KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – First announced in early 2019, Oregon Institute of Technology (“Oregon Tech”) is preparing to launch a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, offered in partnership with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Beginning July 31, Marc Campolo, Ph.D., is joining Oregon Tech/OHSU as director of the program, which is the first doctoral degree for Oregon Tech.
Dr. Campolo joins Oregon Tech/OHSU after serving as dean of the College of Health Professions at South University in Savannah, Georgia.
“In his new role, Dr. Campolo will be responsible for the continued development and implementation of the Physical Therapy program, which will create an increase in availability of qualified physical therapists in rural Oregon,” said Joanna Mott, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs at Oregon Tech. “He will provide academic and operational leadership, and plan and manage the DPT program in compliance with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education’s standards.”
The DPT program addresses the shortage of physical therapists in Oregon, with an emphasis on service to the community, particularly for the state’s rural and underserved populations. The unmet demand for health practitioners in Oregon is exacerbated by the lack of affordable educational options available in outlying areas. Oregon currently has two physical therapy doctoral programs, both offered at private institutions near the Portland-metro area, with none currently focused on underserved and rural communities. Only 4 percent of our nation’s DPT programs are located in the Pacific Northwest.
“Oregon Tech’s experiential, applied degree programs and innovative education strategies guarantee career-ready professionals at graduation, who, in turn, ensure high-quality patient care,” said Oregon Tech president, Dr. Nagi Naganathan. “Our university’s established reputation as a center for excellence for nurturing health care professionals, together with our strong partnership with OHSU and Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls, makes Oregon Tech an ideal home for this collaborative DPT program.”
“OHSU has a long and successful history of partnering with Oregon Tech and Sky Lakes to prepare the next generation of health professionals for success in an evolving health care environment, and to ensure rural communities like Klamath Falls have access to high-quality, leading-edge health care close to home,” said Elena Andresen, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost at Oregon Health & Science University. “The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a critically important addition to our academic mission, and we are delighted to have Dr. Campolo join our alliance.”
Preceding his position at South University, Dr. Campolo spent a decade at Samson College of Health Sciences in Pennsylvania, where he worked primarily in the Department of Physical Therapy and was integral in getting the College’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program fully accredited. In the Department of Physical Therapy, he served as associate dean of interprofessional education, department chair, and associate professor with tenure, and co-director at USciences Pro Bono Physical Therapy Clinic. Before this, he held chair and faculty positions at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Campolo also works as a physical therapist, most recently at Nova Medical Centers in Georgia.
“I am excited to join both the Oregon Tech and OHSU families and work from Klamath Falls,” said Campolo. “I have taken two DPT programs from inception to full accreditation and look forward to moving Oregon Tech and OHSU forward on this exciting enterprise.”
Dr. Campolo is a certified athletic trainer who earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Health Science from Seton Hall University, New Jersey. He also has a Master of Arts in Exercise Physiology from Adelphi University, New York, and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Hunter College, New York.
With the hire of Dr. Campolo, the DPT program will move forward toward applying for accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), and hiring of two core faculty. Oregon Tech will also be raising funds and in-kind donations of equipment through a variety of sources, private individuals, foundations, health care organizations and medical equipment providers.
“My thanks goes out to the members of Oregon Tech’s search committee for their commitment to a high-quality search process,” said Naganathan, “and to all of my colleagues who attended the on-campus forums and other interview opportunities and provided valuable feedback. I would also like to thank President Danny Jacobs, Provost Elena Andresen and other colleagues at OHSU for their engagement and support.”
The Search Committee for the position was led by Dr. Hui-Yun Li and included faculty members Debbie McCollam, Dr. Kevin Brown, Adam Wagner, Paula Hendrix and Dr. Michael Rennick from OHSU.