College of Saint Mary

College of Saint Mary to offer Doctorate of Physical Therapy Dr. Kimberly Varnado College of Saint Mary (CSM) will launch a blended-learning Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in the summer of 2020, designed to bring world-class care to health systems across the Midwest and beyond. The pioneering program will use technology to tap into experts from across the globe and train physical therapists to bring modernized healthcare practices to rural communities and underserved urban areas. "Not only are we changing the way physical therapy is taught, but we're also hoping to change how it's provided throughout the region," said CSM President Dr. Maryanne Stevens, RSM. "What's happening in rural communities throughout Nebraska and the Midwest affects us all. This revolutionary program will help expand the rural healthcare workforce to provide access to vital physical therapy care for underserved areas of the region." The program will take advantage of the latest developments in online education, allowing professors and students to interact through video-based skill demonstrations. These lessons, which students can access and review on their own time, will prepare candidates for in-person practice sessions. The director of the DPT program is working closely with industry-leading experts from institutions like Duke Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente. "A unique benefit of this program is the ability to pull experts from across the country," said Dr. Kimberly Varnado, director of the new Doctor of Physical Therapy program. "Suddenly these renowned specialists have an opportunity to work with an institution that meets their personal and professional mission without having to uproot their families." As part of the program, students will participate in "pro-bono" clinics, where they'll be able to provide free physical therapy care to low-income and homeless populations throughout Omaha. The new DPT program will consist of six practice-intensive week-long sessions each year to work on hands-on techniques with professors. As a result, students will also be able to earn the terminal degree in just over 2.6 years. Learn more at

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