Thursday, February 7, 2019

SLU PT Alumni Spotlight - Derek Fenwick, PT, MBA, GCS, SHRM-SCP

SLU PT Alumni Spotlight - Derek Fenwick, PT, MBA, GCS, SHRM-SCP

Director of Professional Development, Infinity Rehab

Hometown: Cape Girardeau, MO
Current Town/City: Portland, OR

SLU MPT Class of 2003

Interests, Activities, Clubs, and Professional Organizations

American Physical Therapy Association: APTA Nominating Committee, Leadership Development Committee, Post-Acute Care Work Group

Oregon Physical Therapy Association: OPTA Nominating Committee, past President, Vice President, Oregon Delegate to the APTA House of Delegates

See more at

If you could come back to SLU and teach a class, which class would you like to teach?

Strategic Human Resources (HR) for Health Care Professionals

What was the most valuable lesson — inside or outside the classroom — you learned at SLU?

If you see work that needs to be done and no one to do it, you're probably the right person for the job. I'm not even talking about big things; it is the day-to-day opportunities that you see to do the right thing and hold the space where others won't that can have the most lasting and positive change in the world. Don't worry that you won't do it right - making the effort to do it at all is good enough.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

Helping to create my own dream job. I am blessed to work for an organization that takes risks and innovates to tackle big business challenges. When the need to do more to support and engage our high-performing employees became clear within our company, I worked with our Vice President of Human Resources to craft a draft job description for a Director of Professional Development role focused on turning high-potential employees into influential leaders. Together we made the business case and got it funded. Now many years later, I have had the privilege of helping to build several key programs to address the clinical, management, and leadership needs of our company, and in the process have found an exciting career path in human resources that I would have never imagined possible during my time in PT school. 

What advice do you have for students getting ready to graduate with their DPT?

There will always be a job for a PT willing to take on a leader role in health care. Health care needs more leaders with clinical backgrounds. If the opportunity for management or other leadership presents itself early in your career and you've got a curiosity about it, take a chance and do it. You will be forever changed for the positive - and so will the patients you serve.

This is one of several posts featuring SLU PT Alumni experiences. The Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy wants to recognize the exciting and innovative things our alumni are doing, here in St. Louis and around the world. For more information for and about SLU alumni experiences go to:

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