Sue Bravard

Sue Bravard
Sue Bravard, PT, MS
Physical Therapist Assistant Program Chair
(515) 643-6614

Office Location
Building 2, Room 252

Mailing Address
Mercy College of Health Sciences
928 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-1239

Courses Taught Regularly

  • PTA 101 Fundamentals of Physical Therapy
  • PTA 130 Kinesiology
  • PTA 135 Essential Skills in Physical Therapy I
  • PTA 160 Physical Therapy Modalities
  • PTA 162 Therapeutic Exercise
  • PTA 165 Essential Skill sin Physical Therapy II
  • PTA 202 Physical Therapy Interventions for Neuromuscular and Cardiopulmonary Conditions
  • PTA 204 Professional Issues
  • PTA 230 Issues in Clinical Practice
  • PTA 235 PTA Seminar
  • PSY 240 Gerontology and Aging

Year Started at Mercy College 2007


  • M.S., Iowa State University 
  • BSPT., Washington University 
  • B.S., Iowa State University 


  • Physical therapist, State of Iowa


  • American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

Advice to Students

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." - Thoreau

Clinical Experience   

  • 5 years full-time clinical practice in acute care, skilled care, outpatient,cardiac rehab, neurorehabilitation,and home health
  • 20 years in college teaching and grant management

Research Interests and Professional Projects

  • Learning outcomes, health and wellness for older adults
  • Analysis of "With Distinction" Ratings on the Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Performance Instrument (October 2013), collaborative project with Tracy Porter, DPT   
  • Iowa Physical Therapy Association, Treasurer

Recent Publications/Presentations

  • Porter, T. & Bravard, S., More than Just Reps: Optimizing Exercise Progression, Iowa Physical Therapy Association 2018 Spring Conference
  • Porter, T. & Bravard, S., Effective PT/PTA Teams: Supervision and Delegation Best Practices, Iowa Physical Therapy Association 2018 Fall Conference
  • Des Moines Area Community College Teaching and Learning Conference: "The Art and Science of Questioning to Enhance Student Learning" (April 2013), co-presentation with Dr. Suzanne Crandall
  • Iowa Physical Therapy Association and Foundation Conference: "The Shoulder Complex" (Fall 2012), co-presentation with Tracy Porter, DPT
  • Mercy College Professional Development Lunch and Learn: "Bloom's Taxonomy" (Summer 2012)
  • Eileen Hansen, MA, AHIP, presented a poster, From the Ground Up: Building Information Literacy into a Physical Therapist Assistant Curriculum, at the Medical Library Association annual conference in Detroit on November 22, 2008 that was developed by her and Sue Bravard, PT, MS.

Professional Memberships

  • American Physical Therapy Association
  •  Education Section
  • Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy

Community Service Invovlement

  • Polk County Well Elder Health Committee

Personal History

Physical therapy is a dynamic profession that allows me to combine my passions of movement science and helping others. The opportunity to facilitate student learning is very rewarding.

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