Maryville University has awarded its Helen May Bradley Award to Paula Burnett, PT and Director of Rehabilitation Services at Capital Region Medical Center. The award, in memory of the first physical therapist from Missouri, Helen May Bradley, recognizes an individual’s outstanding achievement to physical therapy in the areas of expert clinician, professional, reflective practitioner, and educator.
Burnett began her career in 1985 at Charles E. Still Hospital, which would merge with Memorial Community Hospital in 1994 to become Capital Region Medical Center. Her responsibilities started as a staff physical therapist and have grown through the years to her current role as Director of Rehabilitation Services. In this role, Burnett is currently responsible for over 150 employees that include inpatient therapy services, a 14 Bed Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, The Sam B. Cook Healthplex which includes physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, pediatric therapy, cardiac rehab and a medical fitness facility that has approximately 3,000 members, two off-site physical therapy/sports medicine clinics and corporate and community health department.
Paula has served the physical therapy profession in many different roles. She was appointed by Governor Carnahan to serve as a liaison to the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health. She worked with Linn State to develop a Physical Therapist Assistant Program to meet the needs of therapy shortages in the central Missouri region and continues to serve on their advisory board. She also gained the respect and trust of Governor Holden and Blunt and was appointed and given leadership responsibilities on the Missouri Advisory Commission for Physical Therapists serving as Secretary and Chair. She also served on the Education Committee for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy and is a guest lecturer for the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Missouri.
Throughout her career Paula has been involved in the American Physical Therapy Association at the district, state and national level. She has served in the roles of district chair, chair of the district chairs, director and President. She is currently serving as the Payment Chair for the Missouri Physical Therapy Association.
Paula has been active in her community through the Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson City Public Schools, Trinity Lutheran School and various other service activities. She has been recognized as Capital Region Manager of the Year, Missouri Physical Therapy Association Outstanding Service Award, Board of Healing Arts Recognition of Leadership and Service, Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce Exceptional Employee Nominee, Cole County Distinguished University of Missouri Alumni Award and Zonta Woman of Achievement.