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Alana Garcia, PT, DPT, NCS, CBIS

2017 Recipient of the Early Career Professional Award

Alana Garcia PT, DPT, NCS, CBIS

    Dr. Garcia currently practices in the Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There, she serves on the inpatient acute stroke team and in the intensive care unit as a physical therapist. There, her accomplisments include working towards implementing evidence based recommendations for early mobilization following stroke and for patients in intensive care. Her accomplishments as a clinical instructor were recognized with a nomination for the MPTA Excellent Clinical Instructor Award in 2015. In addition to her work at the Butterworth, she has also had several pro bono, international experiences providing physical therapy to people with neurological conditions in Jamaica and Uganda.

Speaking of her experience, she states "I love using the JFK Coma Recovery Scale-Revised to show early recovery in patients with brain injuries. I am able to provide the medical team and patient’s families with measurable assessments of a patient’s level of consciousness which is able to influences the medical plan of care." She was invited to attend the APTA CSM conference in 2017 as an Early Career Professional Awardee, which recognizes therapists with significant contribution to the field of neurologic physical therapy within their first 5 years of joining the profession. 

CSM 2017 was her fourth time attending the conference, which she has found full of learning and career building opportunities. Reflecting on her experience, she cites one specific example oh how she was able to bring content presented at CSM to her career: "One of the lectures I attended this year particularly stood out to me, ‘Enhancing Patient Outcomes After Stroke: Acute Care and Beyond’ presented by Gina Dubuisson and Allison Lieberman. From content in this lecture, I was more empowered to propose a change to my hospital’s protocol for early mobility in stroke patient population post administration of tPA.  We have now began mobilizing stroke patients earlier and I am in the process of tracking if we are able discharge patients sooner and if there are additional gains in function secondary to the earlier mobility." She continues, "I feel the content presented [at CSM 2017] demonstrates where our profession is moving towards in the future, and is able to inspire me for my future research projects."

Dr. Garcia refers readers to the following association websites for further references: 
http://www.biausa.org/
http://www.nationalmssociety.org/
http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/

A Garcia portrait
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