The American Health Council has welcomed Ms. Karen Gartner as “Best in Medicine.” With an impressive background in Physical Therapy, Ms. Gartner has dedicated an incredible 45 years to her field, displaying particular expertise in pediatrics, orthotics, seating, mobility and assistive technology.
Ms. Gartner first became interested in her profession due to her own personal experiences. Acquiring Poliomyelitis as an infant and the physical challenges she has faced as a result of the illness, inspired her to become a pediatric physical therapist.
Ms. Gartner’s route into physical therapy began with the completion of her BS-PT at Northeastern University, graduating in 1975. Throughout her career, Ms. Gartner has continued to pursue further education and training to become an ABPT Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist 2000-2020, now Emeritus and a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional 2007-2019. She also holds a C/NDT Neurodevelopmental Treatment Certification in Pediatrics and is TMRc Certified in Total Motion Release, Tots and Teens.
Having served for over four decades as a physical therapist, Ms. Gartner is semi-retired and currently offers her services as a consultant. She has had the opportunity to work with VT Dept of Health Children with Special Health Needs Clinics and continues to fulfil a role offering guidance and assistance to families navigating the healthcare processes. Ms. Gartner is keen to build a role in education, which would enable her to provide mentorship and consultations with other therapists.
Looking back at her impressive career, Ms. Gartner attributes her success to her drive and the desire to be an expert clinician. She acknowledges the importance of communication and enjoys sharing the wealth of experience she has gained from working with children, ages ranging from birth to adult, and amongst various settings including; home, schools, outpatient clinics, rehab unit, and speciality clinics. She also believes her unique perspective, due to her experiences dealing with the lifelong effects of polio, has enabled her to help others and has led to her continued success.
On a personal level, Ms. Gartner has strived to build an active presence in her community, having served on the Board of Directors for many community organizations including; serving three terms on the Rutland City Board of School Commissioners, . She also served on the boardss of the Rutland Community Programs, Rutland County Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Rutland Ishidoriya Student Exchange Program (sister City Exchange) Vermont Girl Scout Council as board member and troop leader, Vermont Morgan Horse Association, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) Empire Region Board and Disabilities Council.
Ms. Gartner also gives back to her community as an active leader at all levels in her local synagogue. Supporting a variety of community, national, international and religious organizations, Ms. Gartner is open to helping any causes which support the health and welfare of youth and those living with disabilities, or the advancement of medicine and education.
In a continuous effort to broaden her knowledge, Ms. Gartner maintains membership with several professional associations including; the American Physical Therapy Association, the Vermont Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Neurodevelopment Treatment Association. She was also the VT State Representative for the Academy of Pediatric Therapists from 2000-2006.
Looking to the future, Ms. Gartner plans to maintain her license and certifications as able, aspiring to continue consulting and mentoring physical therapists.. Ms. Gartner is a founding member of an international online mentorship community of Pediatric Therapists, The Wired Collective, and hopes to remain involved with the community, placing a focus on education, in particular decreasing the pervasiveness of preventable conditions in children, such as positional deformities and motor delays.
In her time outside of work, Ms. Gartner enjoys singing in choral groups, reading and dedicates her time to being highly involved as a lay leader with her local synagogue.. She also enjoys spending time with her family and is especially fond of her role as grandma.