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First announced in early 2019, Oregon Institute of Technology will launch a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, offered in partnership with Oregon Health & Science University.

Beginning July 31, Marc Campolo, Ph.D., is joining Oregon Tech/OHSU as director of the program, which is the first doctoral degree for Oregon Tech. Dr. Campolo joins the program after serving as dean of the College of Health Professions at South University in Savannah, Georgia.

Joanna Mott, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Oregon Tech, said Campolo will help lead a program that “will create an increase in availability of qualified physical therapists in rural Oregon.”

There is a shortage of physical therapists in Oregon, particularly for the state’s rural and underserved populations. The unmet demand for health practitioners in Oregon is exacerbated by the lack of affordable educational options available in outlying areas.

Oregon currently has two physical therapy doctoral programs, both offered at private institutions near the Portland, with none currently focused on underserved and rural communities. Only 4 percent of the nation’s DPT programs are located in the Pacific Northwest.

Preceding his position at South University, Dr. Campolo spent a decade at Samson College of Health Sciences in Pennsylvania. Before this, he held chair and faculty positions at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Campolo also works as a physical therapist, most recently at Nova Medical Centers in Georgia.

“I am excited to join both the Oregon Tech and OHSU families and work from Klamath Falls,” he said. “I have taken two DPT programs from inception to full accreditation and look forward to moving Oregon Tech and OHSU forward on this exciting enterprise.”

With the hire of Dr. Campolo, the DPT program will move forward toward applying for accreditation. Oregon Tech will also be raising funds and in-kind donations of equipment through a variety of sources, private individuals, foundations, health care organizations and medical equipment providers.