In this episode, Dr. Jenna Kantor, PT, DPT is joined by Veatrice Cook, PT, MA, to discuss her long career in physical therapy and the incredible legacy she will leave for generations to come. Veatrice is a leader in physical therapy and one of the founders of the American Academy of Physical Therapy. Beatrice shares her journey into physical therapy, which was sparked by watching a physical therapist on a soap opera. She discusses her passion for healthcare and how she found her calling in physical therapy. Tune in to be inspired by Beatrice’s story and learn about the impact physical therapists can have on the profession.
[00:01:12] Soap opera inspires career choice.
[00:06:33] Mental health and leadership.
[00:09:42] Lack of representation in leadership.
[00:17:30] The logo design.
[00:19:25] Impact on students.
[00:25:47] Working with the organization.
[00:28:13] Fighting for equal job opportunities.
More About Veatrice:
Veatrice A. Cook is a native East Texan, born in Livingston, Texas, where she grew up and graduated from Livingston High School in Polk County. In her junior year of high school she realized that she wanted to be a physical therapist, and researched more about the profession, only to discover the challenges facing admission into a college program, as an African American student. The number of African Americans that made up the physical therapy profession in 1968 was less than 2%. Ms. Cook received a BS degree in Physical Therapy from Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas in1976, and a MA degree in Special Education, from the University of Texas, Austin, Texas in 1981. As a clinician, she has been trained in the John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release Approach, and continues to use it in her practice setting. Currently she is the Director of Rehabilitation for TeamCareRehab, Inc in San Antonio, Texas. After practicing for over 47 years she is often asked about retiring, and her reply is always, “ I love the work that I do, and it’s really not work when it’s something that you enjoy”.
The limited number of African Americans in the profession of physical therapy, and the lack of mentors was the inspiration that gave Ms. Cook the zeal to help found and organize two professional Physical Therapy organizations: The Texas Network of Minority Physical Therapists (TNMPT) in 1987 and The American Academy of Physical Therapy, Inc (AAPT) in 1989. Ms. Cook, along with Dr. Lynda Woodruff were the organizers, and two of the Founders of the AAPT. 82 African American physical therapists and physical therapist assistants met in Chicago, Illinois on September 16, 1989 to form this great organization, along with 13 others that sent funds to help in the efforts. Ms. Cook, the meeting facilitator was elected as the Charter Treasurer, and served as Annual Conference Chair for 10 years. She was also an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Texas Physical Therapy Association, and serviced as Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Minority Affairs for the APTA. As a community activist, Ms. Cook has served on numerous boards and nonprofit organizations, and has been awarded many honors for her service. In her profession she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas Woman’s University and the Leadership Award from the AAPT.
Ms. Cook often says that here greatest honor is being the mother of three wonderful children, Marcus Lorioun, Vernetha Dionne, and Lawrence Ray Williams, Jr., who are all college graduates and have successful careers. She is also a grandmother of two outstanding grandsons who are carrying on the family tradition of leadership in their high school.
More About Jenna:
Jenna Kantor, PT, DPT, is a bubbly and energetic woman who was born and raised in Petaluma, California. She trained intensively at Petaluma City Ballet, Houston Ballet, BalletMet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Regional Dance America Choreography Conference, and Regional Dance America. Over time, the injuries added up and she knew she would not have a lasting career in ballet. This lead her to the University of California, Irvine, where she discovered a passion for musical theatre.
Upon graduating, Jenna Kantor worked professionally in musical theatre for 15+ years then found herself ready to move onto a new chapter in her life. Jenna was teaching ballet to kids ages 4 through 17 and group fitness classes to adults. Through teaching, she discovered she had a deep interest in the human body and a desire to help others on a higher level. She was fortunate to get accepted into the DPT program at Columbia.
Dr. Kantor co-founded and runs Fairytale Physical Therapy which brings musical theatre shows to children in hospitals. She hosts the Dance PT Podcast and guest hosts on the podcast Healthy, Wealthy, and Smart. She has served as the NYPTA SSIG Advocacy Chair, the NYC Conclave 2017 committee, NYPTA Social media committee, was the NYPTA Public Policy Student Liaison, and co-founded the NYPTA SSIG. Dr. Kantor won the APTA PPS Business Concept Contest and made the top 40 List for an Up and Coming Physical Therapy with UpDoc Media before graduating PT school.
Jenna Kantor currently volunteers with the PPS Marketing & PR Committee and is the website builder for the American Academy of Physical Therapy. She provides complimentary, regular online content that advocates for the physical therapy profession.
Dr. Kantor runs her own private practice, Jenna Kantor Physical Therapy, PLLC, and an online wellness program for performing artists called Powerful Performer. She is licensed to treat in New York and Pennsylvania.
Jenna continues to perform in musical theatre and lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, doggy, and two cats.
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