Physical therapy movement center, neuromuscular lab unveiled

Some people’s legacies are too powerful to disappear once they’ve died. Lucy Shackelford and Kitty DeGree are two of those people. 

At ULM, Shackelford and DeGree are held in high esteem, especially in the eyes of health sciences students and faculty.

Last week, the new Lucy Shackelford Human Movement Center and Kitty DeGree Neuromuscular Lab were unveiled.

Lisa VanHoose, director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, said the legacies of Shackelford and DeGree are “crucial in the development” of the DPT program. 

“We are excited to offer an innovative curriculum, learning spaces and equipment for our future doctors of physical therapy who will start in August 2022,” VanHoose said. 

Before her death in 2000, Shackelford was a kinesiology professor at ULM. Her family created an endowment named after her in 2003. 

The endowment donated more than $200,000 to the DPT program this year, which allowed for the human movement center to be built. The department was able to buy new tables and exercise equipment for the center.

The Kitty DeGree Foundation donated $50,000 to the DPT program in 2019. This was used to build the neuromuscular lab. 

The foundation donated another $160,000 last year, which was used to purchase a new Bertec Station for the lab. A Bertec Station assesses a person’s neuromuscular balance and mobility issues. It’s available for members of the community to use with their physical therapists.

Cindy Rogers, president of the Kitty DeGree Foundation, said DeGree would have loved the neuromuscular lab, because it’s good for the university while also helping the community.