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Department of Physical Therapy
Member, Texas Tech University System The Princeton Review - 373 Best Colleges, 2011 Edition

Dr. Heather Jo Braden

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Department of Physical Therapy

Associate Professor
  • Ph.D., Motor Neuroscience, Motor Learning Emphasis, Texas A&M University
  • M.P.T., Physical Therapy, Texas Tech University Health Science Center
  • B.S., Kinesiology, Angelo State University
  • Physical therapist (PT) examination
  • Systems review
  • Education and communication for the PT
  • Acute care management
  • Evidence-based practice seminar III
  • Essentials of rehabilitation with emphasis in the ADA and senior care options
  • Nursing concepts
  • Geriatric course unit instructor

Areas of Expertise:

  • Board certified geriatric specialist via American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties of the APTA
  • Skilled nursing
  • Management of therapy teams
  • Home health
  • Functional assessments
  • Such as gait speed in acute care
  • Skilled nursing and inpatient rehab
  • Enhanced technology and technology enhanced inter-professional education between nursing and physical therapy

Director of Functional Mobility Laboratory

  • study outcome measures across multiple health care settings
  • study implications of gait speed in patient care

Co-Director of the Interprofessional Education Collaborative

  • study student use of interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum
  • study clinician utilization of IPE between interdisciplinary teams such as physical therapy, nurse practitioners, physicians, pharmacy, social work, etc
  • study use of instructional media on learning outcomes in online versus face to face coursework

Dr. Braden joined ASU’s Physical Therapy Department in 2010 and teaches lecture and laboratory in the DPT curriculum including Physical Therapist Examination, Acute Care Management, Systems Review, Education and Communication for the Physical Therapist, Evidence Based Research and Essentials of Rehabilitation Practice. Dr. Braden’s prior teaching experience at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio included Clinical Foundations I and II, Professional Issues and Clinical Decision Making, Movement Science II/Motor Control and Motor Learning, Pharmacology, Orthotics/Prosthetics, Management of the Patient with Cardiopulmonary Dysfunction, and Principles of Administration in Physical Therapy. Dr. Braden also team taught in Management of the Patient with Neuromuscular Dysfunction and directed student projects in Systematic Reasoning & Scientific Investigation II.

Dr. Braden is board certified as a Geriatric Clinical Specialist (GCS) by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Dr. Braden earned her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, Masters of Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University Health Science Center, and Bachelor of Science from Angelo State University.

Dr. Braden has practiced as a licensed physical therapist for over a decade. Most recently, she served as Senior Director of Rehabilitation responsible for an interdisciplinary team of therapists in skilled nursing facilities, home health, and outpatient settings. Dr. Braden has worked in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing, outpatient, home health, school systems, early childhood intervention (ECI), wound care, aquatics, and work injury settings. Dr. Braden has initiated wellness programs for patients with cancer and life enrichment programs for residents in long term care settings.

Dr. Braden’s research interests include (1) outcomes measures in rehabilitation across health care settings, (2) interprofessional education and telemedicine, and (3) motor learning in geriatrics. Dr. Braden’s fields of study have resulted in external and internal grant funding, multiple peer-reviewed journal publications, national and international platform and poster presentations, and international collaborative research with faculty from Korea University and the University of Leipzig in Germany.

Dr. Braden participated at World Congress Physical Therapy (WCPT) with poster and platform presentations and for the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) with platform and poster presentations. Dr. Braden has been an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) since 1998 with section membership in Geriatrics, Oncology, and Health Policy and Management presenting research at the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM).

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