PTAs Leading the Way
For Physical Therapy Month I thought I would introduce the PT world to a prominent PTA who is a leading force in the community.
Stephen Pope, LPTA, has been practicing since 1995, graduating from the Professional Skills Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. After retiring from the United States Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel, Pope attended Howard University, USC, and UCSB and has pursued management careers that included retail, grocery and detail clothing operations, but yearned for more.
In July of 2008, he was offered the position of a rehabilitation program coordinator (director of rehabilitation) with an opportunity to turn around a dismal and slow therapy department into a thriving hub of activity which is now number one in the district.
"Through incredible fortune of having a strong and dedicated professional team consisting of a smart aide, incredibly talented therapists who wanted positive change, the positive leadership of my district manager and the unyielding support of the Ramona Manor Convalescent Hospital administrator and his able staff, the department has been transformed under my watch to the place we proudly display," Pope stated.
When asked whether being a PTA has any consequence when leading PTs, OTs and STs, he replied, "That is a difficult issue to truly measure. I suspect anyone who has a higher degree may fall subject to the notion that they are a little more intelligent."
Pope went on to say, "For the most part PTAs are not given the opportunities or the appropriate credit for what they do in the rehab world. I am not sure whether adding more education to their plate will lessen the divide that exists in the rehab world or the community at large. In the long run I believe PTAs will always be the unsung heros, always looked with askance by the higher credentialed PTs. I do not truly believe the APTA understands and cares enough about PTAs to the extent that they will look at PTAs as just another revenue stream."
Pope is married, in his words, "To my beautiful wife Sheri" and has one daughter by a previous marriage and two exceptionally bright grandchildren. Pope recommended several books that have assisted him in his personal and professional development:
The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn
Critical Conditions by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele
My American Journey by Colin Powell
Through Indian Eyes in Readers Digest
How to Reach Your Life Goals by Peter J. Daniels
Rebuilding When your Relationship Ends by Dr. Bruce Fisher
Anything Can Happen by Roger Rosenblatt
You're Not Alone by John Sabolich
Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, MD
Quotes and positive motivating factors that got him where he is today and which will propel him into the future:
"Show me someone who has never made a mistake and I will show you someone who has never done anything."
"I believe the word ‘can't' does not exist."
"Those who fail to plan, plan to fail."