CHP Women Making History Series in honor of Women's History Month - Stephanie McGowan

Anne Herford
March 29, 2022
Stephanie McGowan WHM main


Stephanie McGowan
Title: Associate Professor
Division: PT
Number of years at CHP/MUSC: 16 years

Nominated by:
Gretchen A. Seif, PT, DPT, MHS, OCS
Associate Professor
Division of Physical Therapy

How is the nominee making history at CHP through their teaching, research, innovations, and/or activities?

Dr. Stephanie McGowan is innovating in serving athletes by integrating the missions of the University and the Hospital. She is doing so by developing research to support her work in developing a Sports Rehab elective for DPT students and a pro bono PT clinic for injured athletes hoping to return to play.

Dr. McGowan started a Sports Rehab Elective to create exposure to the athletic population for our DPT students. The elective has many facets including injury prevention program outreach, a pro bono sports performance clinic, and running gait analysis.

The students in the Sports Rehab Elective have researched, designed, and implemented injury prevention programs for local school and club athletes in track & field, soccer, lacrosse, cross country, volleyball, and field hockey. As part of the elective, students have learned how to perform a running gait analysis and various interventions for the injured runner.

To supplement this work, Dr. McGowan created a pro bono sports rehab clinic where students work one-on-one with athletes returning to play after injury. The students research, learn, and perform evidence-based tests and measures to assist with decision making about return to play (RTP), and then use data generated from these tests to design tailor made programming for the athletes.

The BRIDGE PROGRAM/Return to Play (RTP) program, is a small group PT-run program for athletes seeking a higher level of function before returning to play so they can get back at 110% performance with a reduced risk of injury. The program runs out of the Mt. Pleasant MUSC PT clinic and uses various methods of evidence-based testing. The program is designed as a bridge (hence the name) between discharge from traditional PT and return to sport, ready to play with reduced risk of injury.

McGowan’s team has their sights set on expanding their work to an underserved population of senior athletes (age 40+). These athletes are out there doing all the things necessary to stay healthy and fight off various sedentary-related diseases yet lack the healthcare support they need which is often provided to our youth athletes. They aim to screen these athletes and provide intervention while collecting pilot data along the way which supports their mission.

Read more about the Bridge Program in MUSC's The Catalyst News.