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Physical Therapy Program Complaint Policy

This policy for addressing program complaints excludes complaints for which there is an established university,
school, or program policy or procedure, such as grade appeals, academic dismissal appeals, or allegations of racial,
sexual, or gender harassment. These matters are covered in the physical therapy student handbook, the school of
health related professions student handbook, the UMMC bulletin, or the UMMC faculty and staff handbook.

An individual who has a concern/complaint following an experience/encounter with any student, faculty, or staff
member is welcome to communicate their complaint. Program complaints are recognized as an opportunity for
program improvement and should be expressed with this end in mind.

A complainant can choose to communicate a complaint either informally and formally. If the complainant chooses,
the complaint can be communicated informally by contacting the party(s) involved (e.g. course coordinator, faculty
member, program director, academic coordinator of clinical education, student) to discuss the issue. In this case,
there is no documentation of the complaint. If the complainant prefers, a formal written complaint can be filed
with the program director. Such a complaint must be communicated in writing and be signed. The complaint
should state with specificity the facts giving rise to the complaint, the names of persons who have knowledge of
the events surrounding the complaint, and the relief sought. It should be signed by the person filing the complaint.

All parties to the process will seek to maintain the confidentiality of the process; however, it is recognized that
circumstance may compel further disclosure to other persons, particularly if the facts implicate possible violations
of law, University policy, or foreseeable risk of harm to any person. The program director will maintain a file of all
written program complaints for a period of five (5) years.

Complaints should be addressed to:

  • Dr. Lisa J. Barnes, Department Chair and Professor
    University of MS Medical Center
    School or Health Related Professions
    Department of Physical Therapy
    2500 N. State St.
    Jackson, MS 39216

The program director will address the issue with the involved party within ten (10) working days of receipt of the
letter and will seek resolution of the issue. The resolution action will be communicated to all parties in writing.

Should the complainant not be satisfied with the resolution of the issue at the program level, or if the complaint
involves the program director, the complaint can be made to the dean of the school of health related professions.
As appropriate, the program director will forward a written summary of the situation to date.

The written complaint shall be filed with the dean within ten (10) working days of receipt of the complaint
resolution letter from the program director, or, if the complaint is regarding the program director, within ten (10)
working days of the experience/encounter. Upon receipt of the complaint, the dean shall evaluate the merits of the
complaint and identify a course of action. A letter summarizing the dean’s action shall be filed with the complaint
letter in the program complaint file. This ends the complaint process.