Katie Graves named physical therapy 2020 alumna of the year

Katie Graves

Kathleen “Katie” Graves '03, a physical therapist at St. Joseph’s Medical Center

Kathleen “Katie” Graves, a physical therapist at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, graduated from University of the Pacific’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in 2003, and since has stayed involved in the physical therapy and Pacific Alumni community, as well as her own.

Graves has been active in several organizations over the years, including the American Physical Therapy Association, California Physical Therapy Association, where she was the chair and vice chair of the Northeast District from 2012-2013, and currently she serves as vice president of the Vineyard Christian Middle School Board of Directors.

She has also been involved in her own community. Through affiliation with her church and Vineyard Christian Middle school, Graves’ family strives to maintain a service-oriented heart and are happy to help out with any project big or small. She serves food at Grace and Mercy in Lodi, participates in clean up days at Lodi Lake, plans and volunteers at Crab Feed fundraisers, works with Love Lodi city wide community service days, and is a mentor to junior tennis players.

After graduating from Pacific, Graves has stayed connected to Pacific and the DPT program through academic service from 2010-12 on the physical therapy assessment committee, curriculum committee and Northern California Clinical Education Consortium. She served as an interviewer for Pacific Physical Therapy Doctoral Candidates, and as a clinical instructor and center coordinator of clinical education on behalf of Pacific at Lodi Physical Therapy for several years. She attends local Pacific Physical Therapy Alumni social events, supporting the association through attendance at the annual Graduation dinners, and reuniting with her good DPT friends at the Pacific Physical Therapy Alumni and Friends reception at CPTA.

Graves recently shared about her experiences at Pacific, the challenges she's faced in 2020 and her thoughts on being named alumna of the year.

On why she loves Pacific: “Pacific is like family to me. Not to mention that our family has a strong affiliation with Pacific. Both my sister and my husband are Pacific Physical Therapy Alumni, and my niece is currently a Pacific pharmacy student. I am so grateful for the time I spent at Pacific as a student, and equally so, for having the opportunity to give back to our program through teaching, serving as a clinical instructor, and mentoring new graduates. Our Pacific DPT program has a rich history of giving and serving and building relationships - and I whole heartedly strive to devote myself to continuing that tradition.”

On 2020: “The year 2020 will be remembered by so many people in so many different ways. Never in my lifetime, have I been witness to so much upset and uncertainty on such a massive scale through our shared experience of COVID-19. I would like to think that as both a physical therapist and a local citizen I have served our community well through this health care crisis. I think my proudest moment, is more of a personal commitment and decision I make every day: to maintain a mindset of respect for all, compassion, faith and encouragement.”

On being named DPT's 2020 Alumna of the Year: “I am truly honored to be recognized as Alumni of the Year. I love our university and the people that make this such a special place.”