May 29 2014

Ghena, Cathryn

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Ice Cream Outing

Professional Goal Statement

Upon becoming a licensed physical therapy clinician, I intend to work with the neurological community providing them with the rehabilitation, education, and tools necessary to have an increased quality of life. This will be accomplished through a continual strive to deliver the most up to date and evidence based practice, continued hands-on learning and certifications, participation in evidence based research, and an enduring commitment to investing in the specific life and wellness of each patient.


Self Assessment


Passion for children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities

Team member for pilot study for adults with disability

Extensive experience in aquatic therapy

Strong interest in public speaking/presentation

Highly motivated to work on an interdisciplinary team


Areas for further development

Need for continued exposure to athletic-based impairments

Limited networking opportunities outside of North Carolina

Minimal experience with manual therapy

Continued education on differential diagnoses


Career Plan

2010 Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science (Calvin College; Grand Rapids, MI)

2011 Home care for adults with traumatic brain injuries

2013/14 Homecare/tutoring for a child with epilepsy

2014 Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)

2014 Seek employment in acute hospital setting

2015 Participate/initiate a journal club at location of employment

2016 Seek Certified Brain Injury Specialization

2017 Consider travel physical therapy

2020 Seek employment in inpatient rehab setting

2020 APTA CI Certification

2020 NDT courses (adult and pediatric)

2021 Consider participation in residency program (neurology or pediatrics)

2022 Sit for specialization


Career Goals/Objectives:

  • Seek out an active role in the American Physical Therapy Association
  • Become a clinical instructor, able to provide mentorship to physical therapy students interested in the fields of neurology and/or pediatrics
  • Investigate opportunities for completing a residency program in either neurology or pediatrics; sit for specialization exam and certification
  • Consider returning to school to obtain a Master’s degree in Public Health for strengthening my understanding and skills of program development; identify areas in need of program development i.e. transitioning from inpatient rehabilitation into identified community programs; falls prevention programs; program development for young adults with developmental disabilities
  • Seek out opportunities to teach fellow therapists and/or students on my chosen area of expertise i.e. through guest lecturing at DPT program, teaching continuing education courses, or presenting at local/national conferences


Clinical Experiences


Examples of Academic Work

  • Inservices
    • Medicare’s Functional Limitation Reporting: Using evidence-based prognostic factors and outcome measures to choose appropriate severity modifiers: Audience–acute care therapists in process of implementing G-codes 
    • The Developmental Impacts of Crawling: Audience–pediatric physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and neuropsychologists an an interdisciplinary, outpatient neurological pediatric setting — The Developmental Impacts of Crawling
  • Papers/Projects
    • Tummy Time: The role of prone play on infant development — PHYT 885 Advanced Neuromuscular Interventions

Research Experiences

The findings of my capstone work were used in conjunction with a retrospective study by UNC DPT and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities therapists to modify the Otago Exercise Program (OEP) for adults with IDD living in local group homes. The modified OEP is being implemented over the next year at a Raleigh group home as a part of a pilot research study with the hypothesis that this program will be effective in decreasing the falls incidence of adults with IDD.  I helped to develop several IRB approved documents as well as lead a 2-hour staff training seminar to orient them to the OEP as well as their role in the study. I will continue to be involved in this research over the next year.


Reflective Statement

I cannot reflect on the past three years of graduate school without first thanking everyone who has played a role in my education: classmates, professors, clinical instructors, friends, and family. I moved to North Carolina a week before starting this program—not knowing a single soul—and was immediately enveloped by the UNC community; I have no doubt that it is this family that has shaped who I am today as well as who I will be as a clinician.

A question I am often asked is this: how did I end up at Carolina? Of course, many factors played a role—UNC’s impressive résumé, renowned professors and research, an intimate class size, year-round sunshine… whatever the reasons, I believe that this program was the perfect fit for me. I have been challenged academically (this may be an understatement!), mentored by many, had countless opportunities clinically, and continue to participate in clinical research. In retrospect, it was UNC’s duel-degree in public health and physical therapy that originally caught my attention as I truly believe that preemptive and ongoing education can make a huge difference in a person’s quality of life. I quickly realized, though, that these objectives are a natural part of many PT realms, especially in the neurologically involved population. Over the course of my studies and clinical work, I have discovered a sincere passion for this neurological community, both adults and pediatrics; I can’t wait to see where this passion leads me.

These past three years have been some of the most demanding, yet also most influential of my life; thus, it is no surprise that I could reflect on them for many, many more paragraphs. I’ll save you from that and end on this—the fact that you are reading my portfolio right now suggests that you have been (or will be!) a part of my DPT community and for that I thank you!


1476184_10200954062233153_859535144_n NSCGroup picture


3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Ghena, Cathryn”

  1.   KMacon 02 Jul 2014 at 2:19 am

    So happy to see the mix of skills and experiences you have to show for your time at UNC. Please be in touch about ANYTHING TBI related – I’m always happy to network with folks who are drawn to this population (as you know). I’d encourage you to to think about specialty certification (say….maybe in neuro 🙂 You guys could have a study group in your class for the exam!!!!
    Best to you!


  2.   Lisa Johnstonon 24 Jul 2014 at 1:39 am


    Congrats on all you accomplished while you were here! I know you have been challenged, but you have also been impressive yourself. Always open and willing to be challenged and learn. You will be a great PT! Congrats and good luck!~



  3.   Katieon 24 Jul 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Congratulations! You have worked so hard and have so many impressive things to show for it – but most of all, you have yourself as a great PT. Thanks for all your work with RSI and the Otago program as well as your energy and enthusiasm in Guatemala. Best wishes!


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