RehabCare Group, Inc.

September 05, 2007 06:30 ET

RehabCare Co-Sponsors Professorship with University of Kansas

ST. LOUIS--(Collegiate Presswire - September 5, 2007) - RehabCare Group, Inc. (NYSE: RHB) has announced it is partnering with the University of Kansas (KU) School of Allied Health, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, in the creation of a RehabCare Professorship of Geriatric Rehabilitation. The position will be one of the only Professorships sponsored by an academic-business partnership in the country. A nationwide search for candidates is underway.

John H. Short, Ph.D., RehabCare President and Chief Executive Officer, said the fundamental objective of the Professorship is to draw national attention to a looming crisis in geriatric healthcare. "For several years now, the rehabilitation industry has contended with a widespread shortage of therapists, and by present indicators, this supply-demand gap will continue to expand," he said, citing the aging population and a decline in the number of training programs and graduating therapists as contributing factors.

Some sources estimate that there could be a 20 percent shortfall between the supply and demand for therapists by 2014. Intensifying the problem, said Dr. Short, is a growing preference among new therapists to work with younger patient populations rather than in geriatric rehabilitation settings, where the need is greatest.

"The future of geriatric care in this region and across the country depends on our ability to proliferate the field of rehabilitative services with quality, compassionate professionals," said Karen L. Miller, Ph.D., Dean of the KU School of Allied Health. "We're thrilled to partner with an industry leader in bringing geriatric health issues center stage and fostering greater interest in the rewards and challenges of a career dedicated to the special needs of the elderly."

In addition to a teaching position, the RehabCare Professorship will entail establishing and maintaining an active research program, developing a mentorship program for therapy students, securing scholarship grants, advocating for healthcare policy reform and providing consultation on a state and national level.

Dr. Short also expects the Professorship to enhance RehabCare's position as an employer of choice in the Midwest, where the company has its largest market presence, and to ensure appropriately trained therapists for RehabCare settings.

"One of our principal strategies for confronting the staffing shortage in key geographic markets has been to affiliate with leading academic programs in offering clinical fieldwork experience for therapy students," Dr. Short said. "This partnership is one of our first opportunities to influence curriculum and to have RehabCare representation at the instructor level. Its success will create a blueprint for advancing relationships with other educational institutions."

Interested candidates in the RehabCare Professorship of Geriatric Rehabilitation must have a Ph.D. and a background in geriatric rehabilitation, with an emphasis in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, medicine or rehabilitation science.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, RehabCare (www.rehabcare.com) is a leading national provider of physical rehabilitation services in conjunction with nearly 1,300 skilled nursing facilities and hospitals in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Company also owns and/or operates freestanding rehabilitation and long-term acute care hospitals.

The KU Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science (Kansas City, KS) was first accredited in 1944, one of the oldest PT programs west of the Mississippi River. The department has 15 full and part-time faculty, a diverse student body of more than 150 men and women, and offers a three-year doctorate degree in physical therapy as well as a Ph.D. program in Rehabilitation Science.

Contact Information

  • RehabCare Group, Inc.
    Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
    Jay Shreiner
    314-863-7422