Laurie Ray, MPT, PhD

Laurie Ray, MPT, PhD, has 17 years of experience in school-based practice and is a state-level PT consultant for public schools. She is a co-author and co-publisher of www.SeekFreaks.com, an evidence-based online resource for pediatric PTs, OTs, and SLPs. She also consults for Medicaid and Adapted Physical Education for her state and is an Associate Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill.


Upcoming Courses

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Topics of Expertise

IEP Development; Data-based Practice; IDEA, FERPA, 504 and Relevant Legislations; Transitions in School-based Practice; Medicaid in School-based Practice; Collaboration between Adaptive Physical Education Teachers and Physical Therapists; Goal Writing


Why I Enjoy Presenting

I love teaching because it energizes my practice. I enjoy making ‘boring’ topics interesting! During preparation, I have a great opportunity to learn, think, challenge myself (and my suppositions!) and discover how the group I am working with operates. While engaged in the session, I want to promote a candid exchange of ideas and perspectives; as well as promote practical application of current evidence. What brings me deep joy is when participants engage each other to figure out ‘how we can do this’ and we all push each other forward. My hope is that participants value the time they have invested with me, leave challenged, equipped with a reasonable ‘to-do’ list and the tools to accomplish the task.


Upcoming Workshop

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Select Peer-reviewed Scientific and Professional Presentations

Ray, L. & Cecere, S. “Engaging the Student with Severe or Complex Needs”. One and a half hour panel discussion at the American Physical Therapy Association, Section on Pediatrics Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, November 2015.

Ray, L.: “Data-based Practice for Physical Therapists”. One hour presentation at APTA, Section on Pediatrics 10th Annual Conference: Innovations in School-based Practice, San Capistrano, CA, July, 2015.

Ray, L.: “Adapted Physical Education and Physical Therapy: Working Together”. 30 minute presentation at APTA, Section on Pediatrics 10th Annual Conference: Innovations in School-based Practice, San Capistrano, CA, July, 2015.

Flynn, P., Holahan, L & Ray, L:  “Implementation Science: Moving Practitioners and Programs Forward”.  One hour, interdisciplinary presentation at the American Occupational Therapy Association 2015 Convention and Expo, Nashville, TN, April, 2015.

Holahan, L & Ray, L:  “Getting Students Moving: Every Body’s Role in Learning”.  Two hour, interdisciplinary presentation at the 2015 Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement, Greensboro, NC, April, 2015.

Holahan, L & Ray, L:  “Related Services: Data-driven Strategies for Program Administration”.  One hour, interdisciplinary presentation at the Council on Exceptional Children 2014 Convention and Expo, Philadelphia, PA, April, 2014.

Cecere S, Ray L & Rechlin L: “Clinical Reasoning in Educational Practice: Creating Collaborative and Inclusive School Environments”. Full day, pre-conference seminar at APTA Section on Pediatrics Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA, November 2013.

Ray, L.: “Documentation for Educational Practice: One Note, Many Purposes”. Hour and thirty minute concurrent session at APTA Section on Pediatrics Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA, November 2013.

Ray L & Holahan, L:  “Therapists: Linchpins of Strong Fee-for-Service Programs”.  Hour and thirty minute, interdisciplinary presentation at the Annual National Alliance for Medicaid in Education Conference, Grand Rapids, MI, October, 2013.

Ray, L.: “Documentation, Data-based Decisions and Monitoring Student Progress: Comprehensive, not Complex!”. One hour and 15 minute presentation at APTA, Section on Pediatrics 8th Annual Conference: Innovations in School-based Practice, Philadelphia, PA, July, 2013.

Rechlin, L. & Ray, L.: “Evidence for Learning: Strategies, Differentiating and Embedding”. One hour presentation at APTA, Section on Pediatrics 8th Annual Conference: Innovations in School-based Practice, Philadelphia, PA, July, 2013.

Ray, L & Vialu, C: “Stay in School: What Matters Most to Retain School-based PTs”.  Two hour presentation at APTA Combined Sections Meeting, San Diego, CA, January 2013.

Cecere S, Ray L & Rechlin L: “Advanced School-based Practice: Paradigm Shifts for the Future”. Full day, pre-conference seminar at APTA Section on Pediatrics Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, September 2012.


