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Alumnae Find Support System for ‘Mompreneurs’

By Zachary Durham

Published on February 3, 2021

pagliano and sokBeing a mom and balancing a business provides a unique set of challenges. 

Fortunately, Carrie Pagliano MPT’99, founder of Carrie Pagliano Physical Therapy in Arlington, Va., and Lauren (Smith) Sok MPT’00, founder of Functionize Health & Physical Therapy in Decatur, Ga., have always had each other to lean on.

They wanted fellow “mompreneurs” to have that same support system.     

“We started PT Mompreneurs to have a place for moms who wanted to start their own practices, or who already had their own, to have a place to connect,” said Dr. Pagliano. “It's been awesome having a life-long friend to be a sounding board, and we wanted to create that sense of belonging and support for other moms!”

Dr. Pagliano’s journey to mompreneur got started at University of the Sciences, where she decided to attend for the small PT program situated in a healthcare-oriented city.

“My time at USciences was a combination of a small school/big city experience, mixed with preparing to graduate with a post-graduate degree at an age where most of my high school friends were just finishing undergrad. I was a step ahead of many colleagues that had only held a BS in PT," said Dr. Pagliano. "I know it doesn't sound like much, but at the time it was a leg up to have the MPT five years out of high school. With two less years of school to have to pay back, I was earning and making an impact sooner.”

To this day, the relationships she developed at USciences are still prevalent in her professional world.

“21 years later I still see my PT school advisor Dr. Z Annette Iglarsh at national conferences, and I was able to attend the World Congress of PT in Capetown, South Africa and sit in on the U.S. delegation meetings with former professor (and alumni) Dr. Susan Wainwright.,“ she said.

Dr. Pagliano says former Head Rifle Coach Paul Klimitas ‘HonAlm05, who named her team captain and awarded her the 1999 Female Academic Athlete Award at graduation, had the most impact on her during her time at USciences.

“Coach K was a shining star in my collegiate experience. He always supported academics first, making sure we knew we had what it took if we put the work in. He didn't care what major we were, but always emphasized to us the importance of doing well in our classes and getting our degrees. I can never thank him enough for how much he believed in each of us.”

In 2007, Dr. Pagliano would go on to receive her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, from where she also holds her Manual Therapy Certification.

Prior to founding Carrie Pagliano PT, she spent over 10 years as the founder and program lead for the Pelvic Physical Therapy Clinical Program and physical therapy residency at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and over five as instructor of clinical rehabilitation medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Dr. Pagliano is an active member of the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy, a component of the American Physical Therapy Association, serving on the board of directors - as secretary, vice president, president and currently past president - for over seven years, and she spearheaded the name change process from Section on Women’s Health to its current Academy of Pelvic Health PT, to reflect the diversity within the population her profession treats, as well as the population of its practitioners.

Also an appointed advisory board member to the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network: National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National, Institute of Child Health and Human Development, she is a double board certified clinical specialist in orthopedics and women’s health, and currently an adjunct professor at Marymount University and Lynchburg Universities in Virginia. 

As for her current practice, Carrie Pagliano PT is an expert women’s and children’s pelvic health physical therapy practice, helping those with chronic pelvic pain, pre-natal and post-partum pelvic issues, including musculoskeletal pain and pediatric incontinence.

As for the future, she is hoping to transition her practice to a more virtual setting.

“This was always the plan to be able to impact more women, even before COVID. The pandemic has shown us that virtual has the ability to do more than we ever thought was possible; I am a good clinician not because of my hands, but because of my critical thinking and problem solving skills,” said Dr. Pagliano.

Critical thinking and problem solving skills that were shaped at University of the Sciences.

“USciences was a great start and gave me a great foundation for what was to come," she said." Having a supportive community during my five years on campus gave me the confidence to keep pushing to become more, and I appreciate the opportunity to share my experience with current and prospective students.”

Categories: News, Samson College of Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, Alumni Physical Therapy, Proven Everywhere