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Patrick Cross, PT, DPT, RHF

Program Director, Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy* program

Department: Department of Physical Therapy
Phone: 712-279-1708
Office Location: Mayfair 107


  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Physical Therapy, Creighton University
  • Bachelor’s of Science (BS), Exercise Science, Truman State University
  • Rural Health Fellow (RHF), Rural Health Leadership and Political Advocacy, National Rural Health Association
  • Emergency Medical Services Technician Basic (EMT-B), EMT Certification Program, Western Iowa Tech Community College


Patrick Cross, PT, DPT, RHF is the Founding Program Director and Professor of Physical Therapy for the developing Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Briar Cliff University. Although Dr. Cross will have a significant administrative role, he will also be Course Director for Orientation, Behavioral Science/Ethics, Rehabilitation Laws and Reimbursement, Rehabilitation Practice Management, and Culmination. He will also be teaching the adolescent portion of Normal Lifespan Development, the physical agent and modality section of Rehabilitation Interventions, the community grant writing portion of Health Promotion, and an instructor for the Emergency Medical Responder Course. Furthermore, Dr. Cross will mentor groups through the Scholarly Project series of course, as well as serve as a clinical instructor for the Integrated Clinical Experience course series.

Dr. Cross graduated with Departmental Honors in Exercise Science from Truman State University prior to obtaining his Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Significant previous employment includes being an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and the Founding Chair of the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of South Dakota for 7 years, a physical therapist, Director of Rehabilitation, and Director of the Wellness Center for the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska for a total of 10 years, and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at Creighton University for 2 years. Throughout the years, Dr. Cross has consistently been a clinical instructor for professional students in the clinic and community settings, including the sidelines of rural, underserved high school sports. While at Creighton University and the University of South Dakota, Dr. Cross taught a multitude of courses for physical therapy, including ethics, modalities, business management, as well as specific parts of courses for physical therapy and other health care professions, including test and measures, musculoskeletal physical therapy, grant writing, Emergency Medical Response/ CPR/ AED, political advocacy, and billing and reimbursement.

In 2011, Dr. Cross was the first physical therapist in the nation to complete a fellowship with the National Rural Health Association in Washington, D.C., focusing on rural health political advocacy and leadership, including lobbying for federal legislation and analyzing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and its potential effects on rural and minority populations. He has also obtained various certifications, with associated leadership duties, including becoming an American Physical Therapy Association Credentialed Clinical Instructor in 2002, an Arthritis Foundation Arthritis Self-Help Course Leader in 2005, a Special Olympics’ FUNfitness State Director in 2008 (served as Co-Director for SD for 6 years), a nationally registered Emergency Medical Technician – Basic in 2009, and an American Red Cross Emergency Medical Response Instructor in 2010.

Scholarly, Dr. Cross has co-authored over 10 peer-reviewed journal articles and has presented over 70 peer-reviewed abstracts at regional, national, and international professional conferences on a variety of topics, including acute sports injury decision-making and medical management by coaches, physical therapists, and physical therapy students; various screenings of adolescent and geriatric athletes; musculoskeletal imaging; service-learning; innovative teaching models; interprofessional collaboration; culturally appropriate care; community-based physical therapy interventions; recruitment and retention of physical therapists in rural areas; as well rural health policy. A significant number of scholarly presentations and publications have been completed with students as co-authors. In addition, Dr. Cross has also co-authored book chapters on “Cultural Considerations for American Indian Cultures” in Developing Cultural Competence in Physical Therapy Practice and “Developing Health Professional Students into Rural Health Care Leaders of the Future through Best Practices” in Leadership in Interprofessional Health Education and Practice. Dr. Cross has also been a member of various interprofessional, rural health, student training grant teams, as well as has been the primary investigator for various public health and community-based grants, of which approximately 20 of the grants have been funded, totaling over $2.5 million.

Dr. Cross has served in leadership roles on numerous committees at the state and national levels of various professional and community organizations, including, but not limited to, the APTA's Awards Subcommittee on Advocacy, the Executive Board of the Global Health Special Interest Group for over 4 years, Secretary of the Board of Athletic Control for the University of South Dakota, and the Ethics Chair for 5 years and the Federal Affairs Liaison for 3 years for the South Dakota Physical Therapy Association. Currently, Dr. Cross serves as the Assistant Federal Affairs Liaison and the Northwest District Chair for the Iowa Physical Therapy Association. 

Dr. Cross's curriculum vitae »



Selected Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Shim A, Cross P, Norman S, Hauer P. Assessing various body composition measurements as an appropriate tool for estimating body fat in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I female collegiate athletes. American Journal of Sport Science and Medicine. 2014;2(1):1-5.
  • Ladwig E, Shim AL, Yom JP, Cross P, Beebe J. Preseason and postseason body composition does not change relative to playing time in Division I female basketball players. International Journal of Exercise Science. 2013;6(3):208-216.
  • Karges JR, Cross PS, Hauer PL, Blom H, Burcham J, Myers AK, Grimsrud C. Effectiveness of the Emergency Response Course in improving physical therapists’ and student physical therapists’ decision-making related to acute sports injuries and medical conditions. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 2013;8(3):277-289.
  • Beebe JA, Cross PS. Patellar tendinopathy: preliminary surgical results. Sports Health. 2013;5(3):220-224.
  • Cross PS, Beebe JA, Ernest BN, Arthur-Sinar S. Access to outpatient physical therapy services for community-dwelling older adults in rural Western Nebraska. Physical Therapy Journal of Policy, Administration, and Leadership. 2013;13(2):1-9.
  • Cross PS, Karges JR, Horkey MA, Kolb GA, Alexander KL, Knippling AL, Jacobsen JA. Management of acute sports injuries and medical conditions by South Dakota high school head coaches:  assessment via case scenarios. South Dakota Medicine. 2012;65(3):97-99, 101-105, 107.
  • Cross PS, Karges JR, Salsbery MA, Smith D, Stanley EJ. Management of acute sports injuries and medical conditions by physical therapists: assessment via case scenarios. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 2011;6(3):158-172.
  • Cross PS, Karges JR, Adamson AJ, Arnold MR, Meier CM, Hood JE. Assessing the need for knowledge on injury management among high school athletic coaches in South Dakota. South Dakota Medicine. 2010;63(7):241-245.
  • Cross PS, Berg PJ, Walsh M, Kelly J, Parker D, Beebe J, Jacobsen J. A cooperative school and community-based intervention to promote diabetes awareness and prevention behaviors among youths in an American Indian community. The IHS Primary Care Provider. 2009;34(10):284-291.
  • Cross PS, Voltz JD. Developing health professional students into rural health care leaders of the future through best practices. In: Royeen CB, Jensen GM, Harvan R, eds. Leadership in Interprofessional Health Education and Practice. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett; 2009:281-295.
  • Cochran TM, Cross PS. American Indian culture. In: Black JD, Purnell LD, eds. Developing Cultural Competence in Physical Therapy Practice. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis; 2005:238-259.

*Effective April 29, 2015, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Briar Cliff University has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates that the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.