If Glenn Stackhouse hadn’t torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in 1988 while playing for his Air Force squadron football team, chances are he wouldn’t be a physical therapist today. “While rehabbing from surgery,” the Wharton, NJ, resident recalls, “I became interested in what I was learning about my knee. Shortly after that, our squadron was volunteering for the Special Olympics, and we were asked to sign up to help. It was there I met a 32-year-old Navy veteran who was a physical therapy student at Southwest Texas State University.”
Fast forward to 1992 when Stackhouse, working as a physical therapy aide at Dover General Hospital, applied for physical therapy school at Kean University. His first job after graduation was at the Mercer Medical Center in Trenton, but, in 2000, he joined Matheny in Peapack as a physical therapist in its community services program.
Stackhouse provided PT services to adults in the community with developmental disabilities and worked for 10 years bringing PT services to the Mendham Township School District. “I provided in-class support and worked to develop adaptive physical education strategies for district students with special needs.” While Stackhouse was working in the Mendham Schools, one of the classes was planning a field trip to Waterloo Village and was concerned that a student who was in a wheelchair wouldn’t be able to make the trip because of the rough terrain. Stackhouse contacted Matheny’s rehab technology department and came up with a wheelchair with high density wheels that could be used both as a power chair and manually. The Mendham Resource Center teacher was trained on how to use it, and the student was able to make the trip.
As part of Matheny’s community services program, Stackhouse also worked at the Morris and Sussex County Arcs, providing staff training for safety, back care basics, and adaptive equipment while also working as a physical therapist. In May 2005, the Morris County Arc presented him with its Healthcare Provider of the Year award. He also spent nine years as a Matheny physical therapist in the New Jersey Early Intervention Program, “working with the families of children under the age of three with developmental delays.”
Since 2008, Stackhouse has worked full-time in The Matheny School, and last year his colleagues voted him “Related Services Provider of the Year.” “Each day,” he says, “I am privileged to team up with the most committed, creative, and amazing people imaginable. Everyone works together for the benefit of the families and individuals we serve.”