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Deborah Jones, PT, DPT, CEEAA, ATP

Spotlight to a career filled with varied experience and continued learning.


Debbie Jones has had a wide variety of experiences as a Neurologic focused Physical Therapist and personal interests including:

  • clinical care
  • research publications in journals and chapters in clinical books
  • teaching (university level, courses, peers and associations nationally and internationally)
  • mobility clinics in both China and Guatemala
  • community involvement as a 4H leader for over 20 years for horse projects, working with 4th graders to 12 graders

Her work at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center she credits for setting the pace of her career.   She gained a wide variety of experiences and learning opportunities while working in the seating clinic, shoe shop, the casting room, in-patient and out-patient clinics.  Mentoring and working alongside the following famous researchers and practitioners ”who set the stage for my approach, level of expertise, life-long learning, seeking answers, asking questions and looking outside the box” include:

  • Dr. Jacquelin Perry- well known for gait, invention of the halo for SCI, etc.
  • Dr. Lawrence Dorr and many other orthopedic surgeons and developers of total hip prostheses.
  • Dr. Comar- a urologist specializing in spinal cord injury bladder/bowel and sexual function.  This peaked my interest in pelvic health.


After working at Rancho, she returned to PT school, and taught in the program. She presented at the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons' annual meeting on behalf of Rancho.  She finished her DPT program in 2016.

        Dr. Jones has been a member of the APTA for over 30 years and member of the Academy of Geriatrics/Neurology for over 20 years. She has worked for Providence for 25 years and her peers identify her as “a holistic, driven person who will never stop learning”.  Per her supervisor Joel Williams, “Deb can see pelvic health, vestibular, neuro, wheelchair fitting, persistent pain, and has the capability to see almost any patient that walks through the front door.”

Credit to her expertise include being awarded the 2019 Mercedes Weiss Service Award for her leadership, research and clinical work in seating and wheeled mobility systems change. The Mercedes Weiss Service Award was established in 1976 to publicly acknowledge the outstanding contribution of members of the profession and is a very prestigious award.

 Dr Jones has developed a curriculum with training materials geared to clinicians, policy makers and administrators. Later she developed and tested a model of care that reflects dynamic and complex change in care delivery. It provided management and organizational perspective by identifying challenges, offering solutions and providing future direction to improve quality and value for care for the older adult. The model has been adopted and implemented by policy makers, regulators, administrators and clinicians; first in Oregon and then beyond resulting in sustained systems change. As a result of her work there have been a number of changes in the clinical practice of seating and wheeled mobility (SWM) for older adults in long term care settings. Her work is highlighted in a special edition publication entitled "Seating and Wheeled Mobility for Older Adults Living in Nursing Homes." Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation 31(1): 10-18.1 An author of numerous publications promoting improvement and system change in long term care and a presenter at OPTA, at national, and international conferences she has a track record of sustained professional contributions. 

She is the acting Secretary for APTA SIG Seated and Wheeled Mobility.

“As a life-long learner, I believe staying current and having multiple approaches and "tools" assists me in establishing a plan of care towards the healing process of our patients, especially the ones with complex issues.  It is hard to consolidate so many years of learning and treating, but since you asked... I have been thinking and my career was really set and created as a Rancho model. I am proud to have had the opportunity to learn from these mentors so many I cannot name... but the patients themselves have taught me too!”


Thanks for your service and dedication Deb!




Contact info: email

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