Software Entrepreneur Launches Scholarship Program to Bridge Diversity Gap in Physical Therapy

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Posted By on August 26, 2021

Applications are open for five scholarships for BIPOC students pursuing careers in PT

Rizing Tide, a foundation dedicated to inspiring more diversity and inclusiveness in the physical therapy (PT) workforce, recently announced five scholarship opportunities for promising BIPOC students on the path to pursuing their Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) or who will be attending a PT residency program. Scholarship recipients are selected by a committee and awarded by merit. The first round includes five scholarships between $10,000 and $14,000 each.

Rizing Tide was founded by Dr. Heidi Jannenga, physical therapist and co-founder of WebPT, to help build a more diverse and inclusive PT industry. As a clinician and longtime industry advocate, Jannenga recognizes every patient deserves to feel represented by their healthcare provider. Yet, the industry currently falls short. While 39.9 percent of the U.S. population identifies as BIPOC, only 22.2 percent of employed PTs identify as BIPOC. And according to the American Physical Therapy Association, 49.95 percent fewer BIPOC applicants who use the PT Centralized Application Service are accepted into a program compared to their white counterparts.

“There’s no question a diversity gap exists in the PT space, and it’s to the detriment of our patients who want to see themselves in their providers,” said Jannenga. “It’s my sincere hope that Rizing Tide and our initial cohort of scholarship winners will be the start of a growing community dedicated to bringing awareness to this issue in PT, and the beginning of institutional change. This is just the beginning because we are truly better when we “rize” together!” For more information, eligibility requirements and details about the selection process, visit rizing-tide.com.

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