Dawn Magnusson Appointed to Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement for the CU Physical Therapy ProgramZachary Noriega | Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation/CU School of Medicine Jun 29, 2022
The CU Physical Therapy Program congratulates Dawn Magnusson, PT, PhD, on her recent appointment as Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement. As part of the program’s commitment to educating and supporting a diverse student population that matches the demographics of the communities they will be serving, and to work towards diminishing health inequities that still exist within our society, the program knew it was essential to have Dr. Magnusson at the helm. Previously, this work had been handled by various committees and work groups. Dr. Magnusson will help bring a cohesive approach to these efforts.
Dr. Magnusson has been with the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program for 6 years. Over the past 12 years, Dr. Magnusson has been engaged in community-based participatory research. Her approach to understanding health disparities incorporates population health and social justice frameworks. Dr. Magnusson’s work in the areas of research, service, and practice is focused on supporting innovative, community-led solutions that advance health equity for historically excluded communities. Her previous experience and unique perspective make her well-suited to take on this new position. Dr. Michael Harris-Love, CU PT Program Director, stated that, “Expanding Dr. Magnusson’s role from the DEI Committee to the coordinator position demonstrates the program’s commitment to fostering a more inclusive profession and promoting equitable access to physical therapy services.”
In her new role, Dr. Magnusson will collaborate with program partners to develop, implement, and evaluate initiatives within CU PT that increase program access, retention, and success among historically under-represented students. Examples include the PT Outreach and Pathway Program, Student Enrichment Program, and Community Café Sessions, to name a few. Along these lines, she is working with Social Justice Advocates to understand the program’s DEI culture and inform future trainings and initiatives.In the area of community engagement, Dr. Magnusson says, “I am really looking forward to strengthening existing relationships with organizations like 2040 Partners for Health, Cultivando, DAWN Health, Stout Street Clinic, and others, and co-creating mutually beneficial partnerships with new community-based organizations. Any efforts to transform and ‘improve the health of society’, as we are called upon to do by our professional organization, must place community at their center.” She also remarks, “I want to be in a position to transform the health of our patients and our surrounding neighborhoods. What better way than to work alongside students, staff, faculty, and community members to imagine and realize a better path forward!”