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GW Renames Department of Physical Therapy and Health Care Sciences to Department of Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences

The newly renamed department is more inclusive for potential new programs and will expand partnership opportunities and research collaboration

WASHINGTON (Jan. 4, 2018) — The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences renamed the Department of Physical Therapy and Health Care Sciences to the Department of Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences.

“The breadth and depth of the work of our faculty have evolved and grown significantly in recent years,” said Reamer L. Bushardt, PharmD, PA-C, DFAAPA, senior associate dean for health sciences and professor of physician assistant studies at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences captures the broad array of education, clinical practice innovation, and research being accomplished — each focused on improving the quality of lives of patients and families.”

The new name is more inclusive for potential partners and research collaborators. It also provides greater opportunities to house new programs that health sciences has in development.

The name change reflects a department that will train health professionals to not only treat those who are sick or injured, but to practice preventive medicine in healthy populations and encourage optimal health and function throughout the continuum of life.

“The new name is more inclusive but retains an emphasis on fields of study that improve outcomes of people related to movement, physical function, and participation in life roles,” said Joyce Maring, EdD, DPT, who will continue in her role as chair and associate professor of the newly renamed department. “We are excited for the expanded opportunities in this department and its future.”

The department includes the nationally-ranked Physical Therapy Program, which includes the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, residency programs, and continuing education opportunities. The new name better reflects its mission, which is to prepare individuals to practice as highly skilled physical therapists who are able to practice in an evidence-based, and ethical manner, respectful of patients and clients from all backgrounds, across the lifespan, through the continuum of care, and at all levels of wellness and health. While Maring will continue as chair of the department, the Physical Therapy Program will now be led by Ellen Costello, PhD.

The newly renamed department will be effective in January 2018.

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About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences:
Founded in 1824, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities. smhs.gwu.edu