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APTANJ 3rd Annual Multicultural Event
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 Export to Your Calendar 9/26/2020
When: Saturday, September 26, 2020
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where: Online Event
United States
Presenter: Maria Aguila, PT, DPT; Jazmine Tooles, PT, DPT; Nandini Prasad, PT; Megan Mitchell, PT, DPT

Online registration is available until: 9/25/2020
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Online Presentation: Cultural Impact on Functional Independence (2 CEs)

Can we transform a society that we are not exposed to? Research shows that racial and ethnic minorities' health falls behind the health of non-minorities and, even when access related factors are controlled, can receive lower quality care (National Academy of Sciences, 2013; Ries, 2006). Factors to this are healthcare professional’s cultural competence, the patient’s cultural values and the American health framework. Consider the diversity of the communities we live and work in and how our experiences with cultures in these settings shape the perceptions that influence our decisions. Studies show medical students and residents believe black peoples’ nerve endings are less sensitive or that their skin is literally thicker (Stallings, 2018). Imagine how this bias could impact someone’s treatment recommendations. Cultural competence is one of the directives of the APTA Code of Ethics but does the system we all operate in allow for cultural differences to be observed in our practice settings?

In a quote by Verna Myers, she says, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” Join us as we dance around the globe exploring different cultural views on health, wellness and functional independence and identify strategies and resources to help clinicians optimize care delivery.


9:00 AM          Welcome

9:05 AM          Presentation: Cultural Impact on Functional Independence

10:35 AM        Questions & Answers

10:45 AM        Networking & Discussion Groups

11:15 AM        Closing Discussion

Link to participate will be emailed to registrants prior to presentation date.

This presentation is offered as a live event only.





Maria C. Aguila, PT, DPT

Maria Aguila, PT, DPT received her BSPT degree at the FEUNRMF School of PT in the Philippines in 1999. She worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry for three years then migrated to the United States to practice PT. She earned her DPT at Rutgers School of Health Professions in Newark, NJ in 2009. Maria together with her husband Ben, a fellow PT, opened their outpatient orthopedic clinic in Jersey City, NJ, serving their local community to this day. She is also an Adjunct Instructor at the Rutgers Newark DPT Program for Therapeutic Exercises. She serves as Council Director for the APTANJ, as liaison to the Cultural Diversity Committee and to the PT/PTA Schools in NJ. She is also a founding officer and Secretary of a non- profit alumni organization, FUTURE Foundation, which aims to advocate for the PT Profession globally. She has participated and lectured in various topics, locally and Internationally. She was a recipient of the First FEUNRMF Most Outstanding Alumni Award in Career Achievement in 2016, the Societal Impact Award from the APTA National in 2019 and Rutgers Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019. Maria and Ben with their kids, Christian and Chelsea, also serve in their local parish in Livingston, NJ.


Jazmine Tooles, PT, DPT

Jazmine Tooles, PT, DPT is a Physical Therapist at MossRehab’s Drucker Brain Injury Center located in Woodbury, New Jersey. While a student, she developed three physical therapy Girl Scout badges and a program called Explore the Magic of Motion. It educates Scouts from 6th-12th grade and their guardians on the profession of Physical Therapy and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle through exercise. Her alma mater, University of Delaware’s Physical Therapy Program, has hosted the event annually since 2013. She is currently working with clinics and councils in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to bring the program to diverse groups. A former Lead for Diversity Ambassador, Temple University National Council of Negro Women member and University of Delaware Black Graduate Student Association member, Dr. Tooles has remained passionately involved in diversity initiatives. She currently chairs APTANJ’s Cultural Diversity Committee, PPTA’s Minority Affairs Committee and leads MossRehab’s Cultural Diversity Special Interest Group; which extends to all therapies.

Nandini Prasad, PT

Nandini Prasad is a Physical Therapist with EBS Healthcare and LEBA therapeutics, New Jersey for East Brunswick Public Schools and the New Road School in Somerset, NJ. She earned her Bachelor of Physical Therapy degree from Kempegowda Institute of Physical Therapy, Bangalore, India in 2005. Since coming to the United States in 2006, she’s worked in various settings including hospital, outpatient, subacute, long term care facilities and assisted living facilities across New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

A certified Reiki therapist, she has also practiced Yoga for over 15 years and integrates Yoga and mindfulness in her practice. As a speaker at annual career day events at Franklin Township Public Schools, she introduces students to the Physical Therapy profession. She also participates in developing health and wellness awareness by engaging local Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts through exercise. Dedicated to inclusion and acceptance in our society, Nandini has conducted various health camps in rural villages and schools and published audio textbooks for visually impaired children in India. She is also passionately involved with spreading awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Nandini serves as the Social Media Chair for the American Physical Therapy Association of New Jersey’s Cultural Diversity committee and has been an active member since the group’s reinstatement in 2017.


Megan Mitchell, PT, DPT

Megan Mitchell, PT, DPT is a Physical Therapist with FOX Rehabilitation treating in Monroe Township, New Jersey. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from University of Delaware in 2015, followed by her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Maryland Baltimore in 2018. Megan is a current Geriatric Clinical Resident in FOX Rehabilitation's Residency Program. She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association of New Jersey's Cultural Diversity and one of this year's Delegates. 



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