Clinical instructor Dr. Dyanna Haley-Rezac, PT, DPT, OCS, NCS, FAAOMPT has been awarded the Signe Brunnstrom Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). She is Board Certified in Orthopedics (OCS) and Neurology (NCS), and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT).
The Signe Brunnstrom Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching honors a physical therapist in a Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE) or Clinical Instructor (CI) role, who has been actively engaged in clinical teaching at entry or advanced levels of physical therapy education for a minimum of 5 years. Award recipients have demonstrated an exceptional teaching effectiveness in the clinical setting, excellence as a role model in clinical teaching and a distinct expertise in at least 1 area of practice to which the clinical teaching has been directed.
Rezac, a clinical instructor for the vast majority of her career, has worked closely with the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program and Director of Clinical Education Jenny Rodriguez to provide clinical experiences to Doctor of Physical Therapy students.
The owner of Rezac & Associates Physical Therapy in Colorado Springs, Rezac has a specialized approach to her patients. “We approach care from a whole person perspective,” noted Rezac. “Lifestyle, autoimmune, orthopedic, neurological- it’s been a really nice way to treat patients.” Rezac’s unique approach and ability to look at a number of lifestyle factors is largely what draws students to her practice.
A diverse career allowed Rezac to carve a niche out for herself. “I found myself in job experiences working in a neuro setting then in orthopedic and a variety of other focuses,” she said. “The more I did I started to see that my orthopedic patients had a neurological component and vice versa, it was in their benefit to look at things from all angles.”
A typical patient that heads to Rezac & Associates Physical Therapy has been to 4-8 therapists prior, many having complex trauma injuries with a host of other aspects. “I don’t see simple injuries,” noted Rezac. By helping people who have lost so much of their life, like their ability to drive or work, Rezac and her team are able to help through a slow purposeful integration of lifestyle factors. “I see some patients for 6 months and others for 15 years,” she noted. “The gains they make in real life are what’s most rewarding.”
Rezac credits students with motivating her to stay curious. “They keep you engaged, intrigued and learning,” she said. “It stimulates that thought in your own brain to not get complacent in your therapy.” She also noted that CU produces very professional students with a solid foundation. “There are a lot of students who aren’t ready to grasp the bio-psycho-social concept until they see it in practice,” Rezac said. “These students are primed for learning, they’re inquisitive and hard workers.”
In addition to her relationship with CU, Rezac is an affiliate faculty member at Regis University and an active member with the Colorado Chapter of the APTA.
“Dyanna quickly integrates students into the culture of her clinic,” noted Jenny Rodriguez, Director of Clinical Education. “She is passionate about providing the highest quality of care possible and helps to mold these future professionals to do the same.”