Kari Smith, P.T., D.P.T., BCB-PMD, a physical therapist, manager of the Des Moines University Physical Therapy Clinic and an associate professor in DMU’s doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.) program, has become a board-certified clinical specialist in women’s health physical therapy through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Her certification is signified by the letters WCS.
Specialist certification formally recognizes physical therapists who have demonstrated advanced clinical knowledge and skills in a specific area of physical therapist practice. Women’s health clinical specialists possess advanced knowledge in foundational science, behavioral science, clinical science, client management and practice management in the realm of women’s health physical therapy.
Only five other physical therapists in Iowa have earned this board certification.
“We are proud that Dr. Smith has been awarded one of the highest designations available in our profession. She has demonstrated a sincere commitment to pursuing an advanced level of skill with which to best serve our patients,” says Traci Bush, D.P.T., OTR/L, D.H.S., chair of DMU’s physical therapy department.
Dr. Smith also is board-certified in women’s health and biofeedback. She is a member of the APTA Academy of Pelvic Health practice committee as the payment chair and the knowledge transfer committee for clinical practice guidelines. In addition, she is an instructor for the academy, which will host a lab course Nov. 10-11 at Des Moines University. She’s proud that six DMU students have registered attend the course.
Dr. Smith and other providers at the DMU Physical Therapy Clinic strive to optimize patients’ function, recovery and high-level performance through hands-on care and patient-focused movement assessment and treatment. They treat a wide variety of conditions including muscle or joint pain, post-surgical rehabilitation, pelvic pain and incontinence, prenatal and postpartum issues, dizziness and balance problems and adult neurological conditions.
Dr. Smith is among DMU faculty who are board-certified in their respective areas of specialization. Certification areas and faculty are:
- Geriatrics: Julie Ronnebaum, D.P.T., Ph.D., associate professor of physical therapy, has emerita-status certification, and Katie Stevermer, P.T., D.P.T., Ph.D., associate professor of physical therapy, has current certification.
- Orthopedics: Shane McClinton, P.T., D.P.T., Ph.D., FAAOMPT, CSCS, associate professor of physical therapy, and physical therapist Lauren Plum, P.T., D.P.T., have current orthopedic clinical specialist (OCS) certification; Shannon Petersen, P.T., DSCPT, FAAOMPT, COMT, professor of physical therapy, has emerita-status certification.
- Neurology: Allison Larson, P.T., D.P.T., is certified as a neurologic clinical specialist (NCS).
You can find certified clinical specialists in physical therapy using the APTA website’s directory.