Jen graduated from the University of Vermont earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Therapy. Jen began her post-graduate study in Postural Restoration in 1998 and was one of the first therapists in Vermont to earn Certification in Postural Restoration. Jen and her husband Chris opened their own practice in 2002. Poulin Performance specializes in Postural Restoration principles and Sports Performance programs. She has mentored many therapists, trainers and students and is eager to begin teaching Myokinematic Restoration next year. In her free time, Jen enjoys running, skiing, snowshoeing and spending time with her husband Chris and daughters Madison and Devon.
Tell us about your background and current practice.
I am a 1991 graduate of the University of Vermont. I began my study of PRI in 1999 when the Institute was just beginning. I knew right away that PRI concepts were what I was looking for in my practice. My husband Chris and I own two practices in Vermont. Poulin Performance and Rehab is located in South Burlington and Poulin and Associates is our partnership located at the Green Mountain Valley School in Waitsfield. Vermont is a great place to live and work if you love the outdoors! Most of our patients are active Baby Boomers and their kids. We see primarily orthopedic injuries brought about by sports or physical lifestyles activities. Our practice integrates PRI concepts into a Wellness Sports Performance model, which allows us to take our clients to different levels once they complete their PRI rehab goals.
You’ve attended many PRI courses over the years and completed Postural Restoration Certification in 2005. Can you tell us about this journey?
I can’t get enough of PRI and Ron’s teachings! I am often at courses because I am the forever student! I always see things with a new perspective with every course. One the best things about PRI is it is always evolving. When the Institute announced the certification concept in 2004, I knew I wanted to not only be recognized for my commitment to PRI, but also become an advocate for the Institute to expose as many people to PRI. I am proud of this accomplishment and feel certification was only the beginning of my professional development.
Who have your mentors been over the years?
My first mentor was Jim Downs, PT. Jim was my first business partner early in my career. He taught me so much about business and giving back to the profession of PT. Although Jim was not a PRI therapist, he continues to support my efforts to grow as a therapist. It was a difficult decision to leave our original partnership, but I respect Jim for who he is and what he taught me to stand for early in my career. Ron is my obvious PRI mentor and both these gentlemen gave me the strength and courage to take risks and not be afraid to stand up for what I believe in. My more recent mentors are James and Mike. I have learned so much from these two and look forward to this training year to continue to grow in my clinical application and teaching techniques. They bring honesty, compassion and a sense of humor that will be hard to follow!
What areas of professional practice are you most passionate about?
I love working with runners! I know they are a crazy group, but after the birth of my first daughter, I took up running and now I can relate to the craziness of the sport! Must be those Endorphins! Runners as a whole LOVE PRI and they are so accepting of the whole body approach. I treat the age range of runners, from the middle school athlete to my 70 year old marathon runner!
You are very active in education outside of patient care. Can you share with us your experiences or tell us about the projects you are involved with?
I have mentored many therapists over the years and helped them integrate PRI into their practice. I LOVE seeing the light bulbs go off and when they have success with what seems like the simplest exercise. We have reintroduced Clinical Education into our practice; it is great to open the minds of the PT students during the affiliations at our practice. I am proud to announce our latest student Cory Billows will be joining our practice this summer! I look forward to mentoring Cory on his PRI journey. Chris and I have been very active in community education. I have spoke to many civic groups, doctors’ offices and high schools on the PRI methods in Physical Therapy. Most recently I spoke at a Civic Group and my first mentor Sam Feitelberg, PT was in the audience. He is still active with the profession and I was honored to have the role reversal!
We are absolutely thrilled that you will be joining Mike and James in teaching Myokinematic Restoration next year! What most excites you about this opportunity?
I believe all things happen for a reason. I met Ron at a time in my career where I was contemplating leaving the profession. I did not feel I was really connecting the dots and helping people. They liked me and liked coming, but my standards of care were higher. I look forward to sharing my story and personal experiences with the therapists who attend my classes. I hope to turn things around for just one therapist who has or is walking the shoes I was wearing the day I met Ron. Physical Therapy is such an amazing profession and we all give so much time and effort to the study. I look forward to sharing Ron’s wisdom with others to help them see the human body through a different lens.
Each speaker brings a unique perspective to the course material and a unique presentation style. Can you tell potential attendees what they might expect from you?
I hope to teach a humble, honest style with a clinician’s perspective. I want the attendees to leave excited about PRI and ready to sign up for the next class. I will bring a lightness, common sense and sense of humor Northern style! Mikes’ got that Southern thing covered! I will hope to unravel some of the mysteries of PRI on the very foundation of concepts. Myokinematic Restoration is often the first class therapists take; I want to teach it in a way that they can go back on Monday and begin integrating PRI into their practice. I am looking forward to joining the Faculty and am honored by this opportunity!