Injury piques interest in therapy
A basketball injury her freshman year of high school led to a career in physical therapy for Alicen “Annie” Whitaker-Hilbig.
The Marion class of 2012 graduate said injuries often prompted people in her field to do the work they do.
“I had to go to physical therapy, and it kind of opened my eyes to that career,” Whitaker-Hilbig said.
She works at the University of Kansas Medical Center as a graduate research assistant. She’s a treating therapist as well as a researcher in clinic trials.
She focuses on research involving physical therapy for stroke patients, diving into the “best type of physical therapy interventions and exercise for people who’ve had a stroke.”
What interests her about that specialty, she said, is how the brain responds to strokes.
“A lot of the curriculum that they were teaching us was about how the brain adapts after an injury,” she said. “We really don’t know a whole lot about the brain.”
Whitaker-Hilbig received her doctorate in physical therapy from KU, where she also is getting a doctorate in rehabilitation science.
She will be in town for Old Settlers Day and will visit relatives while she’s in Marion.
“My mother and my father are still there,” she said. “My sister is moving back. She’s renovating the barbecue restaurant on Main Street. My nieces are in elementary school.”
Last modified Sept. 21, 2022