News & Press: Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight on Carrie Fuller, PTA, BA

Tuesday, October 16, 2018   (3 Comments)
Posted by: Gloria Baker
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Carrie Fuller, PTA, BA

Senior Physical Therapist Assistant

Mount Sinai West




October 2018

Carrie began her career as a physical therapist assistant in sports medicine.  What stands out in Carrie's spotlight is her passion for physical therapy, and her love for continuing education.  As you get to know her, you'll quickly learn she has an incredibly adventuresome spirit, and has traveled to some very exotic locations.


Take a few minutes and get to know this month's member spotlight with us! Enjoy the Q&A with Carrie below.

How long have you been a member of the NYPTA? What is your best experience thus far?


While I became a member of APTA in school in the 90’s, I became an active member of NYPTA almost 10 years ago. Since becoming active in the NYPTA, I’ve been a delegate to the Delegate Assembly nine times and the New York PTA Caucus Representative to the APTA House of Delegates for almost eight years. I love advocacy and have participated in Lobby Day in Albany and Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C.  I’ve participated in the Chapter strategic planning, and was a member of the NYPTA Awards Committee. Currently, I am the Greater New York District Secretary and a Global PT Day of Service Ambassador for New York City.  I’ve had a lot of great moments with the NYPTA and I love the members that I work with. 


My most proud moment was writing my first motion to the Delegate Assembly to change the NYPTA Bylaws to allow physical therapist assistants to have a full vote in New York, and it passed unanimously. Seeing everyone stand up at the DA in support of this motion seriously warmed my heart and made all of the work worth it. I feel that the NYPTA is a family and I am so proud to be a part of it. 


Tell us a little about your background, and how your path led you to where you are in your career today. What’s your favorite moment of your career so far?


When I first graduated in Charlotte, NC, I worked in sports medicine and thought that was what I would always do. I worked with NFL players, pro golfers, NASCAR racers and NBA players. After 9/11 I moved to the US Virgin Islands and worked as a PTA for the Department of Special Education. But in 2004, I began working in San Francisco with stroke patients and fell in love with the neuro world. I became one of the first three PTAs in the U.S. to become certified in the treatment of NDT through Recovering Function. In 2012, I received APTA PTA Recognition of Advanced Proficiency in Neuromuscular Rehabilitation. A few years later in NYC, I worked with a 28 year old male artist who had a stroke, but I knew that my typical treatment wouldn’t be enough. So I attempted to incorporate yoga into his session. He loved it, did really well and still practices yoga to this day. That would be my favorite “aha moment” in my career, because it encouraged me to become a professional yoga therapist through the Professional Yoga Therapy Institute. It has completely changed the way I treat patients and it has encouraged me to use a more well-rounded and individualized biopsychosocial approach with every single person I work with. 


What are some of the key opportunities and challenges facing the physical therapy profession? 


I have worked with many patients in the hospital that are very depressed after being addicted to opioids, and they are still in pain. Most of them were never offered (or they could not afford) physical therapy in the first place. One sweet lady I worked with was so depressed and said she felt ashamed because her back had been injured (a piece of marble fell on her back) and the doctor’s only option for her was opioids (never even mentioned physical therapy). She was scared of opioids, so she started drinking alcohol to cope, and now she is going to alcohol addiction rehab (and is still in pain). So much pain and heartache could be avoided. The #ChoosePT campaign is a great start to educating the public, but I believe we have a ways to go. 


What advice would you give NYPTA members who are new to the profession? 


Be an engaged member! There are so many ways to be an “active” member, from going to Lobby Day, to your local District meetings, to participating in the Delegate Assembly or House of Delegates. But the first step is to be a member (and take advantage of all the great resources!) We are all in different places in our lives at different times and whether you help out at a local meeting or you run for an office, your service is always appreciated. I also recommend the NYPTA Leadership Development Workshop to learn about leadership and how the Delegate Assembly and House of Delegates work.


Also, find a good mentor. We all need one! Debra Engel has been a wonderful mentor of mine (whether she knew it or not). Thank you Debra!


What is a favorite tip you have that you could share with others in our industry?

Don’t let yourself get bored or you will burn out. Keep the fire ignited within you and take good quality continuing education and let others inspire you to be your best. Surround yourself with people you look up to and it will make you a better person and a better professional. 


What are you passionate about? 


Treating patients!  Since working at Mount Sinai West, I’ve primarily worked on the Neuro and Neuro Surgical ICU units, but recently I’ve rotated to the Oncology Unit. Each place I rotate to, I try to embrace it and learn something new. I LOVE taking continuing education!  The great thing about physical therapy is that it’s a dynamic and evolving profession. As it changes, we must change with it. Staying up to date is very important to me. 


What else would you like your fellow NYPTA Members to know about you?


My husband and I love adventure travel racing. I’ve done trail races in the Sahara Desert, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Patagonia. It allows us to explore the world together in a fun and unique way. We also make a lot of good friendships along the way.

Zeb, Buddy (our dog) and I also love to stand up paddle (SUP) and we dream about living somewhere we can SUP everyday!


What is your favorite app or social media outlet?


Since most of my family and friends do not live in NYC, I appreciate being able to see pictures of them on Instagram and Facebook. I also love to Facetime with my beautiful niece, Lena.


What is your guilty pleasure?


Sharing a bottle of Opus One and watching Game of Thrones.



Do you know someone who should be Member Spotlight?  Email


Larry F. Flowers says...
Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Carrie, I am so happy to see you featured in the "Member Spot Light. Your career is truly inspiring and exceptional example for PTAs not just in New York, but throughout the country. Your tip "shared with others in the industry" was very insightful and right on target. My hope is faculty members at PT and PTA programs throughout New York will share your Member Spotlight with their students. It is a great example of the professional development potential of a PTA, with willing mentors, and the contribution a PTA can make to the profession.
Debra Engel says...
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2018
You are an amazing woman with a terrific career and story to tell. Thank you for everything you do to advance the Profession. I am so honored to know you. Debra Engel
Claudia B. Fenderson says...
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2018
What a wonderful story of your background and love of PT. I feel so fortunate to have you advocating for our patients and profession. Claudia B. Fenderson

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