An artist's rendition of the points discussed at the Catherine Worthingham Fellows Forum on Noncommunicable Diseases
Jason Hubeny '18, a 3+3 DPT student at the University of Hartford, poses for a selfie with APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD
Jason Hubeny ‘18, a 3+3 DPT student in the University of Hartford’s College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, was able to represent the University among the thousands of other students and professionals at the 2017 American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) NEXT conference in Boston, Mass. APTA's NEXT Conference & Exposition is the only physical therapy conference that offers diverse, forward-thinking programming and features interactive sessions where students and physical therapists can engage directly with the profession’s forward thinkers and experts.
Attending the conference from June 21 to June 23, Jason was a student volunteer who helped to direct people to their sessions, as well as distribute GEICO sponsored t-shirts. When his volunteer time was up, Jason would attend the sessions that piqued his future prospects as a PT. Some of the sessions were “Management of Hip Displacement in Children with Cerebral Palsy,” "Assessing movement quality with a smart phone accelerometer,” and the Catherine Worthingham Fellows Forum on Noncommunicable Diseases. Jason hopes to carry this information forward during his volunteering time at the on-campus Farmington Valley Transition Academy, where Jason and other undergrad PT students work with students to improve mobility and flexibility. In addition, he wants this amazing experience to encourage undergraduate and graduate students to consider joining the APTA. “I love the University of Hartford, I don’t see myself going anywhere else,” says Jason. “But our DPT program doesn’t require APTA membership, and a lot of the other students don’t see the value in it. Hopefully we can start to change that mentality.”
During his time at NEXT, many students and professionals were shocked to learn that Jason was still an undergraduate student. “People were surprised by how eager I was to be in this profession. One member even called me a ‘unicorn’ because of how rare it was to see someone not even in a DPT program yet.” Jason was “conference buddies” (a way to pair up students at NEXT) with Lindsey McAlonan, a Sacred Heart DPT student and vice president of the Connecticut Student Special Interest Group of the APTA. Through her, Jason was able to meet other students on the Connecticut and National level who are directly involved with the APTA. As the new president of the Physical Therapy Student Association on campus, Jason hopes to use these connections to improve resources and knowledge the PTSA provides to undergrad PT students at the University of Hartford. “I think getting involved in these types of events and networking early can make a huge difference as a student,” says Jason. “You either find out that you don’t like the career path you’re on or you take huge step towards a fulfilling profession. This conference was inspiring and exciting, and I can’t wait to head to another.”
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is an individual membership professional organization representing more than 95,000 member physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students of physical therapy. APTA seeks to improve the health and quality of life of individuals in society by advancing physical therapist practice, education, and research, and by increasing the awareness and understanding of physical therapy's role in the nation's health care system.
Jason is a very driven student in the undergraduate physical therapy program. He not only pursues excellent learning opportunities but also works to get his peers involved in them as well. Jason is a role model for a majority of the PTSA students and will bring exceptional resources to the club as the new president. The University will see more great work from Jason as he moves into his senior year of his undergraduate studies.