University of the Cumberlands is naming its new Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program after physical therapy pioneer and PT Pros CEO Dr. Connie Hauser. The announcement was made at the university’s annual Excellence in Leadership Series event, sponsored by Forcht Group of Kentucky. Dr. Hauser also received the 2023 Excellence in Leadership Award from University of the Cumberlands. Mel Robbins, a serial entrepreneur, bestselling author, and host of the No. 1 ranking podcast on Audible, was the event’s keynote speaker and presented Dr. Hauser with the award.
Dr. Larry L. Cockrum, Cumberlands President, said, “Dr. Connie Hauser is a trailblazer and an outstanding role model for women in entrepreneurship. She was one of the first PTs to go into private practice in Kentucky. In addition to her advocacy and business acumen, Dr. Hauser has a heart for community service. Over the years, she has been a mentor to many individuals who followed her path.”
The newly named Connie D. Hauser Physical Therapy Program is located on Cumberlands’ Williamsburg campus, in partnership with PT Pros. Dr. Hauser played an integral role in the creation of Cumberlands’ Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which began in January 2022. To learn more about the program, visit www.ucumberlands.edu/academics.
Dr. Hauser expressed her gratitude in the naming of the program, "I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from University of the Cumberlands. Throughout my career, I have been dedicated to improving the health and wellness of our state, and I am so pleased to see this legacy continue through the physical therapists who will enter the profession through their education from Cumberlands. The naming of the program after me is a testament to the importance of putting patients and community first, and I hope it will inspire future physical therapists to strive for excellence in their own careers."
An accomplished leader and widely respected business owner, Dr. Hauser began PT Pros in 1980 with one location and has led it through immense growth. PT Pros now serves its patients from 14 offices spanning two states and employs more than 100 team members. Through Dr. Hauser’s personal work and the work of her business, many thousands of people around the country have enjoyed the restoration of health and wellness that physical therapy brings.
While at East Tennessee State University earning her undergraduate degree, Dr. Hauser met and married her husband, Pat. They live in Barbourville, Kentucky, and have two sons and two beautiful grandchildren. Dr. Hauser went on to earn a second bachelor’s degree in physical therapy (PT) from the University of Kentucky and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from A. T. Still University in Arizona. She has long been an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association, having served as board member and treasurer, and is the former president of the Kentucky Physical Therapy Association.
Dr. Hauser has passionately served her local communities and advocated for PT at state and national levels for nearly 50 years. She was inducted into the University of Kentucky Hall of Fame for her contributions to the health and wellness of the state, receiving the Robert Dicus Award from the Private Practice Section of APTA. She was also honored with the 2022 Charles M. Magistro Distinguished Service Award. She currently serves as a member of University of the Cumberlands’ Board of Trustees and offered invaluable assistance in the development of the university’s physical therapy program.