Open Accessibility Menu

Orthopedic PT Residency Program now offered in Abilene

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
Orthopedic PT Residency Program now offered in Abilene

In a unique collaboration between Hendrick Health, West Texas Rehabilitation Center and Hardin-Simmons University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, a new orthopedic physical therapy residency program will be offered in fall 2021. The Hendrick Health and West Texas Rehabilitation Center Orthopedic Residency (HHWTRCOR) program will begin with two physical therapy (PT) residents in its inaugural class.

HHWTRCOR was developed to post-professionally train and educate physical therapists in the orthopedic field of physical therapy. The program in Abilene is one of 10 orthopedic PT residency programs in Texas, with the other programs located in Houston (5), Dallas-Fort Worth (3) and San Antonio (1).

“Hendrick Health is very excited to partner with two other Christian-based and highly regarded organizations to come together to make this program a reality,” said Matt McCreary, PT, DPT, OCS, program director for HHWTRCOR and physical therapist at Hendrick Health. “We’ve been working for several years to get a PT residency program in Abilene, and with the help of our local orthopedic, medical and physical therapy professionals, our new program will be recognized nationally as a leader in the physical therapy world.”

The goal of HHWTRCOR is to provide a rigorous curriculum in order to develop highly-skilled, compassionate orthopedic physical therapists who will provide excellent orthopedic care grounded in evidence-supported practice and service to the community.

“We are proud to be part of this program and work with local clinics to train great orthopedic physical therapists,” said Marsha Rutland, PT, ScD, OCS, COMT, C-DN, program coordinator for HHWTRCOR and professor of physical therapy at Hardin-Simmons University. “Residents will teach and serve as lab assistants within the Hardin-Simmons DPT program, thus developing future teachers and leaders within the profession. The extensive diversity our faculty offers in their therapy backgrounds, is a key strength of this residency program.”

Accredited through the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education, the mission of this 12-month residency is “To develop highly skilled, compassionate orthopedic physical therapists who provide excellent orthopedic care grounded in evidence supported practice and service to the community we serve.”

Currently, not all physical therapy programs require therapists to complete a residency or fellowship program as a part of their educational requirements. Because of this, finding credentialed facilities with residency/fellowship programs has proven to be difficult for students and new graduates.

The orthopedic physical therapy residents will train and work in Abilene at HSU, Hendrick Health and West Texas Rehabilitation Center, allowing for the possibility of more therapists to remain in the region.

“We are very excited about the benefits of creating this type of program in Abilene,” said Brad Hicks, PT, DPT, CMTPT, MFDc, clinical site coordinator HHWTRCOR clinical site coordinator and physical therapist at West Texas Rehabilitation Center. “This program will give us the opportunity to work alongside Hendrick and HSU to educate and ultimately hire more experienced therapist locally.

Two residents will be accepted each year, and will be employed at Hendrick Health for six months and at West Texas Rehabilitation Center for six months during the program year. The classroom portions of the program will be at Hardin-Simmons University. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 31, 2021.

For more information on the program, visit