Apr 21 2014

Clark Frutiger, Delane

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Physical therapy at Shining Hope Farms

Physical therapy at Shining Hope Farms

Professional Goal Statement

 My professional goal is twofold: to provide effective physical therapy services to children and to provide effective education to students enrolled in physical therapist and physical therapist assistant educational programs.

PTA students and me on clinic visit day to Shining Hope Farms

The PTA students and me on clinic visit day to Shining Hope Farms

Career Plan: History and Looking Forward

Timeline leading up to tDPT

My path

From a relatively early age, I knew physical therapy was the profession for me. As a 16 year old shadowing two pediatric physical therapists, the therapists’ no-frills appearance, their love of children and the physical nature of their work appealed to me. Since becoming a physical therapist in 1994, I have worked in pediatrics in some form or fashion (acute care, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, private practice, outpatient non-profit organization), and along the way, I have sprinkled in additional education. While my learning is hardly over, completing the tDPT program represents the culmination of my formal education. 


I entered the tDPT program with mostly positive expectations but also a few reservations. I expected the faculty to be awesome, and I expected to come out of the program with a more current practice perspective. My reservations were related to whether the distance education format was going to match my learning style and my lifestyle. To the point of learning style, I am motivated and goal-directed, but when it comes to the scope of an assignment, I need clarity and boundaries or else, I run the risk of veering off path or becoming stuck. Without face-to-face interaction with my instructors and classmates, I anticipated and experienced a few bumps along the way. In hindsight, I should have reached out to my instructors or my classmates. My advice to future tDPT students is, “when in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask!” Rather ironically, the distance education format forced me to be visible through my writing. I was surprised by the power of the writing process and the amount of reading, thinking, doing, and sharing involved. To the point of lifestyle, I was not sure how I was going to make time for family, work and school, but I knew I had early mornings, evenings and weekends to complete discussion boards and assignments. Also, I reminded myself that with the exception of children, I had done this before.

Objectives: Then and Now

August 2012 Objectives:

May 2014 Objectives:

  1. To gain knowledge of current practice issues in pediatric physical therapy
  2. To be prepared to successfully complete ABPTS certification in pediatrics
  3. To develop a proposal for a structured health and wellness program using hippotherapy for children with disabilities
  4. To have a better understanding and knowledge of physical therapist assistant education and practice issues
  5. To explore opportunities to teach pediatrics in a physical therapist assistant program


  1. To continue teaching physical therapist assistant students
  2. To continue providing physical therapy services to children
  3. To become an APTA-Credentialed Clinical Instructor (CI)
  4. To become a Pediatric Certified Specialist (PCS)
  5. To become a Hippotherapy Professional Clinical Specialist (HPCS)

 For the most part, I have accomplished my August 2012 objectives. I have expanded my knowledge of advocacy, practice issues, patient/client management (examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention), outcomes, and research related to pediatric physical therapy. In addition, the tDPT program has been good training for the mental effort and time management skills needed to study for the ABPTS certification in pediatrics exam. In PHYT 824, I developed a proposal for a health and wellness program that incorporated hippotherapy for children with disabilities. Though the proposal has to be revised, but my initial work provides a starting point for Shining Hope Farms to create a  half-day summer camp program that incorporates hippotherapy. Finally, I developed pediatric course materials for a physical therapist assistant program. Earlier this semester, I used the materials to teach a pediatric unit to second-year physical therapist assistant students. In 2014, I will continue my involvement with the physical therapist assistant program, continue providing services to children, become an APTA credentialed CI, study for the ABPTS certification in pediatrics exam, and finally, have some fun with family and friends. Looking ahead to 2015, my big objective is to become a PCS. Finally, over the next five years, I would like continue my work with Shining Hope Farms, develop additional programs and become a HPSC.

Product Examples from the tDPT Program

PHYT 800 This course is what led to my teaching in the physical therapist assistant program. As my assignment for this course, I developed a lecture on cerebral palsy for physical therapist assistant students.

PowerPoint for Lecture on CP

PHYT 822 The conditions covered in this course made me step out of my comfort zone, especially the integumentary module but also pediatric conditions related to the cardiopulmonary and oncology modules. I selected an assignment that involved a condition I knew very little about, acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). I was pleasantly surprised that aspects of fitness were a common theme across all my tDPT courses.

Oncology Module – AML

 PHYT 854 The capstone project, the end result being a clinically relevant product, has lit the fire under me to do more in the way of program development. It was a great culminating experience that allowed me to research a topic near and dear to my heart, be a little creative and test my technology skills. My capstone materials and a description of the process can be accessed at the link below.


PHYT 885 This course felt like a marathon. I had challenges along the route, but at the finish line, I felt a great sense of accomplishment.  For both discussion boards and assignments, there was a lot of freedom to choose topics of interest. I really enjoyed the chance to review the literature on obstetric brachial plexus injury, a condition I saw more frequently when I worked in the hospital and the outpatient rehabilitation settings. I often see conditions related to central nervous system impairment, so it was nice to reacquaint myself with a condition related to peripheral nerve system impairment.


 Reflective Statement and Progress Towards Professional Goal

I believe the tDPT program will be one of the defining points of my career. Equipped with new knowledge and an updated and more well-rounded perspective, I will continue my work at Shining Hope Farms and my teaching, but I may also change things up a bit and look for opportunities to become involved with the North Carolina Physical Therapy Association. With respect to my professional goal statement, I am very happy with where I am, but I realize that being an effective pediatric physical therapist or being an effective teacher is on-going process. With time and change, the “effective” bar rises, and one cannot get too complacent. As I think about the tDPT program coming to an end and having a little more time for fun, I wanted to share this photo of my daughters. They think physical therapy is really cool.

Izzy 8 and Mabel 6

Izzy 8 and Mabel 6






2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Clark Frutiger, Delane”

  1.   Karen McCullochon 06 May 2014 at 2:17 am

    Hi Delane –
    Sorry that I’ve continued to call you by the wrong last name all through the program. Those UNC IDs are tough to change once they are in place!!! Your portfolio is a heartfelt reflection of all that you’ve accomplished and learned in the program. It has been a pleasure having you back at UNC for another “flavor” of degree!!! I expect you’ll enjoy continued teaching opportunities with the PTA program from here on out. Happy to have played a small part in the transition!


  2.   Katieon 24 Jul 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Congratulations! What a tremendous accomplishment! Thank you for sharing, as well as for all your hard work. Best wishes in your future endeavors!


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