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Undergraduate education:

University of Kentucky

Graduate school:

University of Kentucky

Professional interest:

I have worked both as a pediatric physical therapist and research assistant at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. My professional interests in research and pediatric physical therapy stemmed from a desire to work with children with special needs. During PT school I was part of the PREPaRE Program (which supported additional courses in pediatrics), served as clinic coordinator in the student-run, pro-bono PT clinic called Samaritan’s Touch as well as an interpreter for clinicians during medical brigades to Ecuador. Since graduation from the UK DPT program I have practiced in North Carolina (Asheville) and Kentucky (Lexington and Louisville), working predominantly in outpatient pediatrics and early intervention. Additionally, I have worked with Dr. Andrea Behrman as a pediatric physical therapist in the Kosair Charities Pediatric NeuroRecovery Network. Regarding research interests and foci, I have experience in translational, quantitative studies in neurotrauma and physiology. These studies focused on improving screening and treatment for human patients in the areas of traumatic brain injury and pain; focusing on developing an animal model and studying the impact of therapeutic interventions to better understand potential avenues for human intervention. Additionally, I have qualitative research experience focusing on pediatric patient and family perspectives of rehabilitation following spinal cord injury and studying the perspectives of health and wellness amongst vulnerable populations in rural Ecuador.

Why I chose to do a residency program at UNC:

Living and working in rural and inner city areas of North Carolina and Kentucky ignited a desire to further develop my skills as a pediatric physical therapist. These families often travel long distances and work so hard to provide for their families, I wanted be able to better serve the needs of children with special needs and their families.

What I like about Chapel Hill:

As someone who loves the outdoors, I have fallen in love with the beautiful scenery and ready access to all kinds of hiking and biking trails. I also love the diversity of living in the research triangle and all the wonderful, collaborative experience that stems from the unique group of professionals here.

Kaitlyn McNamara, PT, DPT