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2010 Health Care Champion Honoree: Becky Crocker, D.PT

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After 39 years as a physical therapy provider, Becky Crocker thought it was time to use her experience to teach others.

In 2002, while teaching as an adjunct instructor at Ozarks Technical Community College, Crocker earned her doctorate of physical therapy from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

She joined OTC full time as an instructor in the physical therapist assistant program and academic coordinator of clinical education.

“We teach the students to look at the human, not the disease,” she says, noting that students are instructed to use what’s called people-first language.

For example, instead of saying “the stroke patient,” they’re taught to say, “the person who has experienced a stroke.”

Roxanna Watts, a former physical therapy assistant student and OTC graduate, says Crocker teaches students to raise the level of health care in the real world.

“She wanted … to make sure students got the most up-to-date information and good instruction,” Watts says.

Watts was especially impressed at the way Crocker integrated the physical therapy core values – including altruism, accountability, caring, compassion, excellence and integrity – throughout the physical therapy assistant coursework at OTC.

Crocker’s influence doesn’t stop with OTC students, though. Crocker and fellow instructor Rebecca McKnight presented a white paper, “Snow White and the Seven Character Qualities,” about integrating character values, during the American Physical Therapy Association’s combined sections meeting in San Diego.

After volunteer trips to Haiti in July and September through Project Medishare, Crocker also is excited about extending PTA education globally.

Crocker provided wound care for patients in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

“They were inspirational to me,” she says. “Their faith is amazing.”

She also had the opportunity to instruct Haitian physical therapists.

“Haitian physical therapists are hungry for education,” Crocker said, adding that she’s trying to figure out a way for OTC to meet that need online.

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