Florida National University Names Director for New Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program

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Florida National University (FNU), a leading provider of Allied Health education in the state of Florida, has announced that Dr. Kelly Krenkel has been named Director of their upcoming Physical Therapist Assistant Program, planning to launch in 2014.

FNU retained Wolfe & Huntsman Executive Search to spearhead the search for this key departmental position.

Our goal was to target truly 'passive' candidates: individuals who not only were NOT actively looking for a new job, but in this case, were open to the idea of making a dramatic career change by transitioning from the clinical setting to the classroom.

In an effort to serve the community and fulfill the workforce demands, FNU (formerly Florida National College), will be extending its program offerings by adding the Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) to its list. Dr. Loreto Almonte, the institution’s Allied Health Division Head, said the decision to add the PTA program was based on the United States Labor Department reports that state that the PTA profession is expected to grown by 35% from 2008 - 2018.

In order for FNU students to be eligible for their state licensing test, FNU’s PTA program most hold a programmatic accreditation granted by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapist Education (CAPTE). This challenge to earn the accreditation status falls on the program's newly named Director, Dr. Kelly Krenkel.

"Besides her outstanding qualifications and credentials, Dr. Krenkel has the perfect attitude and disposition to develop and lead FNU’s PTA program," said Dr. Almonte. "She plans to develop a curriculum utilizing her years of experience as a student and as a practitioner in order to forge a path to lead our students to be successful as entry-level PTA practitioners, as well as encourage them to further their studies within the Physical Therapy field." 

Dr. Krenkel has spent much of the past five years working in the clinical setting as a Physical Therapist at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Miami, FL. She is a graduate of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Science. Dr. Krenkel received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2008 from the University of Miami, where she graduated with Honors.

FNU retained Wolfe & Huntsman Executive Search, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL to spearhead the search for this key departmental position. "Our challenge in conducting a successful candidate search for the caliber of professional this type of position demands was two-fold," said Thad Greer, Vice President of Talent Acquisition with Wolfe & Huntsman Executive Search. "First off, you must have someone that meets the rigid educational and clinical requirements dictated by the accrediting body - in this case, CAPTE. Second, our goal was to target truly 'passive' candidates: individuals who not only were NOT actively looking for a new job, but in this case, were open to the idea of making a dramatic career change by transitioning from the clinical setting to the classroom."

Wolfe & Huntsman Executive Search's management team selected Mr. Greer to lead the search based on his previous experience as the Campus President of an Allied Health college in Florida. "The goal of today's Allied Health schools is to give students the firsthand knowledge and skills they need to step out of the classroom and into the clinical setting as seamlessly as possible. By hiring Dr. Krenkel FNU is ensuring that their students will receive an education that reflects the 'real-world' environment as closely as possible."

This projected growth trend in the PTA professional is supported for the increment of people that are going to need this specialized service.

This increment is due to:

  • Changes to restrictions on reimbursement for Physical Therapy services by third-party payers.
  • The increasing elderly population. The elderly population is particularly vulnerable to chronic and debilitating conditions that require therapeutic services.
  • In addition, the large baby-boom generation is entering the prime age for heart attacks and strokes, further increasing the demand for cardiac and physical rehabilitation.
  • Medical and technological advances permit an increased percentage of trauma victims and newborns with birth defects to survive, creating added demand for therapy and rehabilitative services.
  • Replacement of workers who permanently retire from their occupations as PTAs.
  • Also, Job opportunities should be particularly good in the existing and projected acute hospital, skilled nursing, and orthopedic settings, where the elderly are most often treated. Job prospects should be especially favorable in rural areas, as many physical therapists tend to cluster in highly populated urban and suburban areas.

Florida National University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and has been providing quality higher education since 1982. To learn more about FNU, visit http://www.fnu.edu. To learn more about Wolfe & Huntsman Executive Search, visit http://www.wolfe-huntsman.com. Thad Greer, Vice President of Talent Acquisition, can be reached at 877-448-9406, x110 or tgreer(at)wolfehuntsman(dot)com.

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