The grant is dedicated to enhancing the capacity of the early intervention physical therapy workforce in Hawai'i, specifically for young children with developmental delays and their families.
HPU's Doctor of Physical Therapy program (DPT), led by HPU Dean of Graduate Health Sciences and DPT Program Director, Tricia Catalino, PT, DSc, PCS, and HPU Professor Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, has reason to celebrate as they have recently secured a substantial grant to advance their mission. The team was awarded a five-year, $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, under the Office of Special Education (OSEP) Personnel Prep Grant program. The grant is dedicated to enhancing the capacity of the early intervention physical therapy workforce in Hawai’i, specifically for young children with developmental delays and their families.
Mary Jane Rapport.
This significant achievement is part of the project titled “Meeting the Early Intervention Needs of Young Children and Families in Hawai‘i.” The grant, administered through the FY2023 OSEP Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities Program, focuses on personnel preparation for special education, early intervention, and related services personnel. The first year of the grant will focus on planning, and 5 to 6 students will be selected each of the next four years to participate in the project through courses and mentored clinical experiences throughout Hawai’i.
Rapport, grant project director and Associate Director of the DPT Program at HPU, expressed the team's enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, "We believe that this project will help better prepare select DPT graduates to meet the needs of young children with development delays and their families throughout Hawai’i. The project will also build substantially greater capacity for early intervention physical therapy in Hawai’i over the period of the grant."
Dean Tricia Catalino.
The comprehensive review of the grant application, conducted by external experts in the field, resulted in its approval for federal funding. The approval marks a significant milestone for HPU and the DPT program.
With this funding, Catalino, Rapport, and their team will have the resources and support needed to bolster early intervention physical therapy services in Hawai’i, addressing the unique needs of young children and their families in the state. This project is poised to make a profound impact on the lives of those it serves and contribute to the development of the next generation of physical therapy professionals.
"Receiving this grant is a remarkable testament to the dedication and passion of our Doctor of Physical Therapy program team. We are committed to strengthening early intervention services in Hawai’i and ensuring that young children with developmental delays and their families receive the support they deserve,” said Catalino.
The DPT program at HPU is the first and only program in Hawaiʻi, welcoming its first cohort of students in July 2022 and the second cohort joined in August 2023. The two-year program utilizes hybrid course delivery with most of the education completed online complemented by lab immersions for hands-on learning on campus in Honolulu at the end of each didactic term. In addition, students participate in 32 weeks of collaborative clinical education experiences. To learn more, click here.
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