BY JOHN HOBBS MA ’14
Associate Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy Stephanie Woelfel has been elected to the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel (NPIAP) Board of Directors for a three-year term beginning in January 2023.
“It’s a great honor to have been elected, and I’m looking forward to taking on a larger role within the NPIAP,” said Woelfel, who has been the APTA representative on the panel for years now.
“NPIAP is used to me advocating for physical therapists as part of the wound team,” Woelfel said. “In this new role as a board member, I am hoping to share that message more broadly at NPIAP conferences as well as enhancing the collaboration between the NPIAP and physical therapists in the community.”
Founded in 1986, the NPIAP is a nonprofit professional organization whose mission is to provide interprofessional leadership to improve patient outcomes in the prevention and management of pressure injuries through education, public policy and research.
The organization is composed of leading experts from different health disciplines.
“Physical therapists bring a unique perspective related to pressure injury management and prevention because we really are movement experts,” said Woelfel, who holds a dual appointment in the Department of Surgery at Keck Medicine of USC. “If you look at one of the main reasons pressure injuries develop, it’s a mobility issue. Physical therapists can be great team members to address these concerns for patients.”
The new role is not Woelfel’s first foray into leading professional organizations. She is currently the president of the Academy of Clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Management and the primary physical therapist in the Southwestern Academic Limb Salvage Alliance Clinic of USC.
As the director of clinical physical therapy for hospital outpatient services at Keck Medical Center of USC, Woelfel spends her days working with health care experts from across the spectrum.
“One of the things I love about USC is how everyone on my team really focuses on taking care of the patients first and foremost,” Woelfel said. “As an organization, NPIAP is trying to find ways to help others take care of patients better and that really resonates with me.”