Kathy Mercuris, PT, DHS has been a member of the Physical Therapy faculty since the program began in 1988. Originally from Illinois, she received her physical therapy degree from Northwestern University in Chicago and worked at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for 2 years. Her husband is from Marshalltown and she moved to Des Moines in 1978 when they were married. She worked at Iowa Methodist Medical Center: Younker Rehabilitation Center for 10 years. She received a master’s degree from Drake University in 1983 and her Doctorate in Health Sciences from the University of Indianapolis in 2007. She has certifications in: Neurodevelopment Treatment (NDT) for adults with hemiplegia, exercise for older adults (CEEAA), and as an instructor in Tai Chi for Arthritis.
What is your dream vacation?
Anywhere with palm trees, warm ocean water, sun and a gentle breeze. I like having my husband around too. My son and daughter-in-law live and work in Hawaii so I think we have found the perfect vacation spot. My daughter lives in Oregon- so she comes in 2nd for vacation locations.
What words do you live by?
“Success- To laugh often and much; … to appreciate beauty; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.” - Emerson
What is your most memorable ‘redeemed social condition’?
I was fortunate to travel to Jamaica on a DMU Mission Trip and spend a week with our students treating 7 individuals with chronic stroke. We were immersed in the rural community and it was an amazing experience. Everyone involved worked really hard and the patients made incredible progress during the week. It was such an honor to work in this environment. I was so impressed that I brought the idea back to DMU. I was able to sponsor a Stroke Camp on campus the past 2 years. Several DPT students give up their spring break to participate, community therapists volunteer time to help supervise, and we provide physical therapy treatment to 6-7 people with stroke here in our community. They make as much progress as the Jamaicans!
What do you like best about working at DMU?
I very much enjoy working with the students, the patients, and my peers. There is variety in each day and usually something fun to offset the few not so fun tasks.