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Featured Researcher - September 2012

Dr. Carin Shuler, PT, DPT, MS

"After 21 years in the field, I had returned to school to obtain my Masters in Biokinesiology and my Post Professional Advanced Standing DPT at USC. My researcher project involved studying the peak ground reaction forces in young women while bench-stepping. My clinical interest was in skeletal adaptation to exercise such as bench-stepping for the prevention of osteoporosis. While going to school, I was still running my clinical private practice and of course, I jugllged all of this with my family responsibilities. The cost of tution alone was a "chunk" from our family's savings. If it had not been for the CAL-PT-FUND, Iw oudl ahve had difficulty completing my research and therefore my post professional, graduate degrees. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the CAL-PT-FUND donors, past and present, who have been a vital part to our profession's overall research efforts and specifically for my own success in completing my research project. Thank you! Wihtout your generous support, much of our critical clinical research would go un-done.

I have recently been promoted as the Director of Rehab for the Visiting Nurses Association of the Inland Counties. I credit this promotion to the fact that I was able to successfully complete my research and graduate degrees. I am now in a positon that will allow me to share evidenced-based medicine and research-based clinical outcomes with many more medical professionals as well as throughout the Inland Counties region at large. Because of the CAL-PT-FUND, evidenced-based medicine is no longer a dream, but an expected standard of clinical excellence!"


Dr. Carin Shuler, PT, DPT, MS has been promoted to Rehabilitation Director for the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of the Inland Counties.   Shuler brings extensive experience in home health, rehabilitation, pediatric, and acute settings as both a therapist and educator. Previously, Shuler owned a private practice in Corona, CA for 27 years that emphasized manual therapy, provided pediatric to geriatric care, provided on-site support for local area employers and high schools, and initiated professional education and internship programs as well as outpatient orthopedic residency and fellowship programs. In addition, Shuler has served as faculty and analyst for ErgoScience, Inc. and has lectured around the globe for ErgoScience to physicians, nurses and therapists on the importance of injury prevention programs in the workplace, fitness-for- duty and wellness.
After being exposed early in life to the consequences of physical limitations as a polio survivor, Shuler became an early advocate for physical and occupational therapy. After 21 years in the field, her continued interests led her to attaining her Masters in Biokinesiology and her Post Professional Advanced Standing Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees from the University of Southern California, receiving the single honor in her class for the “Golden Cane Award” for her top GPA, involvement in her department, in research and in her community.   Her research interests were in the area of skeletal adaptation to exercise. With both practical and management experience, Shuler will be focused on enhancing programs that respond to patient needs and provide support to physicians and professionals involved in overseeing rehabilitative care and patient progress. This will include reaching out to employers along with educational programs to better align the VNA offerings.
According to Mike Rusnak, VNA’s CEO, “Rehabilitation is an integral part of recuperation. It fits hand in hand with our in-home nursing services. In fact, many times the need for rehabilitation services extends beyond the nursing requirements,” he noted. VNA’s continuum of home health services supports integrated patient care. “We pride ourselves in keeping physicians up-to-date on their patient’s progress. Carin’s appointment will help us better align our rehabilitation services more closely with our nursing services, so that we can continue to improve the quality of care and desired outcomes,” he concluded.
A native of Southern California, Shuler serves on the Board of Directors and Professional Development Committee for the Department of Bio-Kinesiology and Physical Therapy Alumni Association for the University of Southern California, where she has also served as Adjunct Clinical Faculty. Shuler has served her professional community with involvement over the years at both the local and state level, having served most recently as the Chair of the California Private Practice Group. Shuler has been recognized as a leading businesswoman by the American Business Women’s Association and is listed in the Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans.   

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