The Student Connection
The Student Connection

The Student Connection

Faculty Spotlight - Dr. Lisa Vanhoose

Dr. Lisa Vanhoose

Dr. Lisa Vanhoose

Dr. Lisa Vanhoose is the new chairperson in the Hampton University Department of Physical Therapy (PT). She began Jan. 5 after Dr. Yolanda Rainey served as Interim Chairperson for four years. Vanhoose said she is enjoying the campus and ready to get to work within the program, which includes keeping it vital among other physical therapy programs, particularly those at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). HU's PT department has a three-year graduation rate, for years 2008, 2012, and 2013, of 93.62 percent. (There were no program graduates from 2009 through 2011.) When averaged over 3 years, 90 percent of program graduates have passed the licensure examination. Vanhoose plans to keep the successes rolling at HU. Read more about her in this Q&A.


What are your goals for the PT Department at HU?
My goals for the PT Department at HU for the next 3 years are to improve our instructional spaces, revise our curriculum based on the new accreditation standards, increase our incoming class size to 36 students, hire two additional faculty members, and develop a strategic research agenda for the department. With the feedback from the faculty, the department is interested in developing a rehabilitation research center to reduce health disparities. The Center will provide training for physical therapists and students to become academicians and researchers and provide scientific contributions regarding the role of physical therapy in prevention of disease and disability.

How does HU's PT program remain relevant, considering it is one of only a few HBCU's with a PT program?
PT programs located in HBCUs are crucial to the profession being able to address the needs of public. The diversity in the physical therapy field is limited and HBCU PT programs continue to graduate the highest percentages of physical therapists from underrepresented populations. As the face of America continues to change, we need a workforce that mirrors the population and HBCU PT programs have proven to be the only programs that are aggressively answering that call.

What was your position before coming to HU?
Prior to arriving at HU, I was an assistant professor in the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science department at the University of Kansas Medical Center. In my role, I also served as the Director of the KU HealthPartners Rehabilitation and Wellness Clinic that provided physical therapy and psychology services to cancer survivors to improve their health outcomes and quality of life. I was the principal investigator in the Cancer Rehabilitation and Wellness Laboratory, as well.

What potential have you seen in the program thus far?
We have a fabulous faculty and staff in the HU PT program. The leadership that Dr. Rainey has provided over the last few years has been amazing. The students in the program are committed to becoming practitioners who are culturally component and evidence based trained.

What is your educational background?
My educational background includes a bachelor's degree in Health Sciences with Honors from the University of Central Arkansas in 1995. Then, I completed my master's degree in Physical Therapy at the same institution in 1996. I completed a PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2011. Then I received Cardiovascular Genetic Epidemiology training at Washington University through a NIH NHLBI Summer Institute program from 2011-2013. I am currently completing a Masters in Public Health from the University of Kansas Medical Center and will graduate this spring. I have been blessed to receive a F31 from NIH NHLBI and a K12 award focused on women's health. My research interest focuses on the epidemiology of cancer related side effects in female minority cancer survivors and optimizing physical therapy interventions to address these side effects.

Leha Byrd