DPT faculty, T.R. Goins, hopes to bring awareness about individuals with developmental disabilities

TR Goins working with a pediatric patient and student

Name: T.R. Goins

Title: Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy

Degrees and certifications: North Carolina State University, BS in Zoology

East Carolina University, MS in Physical Therapy

Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals, PhD in Health Sciences with a concentration in Neuroscience

Please summarize your personal, career, and academic journey:

I am a pediatric physical therapist practicing primarily in an outpatient setting. I have enjoyed participating and developing community-based programs for individuals with special needs to include soccer, running programs, dance programs, and theater. The programs promote wellness for individuals of all abilities. In 2008, I opened a small medical practice, Abilitations Children’s Therapy, that provides physical, occupational, speech, and feeding therapy in the pediatric population. Owning a business has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. It has taught me a great deal about life, myself, and how unique we all are in this world. My business partner and I have been awarded business of the year from the ARC of Wake County for our work in developing community-based programs.

I teach lifespan pediatrics, orthotics and prosthetics, and assistive technology at Campbell. I have loved academia since college and thrived in that setting. I began teaching in my undergraduate program as a teaching assistant and tutor. I am so fortunate that my passions of clinical care and academia merged over the years. I began my PhD journey with no end game in mind, but knowing it was necessary for my growth. My dissertation was based on my passion for individuals diagnosed with birth brachial plexus injuries. My manuscript, “The Relationship Shoulder Elevation and Elbow Flexion Angles in Individuals with Birth Brachial Plexus Injuries” will be in the January publication of The Pediatric Physical Therapy Journal.

I co-authored The Clinical Summary for Birth Brachial Plexus Injuries, which is published by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). I am involved with the American Physical Therapy Association, Academy of Pediatrics. I serve on the Knowledge Translation committee. As a member of this committee, I have had publications posted on the APTA in addition to presenting our content on an ongoing basis on behalf of the APTA.

On a personal note, I love spending time outdoors running, kayaking, and hiking. I learned during my PhD journey how valuable my network of family and friends are, and I make sure to make time with them.

The focus on the lifespan is critical
and, I find, helps students
be well-rounded.

What influenced your decision to pursue your career field and/or your current position at CPHS? I began as an adjunct at CPHS for an interim position. During that time, I was thoroughly impressed with the expertise of the faculty at CPHS. As a full-time clinician and business owner, I had not entertained moving to full-time academia until my time here at CPHS. The faculty have been so supportive and welcoming to me. I have learned how to be more introspective and push myself further due to my outstanding team. As such, I made the decision to move to full-time faculty.

What is your day to day like in your current position and what do you enjoy most about what you do? My day to day consists of faculty collaboration, reading manuscripts, problem-solving, clinical care, and spending time with students. It would be difficult to state which is my most enjoyable part of the day. I would say that my relationship with the faculty is very rewarding.

Please describe any current research endeavors? I am very interested in following up on my dissertation study by investigating the influence of the scapula on functional reaching in individuals with birth brachial plexus injuries. I am also interested in pursuing research into the corticospinal tract and the impact of neurological injury and gestational age. For service, I would like to start a Girls on the Run for this community.

Additional accomplishments / passions: I am passionate about fitness and wellness for individuals with all levels of abilities. Since being at Campbell I have enjoyed working with individuals across the lifespan to include patients with amputations, neurological diagnoses, and complex medical issues.

At Campbell we believe in purposeful lives and meaningful service. What legacy are you leaving in your life / your chosen field? One of the aspects about Campbell’s DPT program is the focus on the lifespan. As such, my goal is to educate and bring awareness about individuals with developmental disabilities and their journey through the lifespan. There is a void in services for adults with developmental disabilities due to pediatric services aging out. My goal as a clinician and educator is to bridge that gap by informing students about their role as clinicians in that population, no matter their area of specialty.

Reasons why prospective students should choose Campbell over other Graduate and Professional Schools: The focus on the lifespan is critical and, I find, helps students be well-rounded. I also value the pro-bono clinic, the neuro-wellness clinic, and the pediatric community program we have created at Campbell that helps prepare students to not only be great clinicians, but empathetic to their future patients.