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Jason Nadeau

Physical Therapy Graduate Is Ready to Bring Accessible Assistive Technology to Pediatric Patients

Jason Nadeau credits the ‘welcoming, collaborative atmosphere’ at CU Anschutz to his success

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Written by Staff on November 19, 2021
What You Need To Know

Physical Therapy student Jason Nadeau graduates in December. He discusses his time on campus and passion for pediatric physical therapy.

Jason Nadeau is a member of the Class of 2021 in Physical Therapy at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The program is housed within the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation within the University of Colorado School of Medicine

He sat down with CU Anschutz Today to discuss how the experience of volunteering at a summer camp for children with physical disabilities shaped both his education path and future career trajectory. 

Q&A Header

What’s your education background?

BS in Human Physiology from Gonzaga University (Go Zags!) and MS in Modern Human Anatomy from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Where are you from?

Born in Kirkland, Wash., (home of Costco’s “Kirkland Signature”) and raised in Bothell, Wash.

What are your interests outside of school?

Running, eating, cooking, eating, clinical research, eating and joy rides.

What drew you to the physical therapy profession?

Volunteering at a summer camp in Washington for children with physical disabilities showed me the value of inclusion, mobility and fun. I eventually realized that physical therapists are essential advocates of these values for children and adults with disabilities. 

I was also drawn to the technology and research sides of physical therapy after taking a Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology course at CU Anschutz, observing custom wheelchair and nighttime positioning visits at CU Denver’s Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering (CIDE), and working in orthopedic research at Denver Health.

Why did you choose CU PT?

The amazing faculty, local partnerships with CIDE and Adam’s Camp Colorado, pediatric clinical opportunities and a welcoming, collaborative atmosphere on a beautiful, innovative campus.

How has your experience been with CU PT?

The first nine months of the CU PT program were challenging and fantastic with an awesome cohort of students on campus. The next 21 months of virtual and hybrid learning during the pandemic were less than ideal and even more challenging. However, all throughout the program I have felt valued and supported by my wonderful classmates and CU PT faculty, who did everything they could to prepare us as future physical therapists.

Have you given any thought to what the future of PT holds in terms of innovation?

Physical therapists can develop and apply innovative ideas to support their patients’ functional goals. Assistive technology is expanding rapidly, but this innovation needs to be relevant and financially accessible for people with acute and life-long disabilities. Physical therapists know how to put patients at the center of innovation in order to optimize their daily lives.

Have you developed a particular specialty or envision what you’d like to do after graduation?

Pediatrics, particularly children with neuromuscular conditions who need 24-hour postural care and assistive technologies as they transition from childhood to adulthood.

What’s next, and how will your CU Anschutz experience help you move forward in your endeavors?

Finding my first pediatric PT job. No matter where I end up, I will be prepared to succeed as an entry-level physical therapist thanks to the CU PT program and CU Anschutz.

Topics: Education