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Patrick Cross

Program Director, planned Doctor of Physical Therapy program*

At Briar Cliff since:



Dr. Cross graduated with Departmental Honors in Exercise Science from at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO prior to obtaining his Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. In 2011, Dr. Cross was the first physical therapist in the nation to complete a fellowship with the National Rural Health Association, focusing on rural health political advocacy and leadership. He has also obtained various certifications with various national entities, including becoming an United States Youth Soccer Association Licensed Coach in 1995, an American Physical Therapy Association Credentialed Clinical Instructor in 2002, an Arthritis Foundation Arthritis Self-Help Course Leader in 2005, a nationally registered Emergency Medical Technician – Basic in 2009, and an American Red Cross Emergency Medical Response Instructor in 2010.


Patrick Cross, PT, DPT, RHF is currently the Founding Program Director and Professor of Physical Therapy of a developing Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, IA. Significant previous employment has included being an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and the Chair of the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of South Dakota for 7 years, a physical therapist and the Director of Rehabilitation for the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska for over 10 years, and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at Creighton University for 2 years.

Scholarly, Dr. Cross has had over 10 peer-reviewed journal articles published and has presented over 70 peer-reviewed abstracts at regional, national, and international professional conferences on a variety of topics, including acute sports injury decision-making and medical management of coaches, physical therapists, and physical therapy students; cardiac and acanthosis nigricans screenings of adolescent athletes; musculoskeletal imaging; service-learning; innovative teaching models; interprofessional collaboration; culturally appropriate care; community-based physical therapy interventions; recruitment and retention of physical therapists in rural areas; as well rural health policy. In addition, Dr. Cross has also co-authored book chapters on “Cultural Considerations for American Indian Cultures” in Developing Cultural Competence in Physical Therapy Practice and “Developing Health Professional Students into Rural Health Care Leaders of the Future through Best Practices” in Leadership in Interprofessional Health Education and Practice. Dr. Cross has also been a member of various interprofessional, rural health, student training grant teams, as well as has been the primary investigator for various public health grants, of which approximately 20 of the grants have been funded, totaling close to $2 million.

Dr. Cross has served on numerous committees at the state and national levels of various professional health care organizations. ). Most recently, Dr. Cross was appointed to a 3 year term on the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Awards Subcommittee on Advocacy and a 1 year position on the Executive Board of the APTA’s Health Policy and Administration Section’s Global Health Special Interest Group (GHSIG) as the Programming Chair. Dr. Cross is also an instructor for the American Red Cross’ Emergency Medical Response and CPR for the Professional Rescuer courses. Prior to coming to Briar Cliff University, Dr. Cross was on the Nominating Committee for the GHSIG for 3 years, the FUNfitness Co-Director for the South Dakota Special Olympics for 6 years, President of Vermillion Youth Soccer League, Secretary of the Board of Athletic Control for the University of South Dakota, and the Ethics Chair for 5 years and the Federal Affairs Liaison for 3 years for the South Dakota Physical Therapy Association. Dr. Cross has also served as an alumni board member for both Truman State University and Creighton University. In addition, Dr. Cross has enjoyed coaching and providing strength and conditioning services for soccer teams of various ages and competitive levels for close to 20 years, as well as providing acute sports physical therapy services, while mentoring students, on the sidelines of football, soccer, and basketball games and tournaments for medically underserved rural and frontier communities for over 10 years.

*Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Briar Cliff University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The program will submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.



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