Marshall faculty member is first physical therapist recognized as David K. Brown Geriatric Scholar in West Virginia


TamaraGravano_GeriatricAwardDr. Tamara Gravano of the College of Health Professions is the first physical therapist in the state to complete the requirements to be recognized as a David K. Brown Geriatric Scholar through the West Virginia Geriatric Education Center (WVGEC).

Gravano, an assistant professor and director of clinical education in the college’s School of Physical Therapy, said she has worked toward the promotion and advancement of geriatric physical therapy since 2004.

“With this scholarship, I hope to have more insight and training to help strengthen our geriatric community,” Gravano said. “Being the first physical therapist to receive this honor was a surprise to me. Through this, I hope to encourage other colleagues who are interested in geriatrics to go through these courses and find out how they can also care for this growing population in our state.”

Nancy Daugherty, associate director for the WVGEC, said West Virginia is currently the second most elderly state in the country, and the percentage of the state’s population over 65 continues to increase. Daugherty said the David K. Brown Geriatric Scholar program seeks to strengthen the expertise in the field of geriatrics study, which will lead to improved care of our older adults.

“David K. Brown was the associate director of education at the West Virginia University Center on Aging, a professor at West Virginia University and served as a leader in geriatrics education prior to his death in 2009. This program honors his contribution to scholarship and advocacy,” Daugherty said. “The WVGEC is excited to partner with Dr. Gravano because we don’t have enough health care providers who specialize in geriatrics. We need more physical therapists and other health care professionals who do specialize in geriatric care because anything we can do to provide continuing education in this area would benefit our  elderly community.”

Dr. Penny Kroll, program director for the School of Physical Therapy, said Gravano’s achievement would blaze the trail for others in her field and encourage their colleagues to pursue similar opportunities.

“Dr. Gravano’s level of commitment and dedication to her field has been evident since coming to the Marshall School of Physical Therapy in 2011,” Kroll said. “This is a great example of how members of the Marshall community will continue to use their knowledge and passion to better those around them. I am delighted she was chosen for this honor, which she undoubtedly deserves.”

Gravano received an award of $1,000 to use toward further training in geriatric care. She will attend the Advanced Geriatric Skills program March 26-28 at Lakeview Conference Center in Morgantown where she will present her research on balance and falls.

For more nformation on Gravano and the School of Physical Therapy, visitwww.marshall.edu/cohp.

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Photo: Nancy Daugherty (left) of the West Virginia Geriatric Education Center presents a certificate to  Dr. Tamara Gravano recognizing Gravano as the first physical therapist to receive the David K. Brown Geriatric Scholar award. Gravano has been a physical therapist with board certification in geriatrics since 2005.