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Laurie Ray, PT, PhD, has been named Interim Director of the Division of Physical Therapy in the Department of Health Sciences. Dr. Ray is an associate professor within the division and serves as consultant for physical therapy and Medicaid for NC’s Department of Instruction. She has supported public and charter schools in all 100 counties in North Carolina for 18 years and is a national leader in this area.

During this time, Dr. Ray has worked side-by-side with Physical Therapy and Department of Health Sciences faculty to leverage UNC’s resources and collaborative leadership to inform her professional development efforts and technical assistance across North Carolina in her oversight of the Department of Public Instruction contract and as national leader for this practice setting. Dr. Ray will continue to oversee and support this contract with the Department of Public Instruction, entering its 46th year, as she begins her new roles and responsibilities.

Dr. Ray is ‘three Heeled’ – earning her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill – Ray looks forward to continuing the excellent work of the PT division and serving the state in this new capacity.

“I look forward to supporting our incredible students and our amazing faculty, and I hope to learn from connecting with our alumni,” said Dr. Ray. “It humbles and honors me to serve my division, the program that trained me, as we continue to pursue excellence in carrying out our mission ‘to prepare a diverse group of physical therapists to provide outstanding, evidence-based care to meet the needs of the people of North Carolina and beyond through the integration of didactic, clinical, research, and service opportunities.’”

Dr. Stephen Hooper, Associate Dean of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Health Sciences, shared, “We are extremely grateful for Dr. Ray to step into this important interim role. The Division of Physical Therapy is one of our largest divisions and holds significant status at the national level. Dr. Ray’s work at the state and national levels will continue to support and promote this national recognition, and I truly look forward to working with her in this new leadership role.”

The Division of Physical Therapy will celebrate graduation of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) class of 2023 in July. The program is currently ranked #9 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.