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Christie Petre, ’06 

Being a PTA is the most rewarding career I could have chosen for myself. Initially, I was hired by ICU to treat patients in ICU. I believe I was the first PTA hired by ICU in Western New York (at that time).

Alongside the ICU nurses, we developed the early mobilization program. During my 17 years practicing, I moved out to the acute side of the hospital setting. My jobs is always different, I meet very interesting patients and have incredible coworkers. As a PTA I have the ability to watch my patients progress and make a true impact in their care.  

Since graduating from Villa Maria, I have gone on to receive a bachelor’s degree and a second associates degree. Villa Maria provided me with the BEST education hands down. Jim and Kim are two of the most dedicated and caring instructors I have ever had. They are an amazing team that take a personal interest in their students, it has truly been an honor to have each of them as instructors.  

The one thing that I will always remember Jim and Kim saying during a class when questioned “Why do we use PT books and not PTA books?” Jim responded “Because you’re not just a PTA, you will be an advocate for your patient. I want you to think like a PT because you will be responsible for your patient. You need to be able to understand what’s happening with them.” They encouraged us to be thorough, inquisitive and thoughtful not just “followers.” The faculty at Villa Maria is unmatched in every capacity. I wish Kim the happiest retirement, she’s earned it! Kim, Jim – thank you so much for shaping me into the clinician l am today.  

My advise for future PTA’s – it’s ok to question things. Even if it turns out to be nothing/wrong you need to speak up. Your patients may not be able to or they may be fearful to say anything, be their voice and their advocate. Doing what’s right is not always easy but it is necessary.