Ann Mackey, a doctoral student in Physical Therapy at CSI.

Ann Mackey, a doctoral student in the College of Staten Island’s Department of Physical Therapy program, was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors as one of two Northeast Regional Representatives of the Section on Women’s Health (SoWH) Student Special Interest Group.

Mackey,  a 2012 graduate from the Verrazano School Honors Program at CSI, recently attended the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association in her first official capacity as a board member, believes that not enough people are aware that women’s health issues are being addressed within the physical therapy field.

“A lot of women have serious issues and don’t know how to treat them,” notes Mackey, and as a physical therapist and SoWH board member, she wants to change that misconception.

“We really want to start strengthening our networking power,” she says.  To that end, Mackey is in the process of updating the information for all other schools in the northeast, as well as building awareness for other students who may be interested in women’s health issues.

Mackey begun studying physical therapy “later in life.”

As a former ballet dancer, Mackey dealt with many injuries and she knew that “dancing wasn’t going to last forever.” When she decided to attend CSI she knew that she “wanted to help dancers in the same way I was helped by physical therapists when I danced.”

During the recent National Student Conclave, a once-a-year meeting for DPT students, Mackey saw a booth dedicated to the SoWH and completed an application and a written statement of interest when she returned to New York.

Mackey, who is graduating next spring and plans on taking board exams in July 2015, wants to make an impact as a physical therapist immediately and plans on incorporating her women’s health specialty into her methodology.

“I am going to go out there and start working,” she said of her plans after school and she intends on incorporating yoga and Pilates into physical therapy sessions.

Dr. Jeffery Rothman, a chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at CSI, emphasized what Ann’s board membership means for the CSI DPT program as a whole.

“Ann’s leadership position on the Board of Directors in a national office will provide national exposure of the College of Staten Island, CUNY, and the college’s Department of Physical Therapy,” says Rothman.  “She will be an outstanding contact person for students and practicing clinicians interested in the important area of women’s health.”

“Women’s health is an issue that is very underrepresented,” Mackey adds, “not enough people know to get involved.” Due to her leadership and contributions however, that may very well change.