Dr. Scott Hasson has been in teaching and research for 29 years, and currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at Georgia Regents University.
His active career and dedication to the physical therapy profession earn him recognition as the Physical Therapy Association of Georgia’s May Member Spotlight.
Let’s meet PTAG member Dr. Hasson:
What is your educational background?
I have a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology/Chemistry, and a Masters in Physical Education both from California State University – Fresno. I have a Doctorate in Exercise Science from the University of Northern Colorado, and Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston.
How did you end up in the PT industry?
I already had my Doctorate in Exercise Science and was working as the Director of Rehabilitation in Cheyenne, WY., for a pain management center where I focused on work hardening and on-site training, preparing individuals returning to work.
This was in the very early 80’s and physical therapists and occupational therapists seemed to know very little regarding principles of exercise physiology and motor learning. I realized I did not know enough about pathology, and wanted to move into a more medical focused field.
I considered medicine, but felt I could contribute to physical therapy and perhaps have an impact on the field by promoting exercise science.
I contacted Dr. Helen Hislop at the University of Southern California – after reading some of her work and editorials. She suggested we meet and I flew from Wyoming to Rancho Los Amigos in Downey, CA. Her guidance and advice helped launch me into the field.
Ultimately I wrote the first text on Clinical Exercise Physiology and have been a proponent for Exercise Science as a basis for rehabilitation – especially for patients with Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis – for the past 25 years.
What is the best part about your job?
I enjoy mentoring both faculty and students.
I try to use my network to advance my students while they are here working on their Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), usually by trying to get them affiliations with outstanding clinicians. Once they graduate, I recommend continued growth in the field through residencies, obtaining advanced credentials or becoming PhD’s for those interested in research and mentoring.
I also work with faculty to assist them in realizing and pursuing their dreams in the field. Sometimes it is assisting them in writing their research or in trying to get the financial support for their professional growth or service ideas.
At this time in my career I am here to serve my students, faculty and profession.
Who has been one of the most influential people in your career?
There are two individuals – Dr. Helen Hislop who started me in the field and Dr. Elizabeth Protas, Dean of the College of Allied Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX.
These two women – along with my wife Ellen and three daughters Karen, Annie and Katie – are the reason why I have had success in my career.
My daughter Karen is a DPT who recently sat for her Neurological Certified Specialist exam after completing her Neuro Residency with Harris County Health in the Houston Medical Center.
What is one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?
People may be surprised to know that I already had my doctorate prior to becoming a physical therapist. Also, that my daughters collect snakes, and now that two of them have moved out of the house, I am the official “Snake Man!”
Do you know an extraordinary PT, PTA or student worth of recognition? Show your support by submitting nominations at www.ptagonline.org/peer-to-peer.