At a key transition point in their studies, occupational therapy students across all USAHS campuses participate in a meaningful ritual, witnessed by family and friends. The OT pinning ceremony marks the end of the classroom portion of their studies and the beginning of their fieldwork. For Residential MOT and OTD students, this happens in their fourth term, and for Flex, in the seventh term. A longstanding tradition in OT practice, the pin celebrates the diversity of practice areas, the client-centered nature of our practice and the values of our profession. “It’s an opportunity for faculty to acknowledge our students’ transition from classroom learning to clinical learning,” says Mary Zadnik, ScD, MEd, OTR/L, director of the entry-level OT programs on Read more
Dr. Leona Hidalgo joined USAHS in 2018 and is a practicing physical therapist licensed since 2005. She has been a physical therapy educator since 2008, holding various positions such as academic coordinator of clinical education, full-time faculty member and program director. Dr. Hidalgo holds a Bachelor of Science from Florida Atlantic University, a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Florida International University and doctoral degrees in Education and Physical Therapy from Nova Southeastern University and the University of South Florida, respectively.
Dr. Hidalgo’s expertise includes clinical experience in acute care and inpatient rehabilitation, and her scholarship includes publications and presentations nationally and internationally. She has also served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Assistant Practice Analysis Task Force, National Physical Therapy Examination Item Writing Workshop, American Physical Therapy Association’s Academy of Education–Physical Therapy Assistant Summit and Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education’s Assessment Task Force.