Maryville University students working toward a degree in physical therapy or occupational therapy will benefit from the new RehabCare Scholars Program, offered to students who have completed one year of graduate study.
The scholarship opportunity was established exclusively for Maryville students by RehabCare, a national provider of physical rehabilitation program management services. The Scholars Program provides tuition assistance for graduate study and provides a RehabCare mentor for students. Participants are also guaranteed a clinical rotation opportunity in a RehabCare facility and a job after graduation.
“This is a true partnership between academia and provider organizations,” said Charles Gulas, PhD, dean of Maryville’s School of Health Professions. “We’re listening to their needs and they’re listening to ours. The only way to address the health care crisis needs in this country is to establish these kinds of partnerships.”
When Maryville moved its physical and occupational therapy programs to the graduate level – per national standards – the educational cost increased for students. The RehabCare scholarships not only provide financial help, but also help to secure the future for Maryville students, Gulas said.
“The scholarship program guarantees students a job when they graduate, but it also helps them make a better choice for employment,” he said. “It’s a very competitive market. Through this program, RehabCare has the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of working for a larger employer.”
With the baby boomer population reaching retirement age, the need for qualified therapists will continue to increase, said RehabCare President and CEO John H. Short, PhD.
“Currently in Missouri we have more than 100 vacancies for rehab practitioners and we typically average 700 vacancies nationwide,” Short said. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2014 there will be 100,000 vacancies for physical, occupational and speech therapy providers, he said.
“Schools that educate therapists are not able to keep up with the growing demand,” Short said. “We want to be part of the solution by working with Maryville University to create financial aid options for individuals who want to pursue a career in Allied Health.”
With more than 25 years experience, RehabCare is a leading provider of physical rehabilitation program management services in more than 1,200 hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and other long-term care facilities throughout the United States. RehabCare also owns and operates rehabilitation and long-term acute care hospitals.