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Harvey Wallmann named director of WKU’s new physical therapy program

Harvey W. Wallmann, director of the physical therapy program at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has been named director of WKU’s new physical therapy program. He will begin at WKU July 15.

Harvey W. Wallmann

Dr. Wallmann is also an associate professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at UNLV, which he started in 1997.  The program started as a master’s degree and was transitioned to the doctor of physical therapy in 2005.

Dr. Wallmann, who is originally from Indiana, said the chance to start another program and to return to the Midwest were factors that attracted him to WKU.

“When I arrived at UNLV, there was a huge learning curve,” he said. “Now I have experience putting a program together, developing a curriculum and I’ve been through three self studies and two accreditations.”

Dr. Wallmann also said he was impressed by the sense of community he experienced during his visit to WKU. “This feels right to me,” he said.

John Bonaguro, dean of WKU’s College of Health and Human Services, said Dr. Wallmann was selected after a national search.

“He has experience in starting the DPT program at UNLV and taking it to full accreditation by the Council on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). He is charged with completing the same task at WKU,” Dr. Bonaguro said. “Dr. Wallmann is highly respected in physical therapy education and understands the challenges of accreditation, faculty recruitment and fund-raising that go along with implementation of a new degree program.  We are excited that he is joining our faculty in the college.”

WKU has assessed the need for physical therapists, especially in the western part of Kentucky, Dr. Wallmann said, which also made the program attractive to him. “There is a huge rural contingency and one focus will be to integrate that into the curriculum, maybe by requiring a clinical rotation in a rural area,” he said.

A service component will also be an important part of the program. “I’m a firm believer that you have to embrace the community if you want them to embrace you,” he said.

Dr. Wallmann received a bachelor’s degree in Movement and Sports Science from Purdue University in 1985, a master’s degree with an emphasis in exercise physiology from Purdue University in 1986, a master’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Indianapolis in 1989, and a doctor of science in Physical Therapy from Loma Linda University in 2000.

He has advanced training and skills in manual techniques of the spine and extremities with his primary work experience being in orthopaedics and sports physical therapy.  In addition to being a certified athletic trainer (ATC) and a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), Dr. Wallmann is also a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy (SCS) and served as the Chair of the Sports Specialty Council under the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) from 2008-09.  Areas of interest include foot and ankle, foot orthotic fabrication, gait training, the effects of stretching on performance, muscle fatigue, sports nutrition, and balance assessment.

Contact: John Bonaguro, (270) 745-7003.

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