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Expanded collaboration with PT Solutions creates opportunities for IU physical therapy students

Gift funds scholarship program, extends practice’s ‘people-centered approach’ to support local physical therapy community

For Immediate Release Mar 5, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana University School of Health & Human Sciences in Indianapolis and a leading company that provides physical therapy services to patients in Indiana and beyond are teaming up to support the local physical therapy community through corporate philanthropy that will assist students pursuing degrees in the field.

IU physical therapy student Abby Lowder assists a woman during a physical therapy session. Photo by Rachel Hammes, Indiana Univ... IU physical therapy student Abby Lowder assists a woman during a physical therapy session. Photo by Rachel Hammes, Indiana University

Driven by a desire to expand services for students, practitioners and patients, PT Solutions has committed nearly $277,500 to IU’s physical therapy students and program over the next three years.

The gift will establish the PT Solutions Student Success Fund through the IU Foundation to incentivize top students to choose the physical therapy program at the School of Health & Human Sciences.

“This collaboration contributes to health-care workforce expansion in Indiana, addressing regional shortages and subsequently ensuring ample job opportunities for our graduates,” said Rafael Bahamonde, founding dean of the IU School of Health & Human Sciences. “The gift and grant will foster a mutually beneficial ecosystem for education, workforce development and employment stability.”

The funds also address the rising costs of education and the simultaneous growing need for health-care providers and physical therapists in Indiana, he added.

PT Solutions is a clinician-founded and -led practice expanding access to quality care across 550 points of service in 25 states, including Indiana. Through its American Physical Therapy Association-accredited residency program, the company’s main focus is outpatient physical therapy. It also offers occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and sports medicine in inpatient and outpatient settings.

Since entering the Indiana market in 2020, the company has been drawn to the renowned physical therapy program at IU due to its reputation for excellence in education and values alignment, said Matthew Butler, director of strategic partnerships at PT Solutions Physical Therapy. He and William Thompson, associate professor of physical therapy at the School of Health & Human Sciences, initially teamed up on behalf of students in a few ways, including support of an existing student-led golf fundraiser for scholarships and a PT Solutions clinical experience for students.

“We want to be a partner in access to care,” Butler said of the motivation behind the gift. “So many people can’t get to their appointments, or appointments are not available. It’s important to have options for people.”

Bailey Roney Bailey Roney. Photo by Sami Purcell

For students such as Bailey Roney, a third-year student in the school’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, the opportunity is priceless. Roney, who just finished an eight-week clinical rotation at Ascension St. Vincent in Salem, Indiana, worked with a PT Solutions rehabilitation team in inpatient and outpatient settings.

“I am incredibly excited to work with the amazing team in Salem that has been such an integral part of my learning experience as a student, and then have them again as a novice clinician in the fall,” Roney said. “I also greatly look forward to the opportunities ahead that will be made possible with the scholarship that PT Solutions has offered me as a soon-to-be graduate of the IU Indianapolis Doctorate of Physical Therapy program.”

PT Solutions also proposed a one-time bridge scholarship for third-year students to apply for similar funding that future students will receive from IU. Roney, who will start with them in August after she graduates and completes her licensure exam in July, was selected.

Mark Gaines, vice president of development at IU’s Indianapolis campus, said this partnership demonstrates the power and impact of values-driven corporate collaboratives.

“Such corporate support plays a vital role in attracting and retaining top-tier students, paving the way for their success beyond graduation,” he said. “They are a testament to the power of synergy between industry and academia in advancing the well-being of individuals and communities.”

IU will award the first scholarships from the PT Solutions Success Fund later this spring.

Media Contact

School of Health & Human Sciences

Laura Klaum

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