Martha Acosta, Ph.D., received her bachelors degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, after receiving a bachelors degree in Pre-Medicine from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. After working several years as a clinician, she went on to pursue a masters degree in Healthcare Administration from Southwest Texas State University. She was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Preventive Medicine and Community Health (Rehabilitation Sciences).
She has worked in a variety of settings including acute care, rehabilitation, outpatient, long-term care, skilled nursing facilities, psychiatric hospital and home health. With approximately 35 years of clinical practice, she brings an abundance of expertise and clinical application to the academic setting to enhance student learning of clinical concepts. She has taught previously at the University of Texas at El Paso where the focus of her teaching responsibilities included management of the adult patient with neurological impairments. She also taught Management of Health Care Systems for Physical Therapists as well as Geriatric Elective courses and Hippotherapy.
She was awarded her clinical specialist certification by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as a Geriatric Clinical Specialist (GCS). Subsequently, she served as the Item Writer Coordinator supervising the item writers and Content Experts who generate items for the Geriatric board certification exam. She then served as the Chairman of the Geriatric Council. For the upcoming year she will serve as the MOSC (Maintenance of Specialization and Certification) liaison for the Geriatric Council.
Her current teaching responsibilities include topics of clinical foundation skills for first-year physical therapy students and aging across the lifespan for third-year physical therapy students. With regards to her teaching philosophy, she strives to inspire students to have a curiosity about learning new information, empower students to feel ownership of professionalism and encourage students to value their role as a qualified, competent healthcare provider.