Friday, Aug 23, 2019

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Steve Trotta, center, poses with Gary Chleboun, director of the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences, and Betty Sindelar, associate director of the school.

Photo courtesy of: College of Health Sciences and Professions

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$25,000 gift endows scholarship for Ohio University physical therapy students

Fund aims to help southeast Ohio students who want to work in rural areas

A $25,000 gift from Ohio University Therapy Associates (OUTA) will endow a scholarship to help southeast Ohio students pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the University.

Naming the scholarship was a "no brainer," said Gary Chleboun, director of the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences, which oversees the clinic’s operations. The Ohio University Therapy Associates-Steve Trotta Scholarship honors the clinic’s longtime manager of physical therapy care. Trotta has been an enthusiastic supporter of OHIO’s physical therapy program since 1986, when he graduated from the program and began to work for OUTA, which provides hearing, speech and physical therapy care.

"Steve is completely dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to make the program and OUTA successful," Chleboun said. "Through his efforts and those of the rest of his staff, the clinic has been tremendously successful over the past few years, which has made it possible to endow the scholarship. He has also served as a guest lecturer often and has helped teach anatomy classes."

In 1997, Trotta began managing the physical therapy operations at OUTA, which has grown to include clinical sites at Peden Stadium, O’Bleness Memorial Hospital and throughout the region. The clinic as a whole records more than 90,000 patient visits a year.
This isn’t the first Ohio University accolade for the 54-year-old Trotta. In 2005, he received an Alumni Award of Distinction from the College of Health Sciences and Professions, which houses both the physical therapy program and the clinic. That award recognized Trotta’s professional and personal accomplishments, as well as his significant contributions to the college’s growth since its establishment in 1979.

Though Trotta helped shape the criteria for the scholarship, he didn’t know it would bear his name until his colleagues surprised him with that news at a July 2 ceremony.

"I’m overwhelmed and deeply honored," Trotta said. "This scholarship gives the opportunity for nontraditional physical therapy students who plan on remaining in southeast Ohio to provide care to often underserved areas."

The scholarship gives preference to applicants who are graduates of high schools in Athens, Vinton, Meigs, Hocking and Jackson counties. Preference also is given to nontraditional students interested in working at a rural practice upon graduation.

OUTA’s gift is part of Ohio University’s The Promise Lives Campaign, an effort to raise $450 million in support of students, faculty, facilities, outreach, and the student experience by June 30, 2015. As of June 30, 2012, the University had raised more than $400.5 million toward this goal.

To learn more or to make a contribution to The Promise Lives Campaign, visit www.ohio.edu/campaign.