Physical Therapy PT

| 14 May 2024

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Alumni Force for Good: Uplifting Children Through Pediatric Rehabilitation


In pediatric physical therapy, where devotion meets goodwill, Monica Cooney, PT, DPT, is a stellar embodiment of what it means to make a difference.

A 2013 Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) alum of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS), Dr. Cooney has created a successful career as a physical therapist. She founded Triform Therapy, a multidisciplinary clinic that serves children and their families in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her journey, marked by resilience and fierce commitment to her community, exemplifies the essence of being a force for good.

Dr. Cooney is a 2023 Force for Good Alumni Video Contest winner. The alumni video competition celebrates the incredible impact that USAHS alumni are making in their communities. Dr. Cooney was encouraged by her classmates to enter the contest and views this recognition not as a personal accolade but as fuel to further her mission of creating change.

“I will give some of the money from the award to people who need it,” she shares. “I want it to benefit my patients in a significant way.” She plans to donate a bike to a child with a disability through the local McLindon Family Foundation.

See her winning video entry below.

A Force for Pediatric Revolution

Dr. Cooney’s path to becoming a pediatric therapist was unexpected yet momentous. Reflecting on her time at USAHS, she recalls how a seemingly random placement during her sixth-semester rotations redirected her career trajectory.

“After a canceled orthopedic rotation, I found myself in a pediatric clinic,” she shares. “Little did I know, I would discover my passion for pediatrics.”

Despite initial discomfort with pediatrics, her education at USAHS equipped her with the skills and confidence to excel in this unfamiliar territory. “Thanks to my education from USAHS, I felt more than prepared,” she emphasizes.

Driven by a deep-seated desire to make a meaningful impact, Dr. Cooney founded Triform Therapy in 2018. She had a clear vision: to provide quality patient care and increased accessibility to therapy by offering clinic and community-based treatment that empowers children to thrive and reach their full potential. Her work centers on helping children reach developmental milestones, improve mobility and achieve functional goals.

M. Cooney FFG_Brant2andTaryn

Through Triform, she partners with therapists across healthcare disciplines to offer comprehensive services tailored to each child’s unique needs. Patients from Baton Rouge and surrounding areas visit the clinic and, depending on their requirements, may be seen by a physical therapist (PT), occupational therapist (OT) or speech-language pathologist (SLP).

Triform’s collaborative care model ensures that every breakthrough echoes the power of perseverance.

“Each smile, every milestone achieved, reflects my compassion and dedication for my profession,” she affirms.

One of the hallmarks of Dr. Cooney’s method is her utilization of social media as a tool for advocacy and inspiration. She recognizes the power of digital platforms and shares dynamic movement interventions, success stories and glimpses into her clinic’s life-giving work.

“Social media has given me an avenue to speak for these kids,” she explains. “I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, ‘Because of you, I did not give up.'”

M. Cooney FFG_Jacob

A Force for Community Transformation 

Dr. Cooney’s pledge to serve her community knows no bounds. Through her involvement with organizations like Ainsley’s Angels of America, she has sparked positive change and raised visibility for vulnerable populations.

Dr. Cooney’s approach to patient care is rooted in understanding and connection. She invests wholeheartedly in each patient, forming lasting bonds. For her, the true fulfillment comes from nurturing relationships with long-term clients. The individuals she accompanies throughout their lifespan hold a special place in her heart.

Despite the emotional rollercoaster of her workdays, Dr. Cooney finds immense satisfaction in being emotionally present for both parents and children. She forges an enduring link that enriches both her professional and personal life.

“My strengths are empathy and discernment. I’ve always been passionate about helping people,” she says.

What sets Dr. Cooney apart? She emphasizes the positive. She attributes this to her role as a changemaker. “Our transformative efforts help me offer perspective and bring hope to others.”

A former triathlete, Dr. Cooney combines her training in pediatric therapy with her love for physical activity. She has pioneered innovative techniques like Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) and has become one of the first therapists trained in the Southeast region. “DMI has taken the special needs community by storm,” she explains. “It’s incredible to see the positive influence it has on families. It makes movement more accessible.”

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A Force for Continuous Good

As Dr. Cooney transitions into a full-time intensive-based therapist, she remains focused on the ultimate goal: seeing tangible results and making a lasting difference in the lives of her patients.

She says she tries to do good every day. “My journey is guided by a calling to serve others,” she reflects. “And I will continue to do so with passion, empathy and enthusiasm.”

She continues on this path and balances busy family life, growing business and community engagement efforts. “What makes me unique? I’m so driven by everything that I do,” she says.

Through Dr. Cooney’s tireless efforts and compassionate care, she exemplifies what it truly means to be an Alumni Force for Good in the world.

To learn more about Dr. Cooney’s work, visit Triform Therapy, and view her Force for Good Alumni Video Contest submission. Check out USAHS Alumni Association News and Benefits to learn more about the competition.

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