Select Invited Presentations

Spear, C., Dunn, S., Holahan, L. & Ray, L. “Nursing Services & the IEP: Bridging Health and Education”. invited by NC Regional School Nurse Consultants for a four hour pre-conference session to the 2015 NC Nursing Conference-Bridging Communities, Education and Health, Greensboro, NC, October, 2015

Ray, L. “Related Service Practitioner Panel”. One hour and 30 minute panel discussion, represented APTA, Section on Pediatrics, invited by the National Alliance for Medicaid in Education (NAME) for the Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD, October 2015.

Miles, C. & Ray, L.: “Making Sense of Medicaid: Challenges & Opportunities for PT”. One hour presentation at APTA State Policy and Payment Forum, Denver, CO, September, 2015.

Doty, T. & Ray, L. “How Physical Therapists Can Prepare Adolescents & Young Adults for Transition to Adulthood”. Two hour webinar invited by the National Technical Assistance Center for Transition (NTACT), April 30, 2015.

Holahan, L & Ray, L “How Can We Make It Work? Doing More with Less” Full day session for Indian Prairie School Districts 203 & 204, February 2014.

Ray, L, Tartick, K, King, B & Ruff, A: “Successful Physical Therapy Interventions in the Classroom: A Panel Discussion”.  Full day panel presentation invited by New York City Department of Education, New York City, NY, October, 15-18 2013 (4 sessions).

Ray, L & Holahan, L “Data and Documentation: Keys to Accountability and Professional Growth in School-based Practice”. Full day session for Prince Georges County Public Schools, September 11, 2013.

Rechlin, L & Ray, L. “Evidence for Learning: Strategies, Differentiating, Embedding”. One hour presentation as a part of APTA, Section on Pediatrics two day workshop Providing School-based Physical Therapy Under IDEA, Philadelphia, PA, July 2013.

Ray, L. “Documentation, Data Based Decision Making & Monitoring Student Progress: Comprehensive, not Complex!” One hour presentation as a part of APTA, Section on Pediatrics two day workshop Providing School-based Physical Therapy Under IDEA, Philadelphia, PA, July 2013.


Select Workshop Evaluation Comments

“She gave really great information about the school systems. I also like how she tied it to early intervention to determine what PTs need to know about the child when they are transitioning.” – North Carolina, 2017

“You were helpful I would like to spend more time working with you and listening to your ideas. Thank you for your references.” – Milwaukee, 2016

“Data driven practice is an area we have not yet engaged fully in our dept. This content provides us with some useful guides to get started.” –  Los Angeles, 2015


Peer-Reviewed Publications

Martin M, Shinberg M, Kuchibhatla M, Ray L, Carollo J, Schenkman M.  Gait Initiation in Community-Dwelling Adults with Parkinson’s Disease: Comparison with Older and Younger Adults without the Disease. Phys Ther June 2002, 82(6): 566-77.

Cavanaugh J, Shinberg M, Ray L, Shipp K, Kuchibhatla M, Schenkman M.  Kinematic Characterization of Standing Reach: Comparison of Younger vs. Older Subjects.  Clin Biomech 1999, 14:271-9.

Schenkman M, Cutson T, Kuchibhatla M, Chandler J, Pieper C, Ray L, Laub K.  Exercises to Improve Spinal Flexibility and Function for People with Parkinson‘s Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Am Ger Soc Oct 1998, 46(10): 1207-16.

Schenkman M, Laub K, Kuchibhatla M, Ray L, Shinberg M.  Measures of Shoulder Protraction and Thoracolumbar Rotation. J Ortho & Sports Phys Ther May 1997, 25(5): 329-35.


Book Chapter

Holahan, L., Ray, L. & Dickie, V. (2012) A transactional perspective on consulting practice. In Cutchin, M. & Dickie, V., (Eds.) Transactional Perspectives on Occupation. (pp. 133-43) New York, NY: Springer.


Honors and Awards

APTA Section on Pediatrics Susan K. Effgen Advocacy Award, 2016

NCAAHPERD-SM Advocacy Award, 2015

UNC AHS Thorpe/Mitchell Diversity Leadership Faculty Award, 2009


Select Online Publications

IEP 4.0: Developing a Clear PLEP

Medicaid in Education: 10 Much-Needed Answers

Adapted Physical Education Primer

4 Cs of Letters of Medical Necessity

Late Summer Reading List for Seasoned School-based OTs, PTs & SLPs

…and many more on www.SeekFreaks.com


Other Apply EBP Instructors

Prof. Dr. Bouwien Smits-Engelsman, PT

Connie Johnson, PT, DScPT

Carlo Vialu, PT, MBA

Karen Tartick, PT, CSCS

Peggy Morris, OTD, OTR/L, BCP

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