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Making Kids a Top Priority in Physical Therapy

March 17, 2022

One tall and one shorter white women wearing surgical masks and event lanyards.Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions DHSc student Hilary Terhune received the APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy 2022 Bud DeHaven Service Award. The GE "Bud" DeHaven Service Award, named in memory of the first Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy president, honors an APTA Pediatrics member who has demonstrated sustained and extraordinary service to APTA Pediatrics. “I am truly grateful that my contributions to the pediatric physical therapy profession have been so valued.” This national professional service award has a special meaning for Terhune’s faculty mentor, Lisa Chiarello, PT, PhD, FAPTA, professor in the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Department and director of DHSc program in Rehabilitation Sciences, who won it in 2008. “As a mentor, it is extremely rewarding to celebrate a mentee’s distinguished accomplishments,” commented Chiarello.

In service to her professional community, Terhune holds a leadership position through APTA Pediatrics as a co-chair of the Practice Development committee. “I am actively engaged in several projects that span the age continuum of physical therapy practice within APTA Pediatrics and the larger APTA organization,” she said. Terhune collaborated to create multiple fact sheets and led the design for the COVID-19 and telehealth websites for APTA Pediatrics. “I have also taken part in two significant APTA projects within the last year. One is charged with identifying outcome measures for use in children and adults with and recovering from COVID-19. And the other was revising the “annual physical therapy visit” tool and developing documents supporting its use for pediatric clients to support access to services and health promotion.”

Terhune is currently an adjunct faculty member at the college. “I am passionate about my vocation as a pediatric PT and inspired by the dedication of the students I teach. My goal is to transfer my enthusiasm for clinical practice and lifelong learning to my students.” She is credentialed by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists as a pediatric clinical specialist and has expertise as a postsecondary educator. Her skills and knowledge span presenting laboratory learning experiences to providing services and supports for youth with disabilities transitioning to postsecondary pursuits, family-centered care or person-centered planning to fostering inclusive educational experiences for children and youth in public education. “Serving children, youth, and families as a clinician and researcher requires expertise in the craft, vulnerability and an open mind. We each bring our valuable perspectives to the experience. When the collaboration works, everyone grows. When collaboration doesn’t work, we need to reflect on our practice and communication strategies, requiring us to grow even more. And then we strive to do better next time.”

Terhune is working towards a Doctor of Health Sciences in Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Professions. “My scholarship focuses on creating collaborative structures to support youth through postschool transitions to independent living, employment or postsecondary education,” Terhune shared. Chiarello remarked that seeing Terhune “carry forth the passion and dedication to serve our profession and enhance services for children with disabilities and their families gives her bright hope for our future.” “I will take more than a degree away from my time at Drexel. I now have lifelong friends, trusted and dedicated mentors that have inspired me to push past adversity, and the confidence to contribute to the lives of clinicians, and families. I couldn’t be more thankful,” Terhune concluded.