Mira Mariano, PhD, elected president of the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy
The Virginia Board of Physical Therapy is a governor appointed board and Dr. Mira Mariano is serving her second four-year term. This board is different than professional associations, which advocate for the profession. The Virginia Board of Physical Therapy is a regulatory board which serves to protect the public.
While board members are appointed by the governor, leadership positions on the board are voted on by their peers. Dr. Mariano decided to run for a leadership position because her mentor, former ODU faculty member Dr. George Maihafer, encouraged her to get involved. He was president of the board several years ago.
She would encourage other physical therapists and faculty to get involved by attending board meetings, which are open to the public. She said it is a good idea for practicing physical therapists to at least be aware of who oversees regulations.
Dr. Miriano advocates that students focus on becoming great clinicians for the first few years in the profession to hone their skills but get involved in the professional organizations to learn about the bigger picture of the profession such as learning about things like reimbursements, or the differences in practices between state. She said, "There's a progression of learning and only so much you can take in at once."