Monticello native always wanted to be physical therapist

   Shontol Burkhalter, PT, DPT, is another of the professional Physical Therapists working at Precision Rehabilitation.

Shontol is a native of Monticello, who graduated from Monticello High School in 2004. According to Shontol, she knew she wanted to become a Physical Therapist after watching her uncle undergo cardiac rehabilitation and physical therapy, following a lung transplant. She was sixteen at the time and still in high school.

After high school, Shontol attended the University of Utah and earned a bachelor of science in health promotion and education with an emphasis in community health, and a minor in sociology. She went on to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree from the U of U in 2013. She completed clinical training at St. Mark’s Hospital, LDS Hospital, St. Luke’s Community Healthcare Network and Peak Physical Therapy. Her research interests focused on health care disparities in relation to underserved populations. She has published research in the Journal of Allied Health and the Journal of Physical Therapy Education.

Shontol’s doctoral project focused on gait speed as a predictor of function and future decline in older adults age 65 to 85.

“If you can prevent falls, then you can potentially save a person’s life and improve their quality of life,” she explained.

Her current clinical practice includes in-patient, outpatient and home health. Her areas of clinical interest include Vestibular Rehab, dry needling and incorporating evidence-based treatment into practice. She is certified through the Spinal Manipulation Institute in Dry Needling for Craniofacial, Cervicothoracic & Upper Extremity Conditions. Shontol has been an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association since 2009.

Soon after receiving her doctorate, she went to work for Precision Rehabilitation as a DPT and she said she’s glad she had the chance to come home and work in her field.

“I always wanted to do rural physical therapy since I came from a small town. So working with Precision Rehabilitation fits me well,” she said.

She now works in Monticello every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and a half-day on Tuesday. The other half of the day she spends in Blanding. She spends Thursdays at the Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. Community Health Center, in Monument Valley. She said the best part of her job is working with patients and helping them achieve their goals.

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