May 21 2019

Sipes, Deanna

Published by

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Doctoral Portfolio

Deanna Sipes

Professional Goal Statement:

My goals as a professional are to be a compassionate driven pediatric therapist dedicated to promoting physical fitness, inclusion, and overall health for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in underserved areas. I plan to further my education in pediatrics through a pediatric residency to become a mentor for therapist in other countries to enhance the rehabilitation process for pediatric patients in Spanish speaking countries. I also strive to be an advocate for diversity and inclusion within the field of physical therapy.


Career Plan:


  • August 2012- December 2015:  Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Towson University, Towson, MD
  • August 2016- August 2019: Student physical therapist in the UNC Chapel Hill Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
    • Clinical Rotation I (8 weeks): Carolina Complete Rehab, Southeastern Regional Medical Center ILumberton, NC
      1. Outpatient Orthopedics, underserved population
    • Clinical Rotation II (8 weeks): Gateway Education Center I Greensboro, NC
      1. Neuro, School Based Pediatrics
    • Clinical Rotation III (8 weeks): WakeMed Hospital, Raleigh, NC
      1. Acute Care, Surgical Trauma ICU
    • Clinical Rotation IV (12 weeks): Shriner’s Hospital for Children I Greenville, SC
      1. Inpatient and Outpatient Pediatrics
  • Spring 2019: DPT student service learning trip in Guatemala
  • July 2019: Sit for National Licensing Board Exam and become a licensed physical therapist
  • August 2019: Earn Doctor of Physical Therapy from The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • September 2019: Begin working as a physical therapist in a pediatric setting in North Carolina
  • Within 5 years after graduation:
    •  Become FUNfitness director through the Special Olympics
    • Apply for pediatric physical therapy residency
    • Take courses to work with Spanish speaking patients to further develop my medical Spanish
    • Finish my pediatric residency and become pediatric certified specialist
    • Become a clinical instructor
    • Volunteer/work internationally related to physical therapy during time off
  • Within 10 years after graduation:
    •  Live and work for 2 years through a sustainable program that mentors local therapist and healthcare providers in Central or Latin America.   

Self Assessment:

  • Strengths
    • Passion, dedication, and drive
    • Empathy
    • Patient rapport
    • Cultural competency
    • Spanish speaking (intermediate advanced)
    • Experience with pediatric equipment
    • Experience in complex settings, Intensive Care Units, public special education school, intensive outpatient pediatric rehab
  • Areas for Further Development
    • Interdisciplinary communication
    • Further experience with pediatric patients in multiple settings
    • Implementing evidence based practice regularly
    • Increased involvement with advocacy efforts through the APTA
  • Areas of Interest:
    • Pediatrics, underserved and underrepresented populations, international work, cultural competency and diversity in health care, intellectual and developmental disabilities


  • Graduate from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill DPT program in August 2019
  • Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination in July 2019
  • Complete Pediatric Residency and become Pediatric Certified Specialist in 2022
  • Develop professional relationship with a sustainable and ethnical international physical therapy program by 2027


  • Develop a study plan during my 3rd year of DPT for boards
  • Take courses and independent studying and application of medical Spanish vocabulary
  • Develop a relationship with pediatric certified therapist
  • Continue to be involved in advocacy and the APTA
  • Develop relationships with international therapist
  • Find sustainable and ethical international programs to volunteer with and build relationships.


  • Capstone: “Recruitment Strategies for Underrepresented Minorities in Physical Therapy”
  • Pediatric Community Program Proposal


Reflective Statement and Assessment of Progress Toward Goals: 


The UNC DPT program has prepared me well to pursue my career goals. The support of my professors and classmates, as well as the opportunities I have had throughout the programs including clinical sites, SHAC, Guatemala, CIMT camps, and more, have allowed me opportunities to grow, learn, and make connections. I have always wanted to be a pediatric physical therapist and now feel that I have a strong foundation to achieve this goal and be a successful pediatric therapist. Throughout my PT career, I have also developed a passion for diversity and inclusion within health care, especially PT, and based on personal dedication to this I have been able to be involved within the UNC DPT program and the NCPTA to work on diversifying the profession.


Extracurricular and Other Professional Activities:

  • Advanced Spanish for Health Care PUBH 613
  • International Service Learning Trip: Guatemala
  • Special Olympics Volunteer cheerleading coach and FUNfitness volunteer
  • NCPTA diversity and inclusion task force member

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Sipes, Deanna”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 11 Jun 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Deanna: Great job on your portfolio!! Nice to see your goals, accomplishments and all your hard work! I wish you luck as you follow your goals! Good luck to you! Lisa


  2.   Laurie Rayon 11 Jun 2019 at 4:44 pm

    I enjoyed reading your program proposal. Clearly you put a lot of thought and work into it. Let me know if you would like to post it on the school-based PT website? That would make it publicly available. It would be interesting to see if anybody picks it up and runs with it!

    I enjoyed getting to know you a bit better with the aspire grant work. I hope that project will make impressions on younger students for many years to come.

    I wish you every success as you start your PT career!
    When you are ready to think about residency, come back and talk to us!


  3.   McMikeon 20 Jun 2019 at 11:30 am

    Nice work on your portfolio. It was great having you in ICE this year, enjoyed watching you grow as a clinician. Your patients will benefit from your passion to help others!
    Best regards,


  4.   Michael Watsonon 20 Nov 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Hello Lisa,

    I just found your article from two years ago. I work for the American Red Cross. One of my jobs is in the Restoring Family Links Division. We have been asked to find a person who has lost contact with family members. That person is a Dean(n)a Sipes. I found this article that you wrote about her. The Deana that I’m looking for is also a physical therapist, but I have the impression she may be older. The birthdate I found for her is May 1959, but I was wondering if there may be a connection of some sort. If you are still able to communicate with Deanna Sipes I would appreciate it if you could pass her my email. I would be interested in talking to her in order to confirm a connection or put it to rest.

    Many thanks and all the best,

    Michael Watson
    International Services


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