The Triangle Business Journal recognized Deborah Thorpe, PT, PhD, as allied health professional of the year during its annual Health Care Heroes celebration, held on March 16, 2017 at the Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, North Carolina. Thorpe’s work has changed the lives of children and adults with through her work at University Physical Therapy (UPT), a clinical site at the Orange County Sportsplex, operated by the UNC School of Medicine Department of Allied Health Sciences.
At UPT, Thorpe’s clinical practice focuses on neurological rehabilitation in individuals with developmental disabilities. She has particular expertise in aquatic therapy. Many of her patients have age-related changes in gait and balance secondary to neurological or orthopedic disorders. Her research focuses on prevention of secondary conditions and improving fitness and wellness across the lifespan for individuals with developmental disabilities, specifically individuals with cerebral palsy which guides her work in the clinic.
Thorpe’s motivation for her work and research in physical therapy is driven by her desire to create and enhance strong networks of support across the lifespan for her patients.