Apr 20 2015

Lysaght, Christine

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“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”-Mother Teresa

Professional History and Goals



As a practicing physical therapist, multiple relocations for my husband’s blossoming career and a growing family interrupted my professional career path. I acquired a wealth of diverse clinical knowledge and abilities but lacked a true practice specialty. One constant throughout all of my experiences was a strong passion for serving children with disabilities (CWD). Prior to enrolling in UNC’s tDPT I established a local chapter of Ambucs in order to promote physical activity for CWD through evaluation and fundraising for adapted bicycles.   My professional goal is to strengthen my clinical and academic skills in order to serve CWD in Eastern North Carolina through the use of sound evidence based practice, community outreach, and education of future physical therapists.


Professional Objectives and Timeline

  1. Obtain Full Time Fixed Term Teaching Position with ECU College of Allied Health Physical Therapy Department July 2015.
  2. Prepare for the Assistive Technology Professional Certification and Sit for the exam Fall 2015.
  3. Implement Pediatric Seating Clinic for ENC CWD Fall 2016.
  4. Submit Grants to secure funding for ENCAmbucs Amtryke Evaluation Center Fall 2016.
  5. Prepare for the PCS. Apply July 2016 for Spring 2017 Examination.
  6. Design an interdisciplinary Assistive Technology Advanced Seminar Course for ECU DPT students (2017-2018)
  7. Implement Seminar Course Fall 2018.



            Throughout the tDPT curriculum I aligned many posts, papers and projects with pediatric and/or assistive technology topics in order to update my skills and knowledge with the latest clinical and research findings.  One of my special interests is Spinal Muscular Atrophy. I extended my understanding of SMA in multiple courses: Patient Management, Child and Family Assessment and Advanced Neuromuscular Seminar. One of my strongest assignments, “Exercise in Spinal Muscular Atrophy”, applies the latest animal and clinical evidence to SMA and challenges the common practice of exercise avoidance. During this program I also applied for and received a scholarship to attend a two-day SMA conference June of 2014.

I also researched osteoporosis and scoliosis in children with neuromuscular disease as well as  arthrogryposis. My research expanded my content knowledge immediately impacted my clinical practice. Currently many third party payers are denying standers for children .  These assignments strengthened my resolve to advocate for standers and bracing for all appropriate patients.

Lastly, my passion to improve the lives of CWD is exemplified in my capstone “Eastern North Carolina Pediatric Seating and Equipment Clinic” and Critically Appraised Topic. My capstone provides a starting point to serve the equipment needs of CWD in ENC while also supporting local practicing physical therapists and physical therapy students.



            I am thrilled to complete my tDPT but I know that this is only the beginning! I am confident in my abilities to pursue my goals while also advocating for our amazing profession. I think my greatest professional development occurred during the Education Seminar and Professional Issues Course. I dove head first into academia without previous teaching experience a few months prior to starting my tDPT. The Education Seminar provided me with a pedagogy perspective immediately supported my concurrent teaching endeavors.   The Professional Issues Course increased my awareness of how outside forces impact our practice of physical therapy. Thanks to Nancy Garland, I was pushed out of my comfort zone and will not hesitate to contact my legislators to fight for our profession or bills that effect individuals with disabilities.

This program stretched me professionally and personally. I had to learn how to give up control and trust my husband and children to plan meals, get to practices, attend school events, manage sick kids, schedule family events, and even keep the house somewhat clean. This experience has strengthened our family. Since this went so well, who knows, maybe my retirement plan will include an on-line PhD!

Thank you KMac and Dr. Amy Gross McMillan (ECU mentor) for all of your support, encouragement and understanding through the last 5 semesters.


One response so far

One Response to “Lysaght, Christine”

  1.   Carla Hillon 06 Jun 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing your professional journey and aspirations through your portfolio. Your passion for working with CWD is inspiring and know you will accomplish great things in the future. Congratulations on completing the tDPT program!


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