Author: UTHSC

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Category: Health Professions | Past Winners

2022 Outstanding Alumna Award Winner

Karen Smith

Karen R. Smith, PT, DPT, NCS, CWS, WCC, FACCWS, C/NDT, CSRS, is a 1986 UTHSC graduate (Karen R. Fannin) with a BS in Physical Therapy and a 2006 UTHSC graduate with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She has a 2017 Graduate Certificate in Pediatrics from the University of Indianapolis. She is a Board-Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), a Certified Wound Specialist with the American Board of Wound Management, Wound Care Certified with the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy, and Fellow of The American College of Clinical Wound Specialists. Dr. Smith is Certified in the Neurodevelopmental Treatment Approach for the management of adults with stroke and brain injury with the Neuro-developmental Treatment Association and is a Certified Stroke Rehabilitation Specialist with the National Stroke Association. She is an Advanced Credentialed Clinical Instructor with the APTA.

She is a Vanderbilt grant faculty member for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program (Vanderbilt Consortium LEND) and a Tennessee State University grant faculty member for the Connecting Faculty Learning to Student Learning program.

Dr. Smith is a tenured Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Sciences at Tennessee State University (TSU). She has 36 years of experience as a physical therapist in multiple clinical settings and currently sees patients at the pro bono TSU Tiger Community Rehabilitation Clinic. Her clinical focus and specialty are neurologic PT and advanced wound management.

She has authored or co-authored numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers and a textbook chapter. She has presented continuing education courses for APTA-TN on stroke, ethics, and jurisprudence at the state level and presented research at the state, national, and international levels. Her research interests include adult and pediatric neurology, wound management, prosthetics, and medical ethics.

She was the secretary of the PT Class of 1986 and has organized class reunions, social media pages, and newsletters. At TSU, she is active in committees at the department, college, and university levels. She is the Assessment Coordinator and Service Chair for the Department of Physical Therapy. Dr. Smith organizes and volunteers at several community events each year for TSU PT faculty/student participation. She organizes and volunteers for APTA-TN Nashville District’s participation in Physical Therapy Day of Service opportunities. She has provided spiritual and medical services on domestic and international mission trips. She received a Frist Humanitarian Award in 2011.

Dr. Smith is currently the APTA-TN Nashville District Chair, on the APTA-TN Board, and is a delegate to the APTA House of Delegates. She is a Specialization Academy of Content Experts item writer and case report reviewer in wound management for the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists and is an item writer for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NTPE) for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. She is a consultant to the Tennessee Board of Physical Therapy. Dr. Smith with the Nashville District, received the 2022 Outstanding District Award, APTA-TN.