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Doctor of Physical Therapy Education student looks beyond the clinic to impact community health

Garrett Hoanin, class of 2017,  is participating in a Global Learning Opportunity at the Whiteriver PHS Indian Hospital and San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corp. in Arizona for his six-month final internship in the DPTE program.  

Physical therapy student Garrett Hoanin doing more than just completing his clinical education internship in Arizona — he's showing how health care services can extend beyond the clinical setting. 

Garrett Hoanin with and Apache translator for an interview with a local talk show in the Whiteriver, Arizona, area. 

Hoanin, a member of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Education program's Class of 2017, is living and working with local clinicians on The Fort Apache Indian Reservation, providing physical therapy services to the people of the Apache community during a six-month clinical education internship in Whiteriver, Arizona.  

Diabetes and obesity are two of the major health concerns for this population. The people of this community don’t have many ways to pursue an active lifestyle.  Most can’t afford a gym membership, Wi-Fi to download or watch workouts online or exercise equipment for the house.

Even though the clinic’s fitness center is free to the community, a large percentage of the population can’t afford a car for transportation to the center. With the health literacy of the community far below the national average, explaining how to manage their health conditions can be difficult to express in understandable terms.

Therefore, Hoanin looked outside the walls of the clinic for ways to help the people of the community. He helped start a pool program for individuals who need a safe work out environment. Listening to his patients, he learned that people of this community are very social and enjoy going for walks with family and friends. Armed with this information, he started a walking program in the community. 

To get the message out, he published an article titled “Many benefits of a walking program; here’s how to start” in the local paper, The Apache Scout. He was also an invited guest on the local talk show speaking on the benefits of a walking program and how to start safely‚Äč.


Wendy Herbert,
8/25/2017 11:15 AM