Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee

June Events

1 - Mentor Night for New Grads and Professionals 8:00 pm
9 - HEAL (Health, Equity, Accessibility, and Literacy) 7:30 pm
15 - Mentorship Workgroup Meeting 7:30 pm
23 - HEAL Meeting / Social Media and Communications 7:30 pm

Our Centennial Scholar for APTA Maryland is LaDonna Dingle
The 12-month program will run throughout 2021 with a goal of engaging 100 scholars, including the goal of at least one scholar sponsored by each of APTA’s chapters, sections, and academies. The curriculum will cover association leadership and management topics and be delivered through three face-to-face meetings and regularly scheduled virtual learning experiences. 


Foster the long-term sustainability of the physical therapy profession by making APTA Maryland an inclusive organization that reflects the diversity of the society the profession serves.

  • Committee Co-Chairs: Maral Hassanshahi PT, Michael Ukoha PT, DPT
  • Secretary: Erika Opoku PT, DPT
  • Liaison from the Board of Directors
  • Liaisons to Chapter Committees
    Education: Cara Felter PT, DPT, MPH
    Gov't Relations: Mara Hassanshahi PT
    (OPEN: Political Action Committee, Reimbursement)

  • Student Liaisons to each PT and PTA Program
Workgroups (Click the links below to learn more about each workgroup)


  1. Increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within APTAMD to better serve the Chapter, the profession, and society.
  2. Increase cultural awareness within the physical therapy workforce
  3. Increase access to care in underserved areas in Maryland (Social Determinants of Health Information)


HEAL (Meets Wednesdays at 7:30 pm)
1. To raise awareness within our profession and communities on how various social factors contribute to healthcare inequities and identify ways to create environments that promote equitable health outcomes
1. Did You Know Series for web site and social media with data and stats
2. Develop Local and State Partnerships
   - Join Coalitions and Committees
  -  Volunteer Opportunities (Pro Bono Services, Food Drives, etc.)
  -  Opioid Epidemic Outreach

Leadership Development (Meets Monthly 2nd Mondays at 7:30 pm)
Goal 1: Inspire members from diverse backgrounds to become leaders within the profession
Activity: Monthly TED Talks
Activity: Mentorship
Activity: Scholars Program

Goal 2: Education Physical Therapy Companies on the Impact of Diverse Leadership within their Organization
Activity: Develop and send out a survey to assess a company's overall view and effort as it relates to having a diverse workforce and leadership.

Goal 3: Develop a social media campaign to promote the workgroups' goals 

Mentorship (Committee Meets 3rd Tuesdays at 7:00 pm)
Goal 1: Educate students on the physical therapy profession to improve diversity within the workforce. K-High School and Community Colleges
Activity: Virtual Tours of PT Clinics  to High School Students
We have a calendar of scheduled tours with MD High School STEM Programs. We will be putting out a call for volunteers for the clinic tours.

Goal 2: Mentor New Grads, Students and Rehab Technicians from Diverse Backgrounds and Develop a Program to Train Mentors
Activity: Mentor Nights for New Grads and Professionals
1st Tuesdays of Each Month | 7-8:00 pm
We will focus on clinical areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, home care, etc. We will also discuss issues such as emotional resilience, office politics, PT/PTA teams, and challenging situations. We will provide experts for each monthly topic. Workgroups members will rotate on who attends each mentor night.

Social Media and Comm (Meets Monthly Last Wednesday at 7:30 pm)
  1. Develop social media to educate the public about the role of physical therapy in health and wellness
  2. Improve the visibility of the DEI task force on social media
    - Meet the DEI (Quick post about a DEI member)
    - Zoom Happy Hours, PT Charades, Never Have I Ever
  3. Develop a platform that can reach new members in the field of PT and increase their involvement, membership, and participation in our professional organization
    - Work with mentorship workgroup
    - Meet them where they are - canvas local areas
  4. Develop online networking, presentations, or social events (as appropriate given current safety limitations in the era of COVID-19) that may assist to promote the visibility and expansion diversity within the field of physical therapy

We will strive to include a diverse group of members inclusive of gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disabilities, religion, ethnicity, and age. 

All members of APTAMD are encouraged to join a Chapter committee. If you are interested in joining the general committee and or a particular DEI workgroup, please contact us.

Last Updated September 18, 020