Maher Appointed to Physical Therapy Credentialing Commission
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Maher Appointed to Physical Therapy Credentialing Commission


February 20, 2024

Ruth Maher, PT, PhD, DPTFor foreign-educated physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA), part of the multi-step process to work in the United States includes the review and evaluation of professional credentials. This review is carried out by the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) to ensure strict standards are upheld, regardless of educational origin.

PCOM Georgia’s Ruth Maher, PT, PhD, DPT, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, was recently appointed to the board of the FCCPT, a non-profit organization that evaluates the credentials of foreign-educated PTs and PTAs. The organization issues Health Care Worker Certificates to those who wish to immigrate and/or work in the United States.

Calling it an “honor and a privilege,” Maher appreciates the opportunity to give back through her service on the board. “Providing service to my profession has always been a personal and professional commitment,” she said. “I also have an interest in foreign credentialing, given my experience practicing in the U.S. and overseas. I am genuinely excited about this opportunity to contribute to the organization's mission and vision.”

The board, comprised of five physical therapists and one public member, works to set policy, guide the organization's overall development and direction, and ensure policies comply with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) policies. Other duties for board members include budget oversight and promoting the organization's purpose for protecting the public's health, safety, and welfare.

Maher, who is originally from Ireland, recognizes the role she can play serving on the board. “I have a unique perspective on educational and physical therapy practice in the U.S. and overseas,” she said. “My knowledge of U.S. physical therapy program accreditation requirements, combined with many years served with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), which administers the National Physical Therapy Examination required for licensure, enhances my ability to ensure impartial advice is provided to foreign-educated physical therapists and physical therapy assistants while ensuring they are held to the same standards as graduates from U.S. accredited programs.”

She is also optimistic about the potential of opportunities like this to bring valuable awareness and visibility to PCOM’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. “When faculty members are engaged in service to national organizations such as the FCCPT,” she said. “It strengthens PCOM's commitment to excellence in education and accreditation standards. Such appointments also enhance PCOM's Doctor of Physical Therapy program and the institution's visibility nationally.”

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  • About PCOM Georgia

    Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a branch campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a private, not-for-profit, accredited institution of higher education with a storied 125-year history dedicated to the healthcare professions. Located in Suwanee (Gwinnett County), PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy. Graduate degrees are offered in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science and physician assistant studies. The campus joins PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state. Emphasizing "a whole person" approach to care, PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the community. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcomgeorgiahealth.org.

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