Neag Alumnus Promoted to Director of the Nayden Clinic

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Photo credit: Sandy Matosz

As new director of the Nayden Rehabilitation Clinic, Jeremy Vigneault, PT, is focused on success.

“My job is to ensure the success of others, whether they are my colleagues, students or patients,” Vigneault says. “I’m a proud member of the Nayden team.”

On staff since 2005, Vigneault spent his first six years there as a clinical faculty member, seeing patients and providing clinical education to Physical Therapy (PT) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students. In 2011, Vigneault assumed administrative duties, becoming clinic co-director with Morgan Hills.

He became sole director this past fall, when Hills joined the Rehabilitation Services team at the UConn Health Center in Farmington.

As director, Vigneault is responsible for overseeing both the comprehensive patient care and clinical education the Nayden Clinic provides. “It’s a challenging job, in that we rely on the clinic to generate the revenue needed to support all operations,” said Kinesiology Department DPT Program Director Craig Denegar, PT, PhD.

It’s also a job Vigneault is excited to assume. His passion comes from not just his enthusiasm for the great care Nayden Clinic patients receive, but from his enthusiasm for UConn itself. An alumnus, he eared both his bachelor’s degree in Allied Health and master’s in Physical Therapy from the Neag School of Education.

“Jeremy’s familiarity with the campus and work as a clinical faculty member are huge assets,” Dr. Denegar added. “He  understands the role the clinic plays in the academic, service and research missions of the PT programs.”

The Nayden Clinic provides graduate and undergraduate Physical Therapy students the opportunity to receive much-needed, hands-on clinical training, putting to practice the concepts and techniques they’ve learned in the classroom. Clinical faculty members act as mentors, supervising and helping students provide the most advanced patient care.

“The fact that I went through the same program current student are going through means I can relate and help guide them through the process,” Vigneault says. “It’s also fun to see what the students are learning, and to have them challenge me. Students receive a  great mix of clinical education and patient care, and I interact daily with a group of students who definitely keep me sharp and on my toes.”

In addition to their clinical education experience at the Nayden Clinic, physical therapy students also spend time performing rotations at the UConn Health Center in Farmington and other area hospitals. At the Nayden Clinic, students have the opportunity to focus on caring for patients who need both orthopedic and neural rehabilitation after a surgery, accident, injury or illness.

Jeremy Vigneault conducts a physical therapy treatment on a client at the Nayden Clinic. Photo credit: Sandy Matosz

“The best parts of rotations through the Nayden Clinic are the mentoring relationships students develop with clinical faculty, and the success and growth that occur. There’s no doubt the experience produces students with the theoretical knowledge and clinical knowledge ready to successfully enter the physical therapy field.”

Vigneault’s familiarity with the customization and management of electronic health records also helped the Nayden Clinic successfully transition to a 100 percent digital scheduling, billing and records system.

“I’m kind of a techie,” Vingeault says, “so when I came to the Nayden Clinic, and saw that getting its electronic records program to provide optimum efficiency needed some work, I was excited. It’s a powerful tool that when properly customized and managed by well-trained staff can really make a difference with the patient experience and, when needed, with sharing information to provide collaborative or multi-disciplinary patient care.”

That care the Nayden Clinic provides includes a unique aquatic rehabilitation program that specially-trained physical therapists conduct at the nearby Nathan Hale Inn.  The clinic’s location in the Human Development and Family Relations Building on Bolton Road also allows UConn athletes to conveniently receive expert injury assessments; rehabilitation, when needed; and take part in a sports club program.

Run solely by the Neag School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology, the Nayden Clinic is important to both UConn and residents of eastern Connecticut, Denegar says.

“We make first-class physical therapy services accessible to staff, students, faculty and the community, ” Vigneault says. “The level of care you get here is second to none.”