MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The team at Faulkner University’s College of Health Sciences is steadily expanding. The university has hired directors to develop the next three programs; the physician assistant (PA) program is scheduled to begin in 2020, physical therapy (PT), in 2021 and occupational therapy (OT) in 2022, pending accreditation.
Amy Oliver, director of the occupational therapy program is the most recent hire. Oliver earned her occupational therapy degree from The University of Mississippi Medical Center and her doctoral degree in occupational therapy from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Utah. She has been in clinic work and pediatrics for the last 26 years. Before coming to Faulkner, she served as an occupational therapist at the Ouachita Parish School District in West Monroe, Louisians and at the University of Louisiana.
Oliver first stumbled upon OT in high school when she was observing a physical therapy group for a class. She noticed another group and was drawn to them because they were laughing and seemed to be having a good time.
“They were batting balloons to each other using their arms which were affected by strokes or other neurological conditions,” said Oliver.
“I learned that OT is a way to help people function again, to live their lives as independently as possible.”
Oliver began looking for an OT program where service to others was paramount.
“When I found Faulkner, I knew this was from God,” Oliver said. “It was my desire to teach the next generation about occupational therapy in a way that serves the community, the patient, the family members and especially children with autism.”
Oliver especially liked the plan to have OT, PT, speech and language pathology (SLP) and PA working collaboratively in one building, learning to work together as a team.
“This interdisciplinary education is a reflection on how rehab staff works together in clinics and hospitals,” she said.
“The future of health science careers is moving in the direction of team based health care and collaboration. This is the unique educational environment we are offering our students at Faulkner,” said Heather Mount, director of the physical therapy program.
Mount, originally from Wisconsin, moved to Andalusia, Ala. after PT school. She worked as a PT in rural Alabama for 14 years, and taught for seven years in the PT program at Alabama State University.
“Health care providers can have a tremendous impact in their communities and beyond.”
Mount is originally from Wisconsin and married her husband after they met in PT school. Her husband is from Andalusia so they moved to there and worked in rural Alabama for 14 years. She then taught in Alabama State University’s PT program for seven years until she met Dr. Dave Rampersad, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Faulkner and began talking about leading Faulkner’s new PT program.
Paul Jordan, director of the PA program was practicing in Southern California at the time he received the offer to organize the new PA program at Faulkner.
“I’m most excited about the opportunity to use this new platform to influence future medical providers to learn how to incorporate faith and ministry into medical care,” Jordan said. “The PA field is the perfect open door for that.”
Paul M. Jordan, M.D., FAAFP is a Family Medicine specialist who practiced in Orange County, California for over 25 years prior to coming to Faulkner. Jordan is a native of southern California. After graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Cal State University at Long Beach, he completed his medical school training at the University of Southern California in 1985. Postgraduate training included an internship and residency in Family Practice.
Jordan has been working with Physician Assistants since 1988. His passion for teaching started in 1990 when he served as full-time faculty for two years at the Family Practice Residency Program at R. L. Thompson Strategic Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas and in 1992, he joined a thriving Family Medicine group in Yorba Linda, California.
Faulkner University is a private, Christian liberal arts university based in Montgomery, Alabama. With a mission to provide an education anchored not only by intellect but also character and service, the Faulkner experience aims to educate the whole person. Serving both traditional and non-traditional students, the university is home to six colleges: the Alabama Christian College of Arts and Sciences, the Harris College of Business and Executive Education, the V.P. Black College of Biblical Studies, the College of Education, Faulkner Law and the College of Health Sciences. In addition to its main campus in Montgomery, Faulkner operates extension campuses in Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile along with online degree programs.
For more information, visit www.faulkner.edu.
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