Darla graduated from Louisiana State University (Shreveport, LA) with her physical therapy degree, performed residency training in Women’s Health PT at Duke University, and is currently pursuing a PhD at University of Arkansas Medical Sciences. Her dissertation research focus is on using non-invasive brain stimulation to augment behavioral interventions for women with lifelong vaginismus.
Darla’s certifications and training include: Women’s Health Certified Specialist (WCS, board certification through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties). Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy (CAPP-Pelvic). Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT).
Darla began her women’s health physical therapy career in her first job while working with pregnant women with musculoskeletal problems in a private outpatient therapy clinic in Shreveport, LA (with a focus on spine rehab). While there, she developed and hosted an exercise class for pregnant women. She would go on to develop a mom and baby postpartum exercise class while in her Duke residency in Durham, NC. She went on to develop the pelvic, pregnancy, and post-breast cancer/lymphedema PT program at Christus-Schumpert Health system in Shreveport, LA. During this time, she participated in educating women in the labor and birth preparatory classes hosted by the hospital; she also taught the women’s health course for physical therapy students at LSU-Shreveport. Darla went on to serve as a full-time faculty member in the physical therapy program at University of Central Arkansas in Conway, AR, where she taught women’s health topics, documentation, therapeutic exercise, professional development, and human physiology. She now owns a private PT practice that is dedicated to pelvic (bowel, bladder, and pelvic pain) and pregnancy/postpartum conditions in Conway, AR.
Darla has several peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed scientific publications. Amongst some of these, she co-authored “Clinical Summary: Urinary Incontinence” for PTNow.org in April 2015. She authored the chapter titled “The Female Hip and Pelvis” in Orthopedic Management of the Hip and Pelvis (S Cheatham, M Kolber, Elsevier, 2015). She chaired the committee for and participated heavily in the development of the Certificate of Achievement in Pregnancy/Postpartum (CAPP-OB) course series for the Section on Women’s Health of the American Physical Therapy Association. Darla has spoken and instructed many courses in local, national, and international settings on a variety of pelvic, pregnancy/postpartum, and other women’s health physical therapy topics. Darla has served as the Director of Education (2011-2014) and as Vice President (2015-2016) for the Section on Women’s Health, American Physical Therapy Association. She also served a technical expert panel member on Treatments for Fecal Incontinence, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2014-2015. She also volunteered as a Women’s Health Certified Specialist Exam Standardization Task Force member in May 2013. Darla received several awards from the Section on Women’s Health: CAPP-OB Instructor of the Year (2017); Course Site Hostess of the Year (2018); and Volunteer of the Year (2015). She also received Clinical Instructor of the Year while serving as a clinical instructor a pelvic health physical therapy student from Elon University in 2011.
On a personal note, Darla has twin boys who were born in 2008. She is a life-long runner and exerciser who loves dark chocolate, craft beer, and her Basset hound (George) and Basset-Dachshund mix (Peanut).