The Children's Institute Blog

Clinician Spotlight: Kate Duffy, Physical Therapist

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 by The Children's Institute

Today, the final day of February, we continue our Clinician Spotlight series by profiling Kate Duffy, a physical therapist in The Children's Institute's Wexford satellite.

I have been working in the pediatric setting of physical therapy for almost eight years. I’ve been at the Wexford satellite of The Children’s Institute for outpatient therapy for about five and a half years. I also have experience in Early Intervention.

Where did you go to college? I graduated from Slippery Rock University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program in 2010. My undergraduate degree is in Exercise Science, also from Slippery Rock. 
What inspired you to go into your field?
My sister was a competitive gymnast, and she had a number of orthopedic injuries treated through PT over the years. On occasion, I’d be along for some of her sessions and was fascinated by the environment and the process. Later on, I observed a school-based therapist. We saw kids of all ages in schools, preschools, and homes. I enjoyed seeing the variety in age and functional level—I knew that there would always be new things to see and learn and it was sure to be an exciting career path.

What do you like most about your job?
I love learning and using new treatment approaches. I feel like I’m a very different therapist now than I was when I first started working in this field, and I plan to continue to learn and evolve in the years to come. After attending a course a couple of years ago, I’ve taken a huge interest in postural alignment of the rib-cage and pelvis—good alignment in the trunk is such an important building block for all that we do. It impacts the way that we breathe, move, and balance. It can help with pain, change the way someone walks, or help a child to activate muscles in anticipation of a challenge to their balance. I’ve been taking a look at all of my patients through this lens and find that it is beneficial for a number of them, from babies to teenagers (and beyond!) and through a range of diagnoses.
I am excited by the vast expanse of ideas, research, and approaches that can help children of all ages make improvements and reach their goals.

Do you have any pets?
A big, fluffy Labradoodle named Tripp.

Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy baking, especially cookies and muffins! My family will often go for walks on trails in some local parks when the weather is nice. My interests jump around with various crafts and art-related projects; lately, I’ve been really into painting.

Do you want to give shout-outs to any family – nuclear or otherwise – in the area?
My husband Michael and our kids Bryson and Bree J

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
I’d have a “pause” button that I could use to selectively pause time and people/events around me. It would be so cool to literally turn off distractions for a minute to focus on a special moment in the day or finish a task more efficiently.

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