PTWA People Header

Jessica (Kele) Murdin Starts Geriatric SIG Movement

Our second profile is about Kele Murdin. I had the pleasure of meeting Kele as we carpooled with Erik Moen and Josh Saylor down to PTWA's Legislative Impact Day in January 2017.

1.  Tell us about yourself  Kele Murdin-PTWA People
I am originally from New Hampshire. We moved around a lot when I was a child. I ended in Wichita, KS for high school and I graduated from Wichita State University with a master’s in physical therapy in 2000. I moved to Seattle to join my now husband in 2001. I practiced in outpatient for approximately four years, studying the NAIOMPT manual therapy philosophy. In 2003 my love of cycling took center stage in my life and that predicated a change to the skilled nursing setting to give me more flexibility for racing. Unbeknownst to me, this would be a long-term career move. I quickly realized my manual skills were not the key skillset needed to serve the skilled nursing population best. I became sharp debridement certified in 2004 and began studying wound care. Then in 2009 passed the GCS exam and this process kickstarted my yearning to build my geriatric PT clinical skills. In 2013, I became a Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults (CEEAA), through the APTA Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy. Still wanting more, I began the multiple-year process of completing the Geriatric Training Certification from Dr. Carole Lewis's Great Seminars company (the most rewarding experience of my career, BTW). I passed that week of testing in January 2016. Now I feel moved to stand up and use these skills and knowledge to help support our geriatric PT community through collaboration and increased visibility in health care, especially in this time of change.

2.  I understand you are trying to get a PTWA Geriatric Special Interest Group off the ground. Can you tell me more about how you got this idea? 
Last year at the NEXT conference, I attended Dr. Lewis's McMillan Lecture. I heard her call to action as a PT and specifically as a Geriatric PT. I began to get involved in PTWA and instantly realized there was no Geriatric SIG, so that seemed like a natural starting place for action. A SIG can serve as a platform for information exchange and collaboration, and can offer support to PTs and PTAs in this field. If we want to be excellent and visible we need to organize, so this is step one.

3.  Can you give me some thoughts on what you would like to see the Geriatric SIG become and why you think it is important? 
My vision for a Geriatric SIG here in Washington is a place of resources, exchange, support and community involvement. Geriatric PT is complex, intense and requires a high level of skill. Today we are facing shorter timelines and increased demand for quality. We are very capable of meeting those demands, so why not work together as Geriatric PTs and PTAs to promote excellence in caring for our aging adults. We are all passionate about this population, so imagine what great things would happen if all these masterminds came together!! I sure want to be a part of that! I know I often feel disconnected and unsure; I want a place to bounce ideas around and ask about real life practices. I believe this is important because PTs and PTAs are being left out of some national health care discussions related to healthy aging and that is just not okay! WE ARE the practitioner of choice for assessment, prescription and education. And why is that NOT known?  We need to do something to change that. Now for the wild card question….I am a huge music guy of all genres and I believe everyone loves music! I also believe your musical tastes say a lot about you, so with that in mind…… 

4.  What are your three favorite albums? 
Hmm, three is NOT enough. But I’m glad my island had electricity! How about:
  1. Blink - "Take Off Your Pants and Jacket"
  2. Prince – "1999" "Kiss"…no "Purple Rain"
  3. "Metallica" (The Black Album)
  4. "Stand By Me" soundtrack
...Oops that's 4 (or 6 if I can smuggle in the two extra Prince albums). I've never been good at following ALL the rules. 

As we continue these profiles, we will be looking for PTs and PTAs from around the state who exemplify the profession. If you want to nominate a PTWA member to be profiled, email their name and why you think they should be profiled to

Andy Lodato 
PTWA PR Committee Chair
Matt Currier Adds PT to Seattle/King County Clinic
Welcome to our new feature:  PTWA People, where we will highlight a PT or PTA who goes the extra mile for the profession.

Matt Currier-PTWA PeopleOur first profile is about Matt Currier. I had the pleasure of meeting Matt at a PT Pub Night over a year ago and we chatted about an idea he had about adding PT services to the Seattle/King County Clinic. Physical therapy had never been a part of this fabulous resource for the uninsured and underinsured. Matt was determined to change that. During this four-day event at the end of October in 2016, about a dozen volunteer physical therapists saw 174 patients and provided around $30,000 of free care. Overall, 3,947 volunteers provided $3.9 million in dental, vision and medical care to 4,492 individuals.Oh yeah, did I mention he is a relatively new grad? 

1.  Tell us about yourself
I'm a 4th generation Seattleite. I did my undergrad here at UW, and then headed east to complete my DPT at University of Illinois at Chicago. Things were a little too flat in the Midwest, so my wife and I ended up heading back home after PT school. I've been practicing for a little over a year and a half, and have loved every minute of #FreshPT life!

2.  Give us some details on how you got PT into the SKCC
Basically by asking. I tried to sign up to volunteer and realized they didn't have PT as part of the clinic. I asked if there were plans to add us and got a call from the director saying they had been looking for someone to help get a PT section up and running, but also weren’t quite sure how we’d fit into a four-day clinic. We got to talking about things like injury screens, fall prevention and education that would maximize impact. I offered to help recruit volunteer, and that turned into me being the area lead. Thanks to the fantastic network of PTs in the region we were able to get a full roster of volunteers who gave valuable time and materials. The medical directors were really excited to have us on board and we had a lot of freedom to plan and run our area as we saw fit, which was awesome.

3.  How was the experience?
The clinic was an amazing experience. It was health care as it should be. Anyone could receive care without question. The need was obvious as people waited overnight to get into the clinic and close to two hours to be seen by a therapist. The diversity of patients was incredible with representation from the entire socioeconomic, age, ethnic and language spectrums.  I cannot speak more highly of the PTs that gave up their days off or closed their clinic to serve. They were awesome, collaborative, willing and flexible enough to handle the wide variety of cases that walked through our door. These bosses were able to see 174 patients over the weekend in a small suite that had room for two treatment tables and a couple of chairs.

4.  What do you want to accomplish for next year?
Priority number one for the upcoming year was more treatment space - and I’m excited to say we got it! We’ll be converting a separate lounge area into treatment space, as well as keeping our suite on the medical floor. This effectively gives us triple the space, so we can have more PTs and more efficiently treat patients. We would love to set up group education sessions to hit some of the more common topics that would benefit the people of the clinic. It would also be great to have a solid network of practices that would be willing to take on some pro bono or sliding scale patients to help with continuity of care.  Now for the wild card question….I am a huge music guy of all genres and I believe everyone loves music! I also believe your musical tastes say a lot about you, so with that in mind……

5.  What are your favorite three albums of all time?
Top three albums is a hard question! I have lots of favorites, but probably the ones on constant rotation are:
  1.  Outkast – "Aquemini"
  2.  A Tribe Called Quest - "Midnight Marauders"
  3. The Shins - "Chutes Too Narrow" 
I want to thank Matt for taking the time to answer these questions and telling us more about the Seattle/King County Clinic experience….especially since he received these questions a week before his first baby was born!   As we continue these profiles, we will be looking for PTs and PTAs across the state who exemplify the profession. If you want to nominate someone to be profiled, email their name and why you think they should be profiled to

Andy Lodato
PTWA PR Committee Chair