded in 1979, USA has locations in San Marcos, California; St. Augustine, Florida; and Austin, Texas. The university is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). USA’s physical therapy programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), and its occupational therapy programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Degree offerings include the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT), the Dual Degree Option (MOT/DPT), the Flexible Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and the Flexible Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT). USA also offers the Transitional Doctor of Occupational Therapy, the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy, the Doctor of Education (EdD), the Doctor of Health Science (DHSc), the Clinical Orthopaedic Residency, the Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship program, and continuing education seminars and certifications for currently licensed therapists. For more information, visit www.usa.edu.