Givens Joins Faculty As Director of Physical Therapy

Stephen Hooper, PhD, Chair of the Department of Allied Health Sciences and Associate Dean for the UNC School of Medicine, appointed Deborah Givens, PT, DPT, PhD, as Director of the Division of Physical Therapy.

Givens Joins Faculty As Director of Physical Therapy click to enlarge Deborah Givens, PT, DPT, PhD

Dr. Givens assumed her new role in January 2015, taking over the leadership reigns from Lisa Johnston, PT, MS, DPT, who served as Interim Director from August 2013 to December 2015.

Dr. Givens most recent position was as Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Prior to 2011, she was Director of the Physical Therapy Division in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Medicine, at The Ohio State University. She has been a leader in curricular reform, the advancement of residency education, and faculty development at both institutions.

“Dr. Givens brings a wealth of administrative, academic, research, and clinical experiences to the division, department, and larger university system,” said Dr. Hooper. “Her leadership helps the Division of Physical Therapy continue its legacy of excellence and grow to meet the ever-evolving demands of modern health care.  Dr. Johnston and our Physical Therapy faculty have done a tremendous job maintaining the division’s strengths during our national search for a permanent director.”

As Director of the Division of Physical Therapy, Dr. Givens role is to facilitate the management and ongoing development of the division’s nationally-ranked Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, Transitional DPT program, interdisciplinary Human Movement Science PhD program (administered jointly  with the UNC Department of Exercise and Sports Science), and Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency program (a collaboration with UNC Hospitals).  In addition, she will promote and encourage the advancement of research conducted by Division of Physical Therapy faculty and through Center for Human Movement Science, and clinical services provided through the faculty clinic, University Physical Therapy.

“The UNC Division of Physical Therapy has a long history of excellence in education and research–it is truly a gem,” said Dr. Givens.  “I am honored to join the talented faculty and to serve as their leader as we work together to advance the mission and vision of the program.  I enjoy working with the students and alumni, who are teaching me the traditions that come with such a vibrant university.”

Dr. Givens is actively involved in physical therapy research.  Her research addressing the neuromuscular consequences of lower back pain and exercise interventions has been funded by the NIH and the NFL. She has published her work in journals such as Physical Therapy, Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, and Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and she is an Editorial Review Board Member for the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy.

Dr. Givens received her BS degree in Physical Therapy (‘82)  from Virginia Commonwealth University, her MS and tDPT degrees (‘90, ‘05), from the MGH Institute of Health Professions, and her PhD from the University of Iowa (‘97).