Sandra “Sandy” Reina-Guerra ’97, ’99, ’03, PT, DPT, PCS felt a connection to Pacific before she was even enrolled as a student. After she completed her military service in 1992, a Pacific counselor helped her choose courses she needed to take at a junior college 70 miles away. By the time she transferred to Pacific to complete her undergraduate education, she knew she would also stay to complete her graduate work. “Pacific led me to a career I’ve loved, in teaching and clinical practice, and provided a place where long-lasting friendships were made,” said Dr. Reina-Guerra.
Dr. Reina-Guerra began her career as a physical therapist at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton in 1999. She joined the Pacific physical therapy faculty in 2003 and eventually became chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. In 2017, she made the decision to leave higher education and take a position as the physical therapy clinical coordinator at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California. At Shriners, Dr. Reina-Guerra is involved with the BikeFit program, an annual community tricycling education program. She also volunteers for the NorCal Trykers, a nonprofit community tricycling program for special needs riders.
At Pacific, she was instrumental in the success of the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program as well as the Pacific Physical Therapy Alumni Association (PPTAA), helping to organize events and meetings. In 2017, she brought concussion expert Bennett Omalu, MD to address students, faculty and alumni at the semiannual Sanderson Lecture. Today, she gives back to the profession as a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy of APTA and the California Physical Therapy Association.
“Pacific led me to a career I’ve loved in teaching and clinical practice and provided a place where long-lasting friendships were made.”
Dr. Reina-Guerra credits the teamwork and vision of the department’s professors and staff members with her success as a physical therapist. She is influenced daily by her patients, young and old, and their families and caregivers.
“Pacific has already given me a wealth of experiences and opportunities,” she said. “Being recognized by the PPTAA is an honor that deepens my gratitude for its people and programs and reminds me of its ongoing good work.”
By Becky Perry ’01, ’09