Dr. Dolly Swisher named interim director for Physical Therapy

Laura Lee (Dolly) Swisher, PT, PhD, FNAP, FAPTA, has been named interim director for the USF Health School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences by Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine.

Dr. Dolly Swisher.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, Dr. Swisher will act as a temporary replacement for Dr. William S. “Sandy” Quillen, DPT, PhD, FACSM, who, after a long and successful career, resigned as director earlier this month and will remain at the School as a tenured faculty member beginning Spring Semester 2017.

“Dr. Swisher is eminently qualified to assume the post of interim director, is a founding faculty member for the School, and has very sound ideas about how to keep the School moving forward,” Dr. Lockwood said. “She will continue the upward path so clearly defined by Dr. Quillen in raising the profile and standing of the School and pushing to meet the state’s demand for an increasingly sophisticated health care workforce.”

Dr. Swisher, who has been with USF since 1998, is professor and assistant dean for interprofessional education for the Morsani College of Medicine, and coordinator of professional education for the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences. Her professional experience includes clinical work in the outpatient, hand therapy, subacute, and inpatient settings.

Known for her scholarship in ethics, professionalism, and interprofessional education, Dr. Swisher is the author of journal publications, books, and book chapters about ethics, professionalism, ethics education, and interprofessional education. She has chaired the Ethics and Judicial Committee of the American Physical Therapy Association and has served as co-chair of the Task Force to Revise the Core Ethics Documents.

As a member of the editorial board and a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation, she brings a commitment to developing an awareness of the human moral foundation for care and professionalism.

She currently chairs the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

Dr. Swisher has won a variety of teaching awards, as well as multiple national awards for her work, most recently being named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow by the American Physical Therapy Association.

A search will begin in the New Year for the School’s permanent director.