Lauren Valdata, PT, CHT
Board Member and Founding Member
Lauren Valdata, PT, CHT is a Senior Hand Therapist at The National Curtis Hand Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Beginning as a Staff Physical Therapist in 1978, Lauren continued up the career ladder to Co-Chief Hand PT, and together with her cohort, Dale Eckhaus, OTR, CHT, they worked for nine years sharing administrative duties and providing direct patient care. When an administrative hand manger was hired for the center, Lauren was able to return to her real love – patient care.
Lauren's love of hand and upper extremity therapy goes to her college days at Hunter College of the City University of New York. She had "won" an internship at Dr. Robert W. Beasley's Hand Rehab Unit in N.Y., N.Y. Her mentors there were Meredith Cook-Ferraro, MS, PT, CHT, and Karen H. Prendergast-Lauckhardt, MA, PT, CHT. They taught her the need for good physician/therapist communication, the need for ongoing continued education, no matter what stage in experience, and most importantly, the need to help and educate patients during their rehab to attain the best possible potential and/or outcome for their return to a more functional and fulfilling lifestyle. From this very impressive introduction to the world of hand and upper extremity therapy, Lauren knew that she would specialize in this area. She worked in Rehab (Neuro and Ortho), cardiopulmonary, cardiac, and pediatrics. When the opportunity arose to work with Raymond M. Curtis, M.D., Rodney W. Schlegel, PT, and Janice Maynard, OTR at the Raymond Curtis Hand Center, Lauren pursued it.
Lauren continues to work at the Hand Center and specializes in the care of and rehabilitation of amateur and professional musicians, from classical to progressive rock. She continues to be a committee member of the Maryland Medical Chirurgical Society’s Performing Arts Committee. She participates in the Peabody Music Conservatory Health Fairs and participates in, and lectures at, various meetings on an international level. In 1993, Lauren, together with Dale Eckhaus, OTR, CHT, Bonnie Aiello, PT, CHT, E.F., Shaw Wilgis, M.D, and Gaylord Clark, M.D., edited and authored “Hand Rehabilitation - A Practical Guide” - Edition 2 of the book was published in 1997. Lauren has lectured extensively on hand rehabilitation to local specialty groups and colleagues worldwide. Lauren was one of the original members of the APTA’s Hand and Upper Extremity Rehabilitation Section started in 1981 and held several offices in the section: Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Newsletter Editor, President, and Director.
Lauren first served in a non-voting position on the HTCC Board of Directors from 1989-91 and was elected to a voting position on the HTCC Board in 1991. Lauren was the ASHT Liaison from 1991-2000 and was the Nominating Committee Chairperson for a number of years. She has served on the Audit and Finance, Disciplinary, Nominating, and Recertification committees. She currently serves on the Examination and Governance committees. She was elected to the Secretary’s position of HTCC’s Executive Board of Directors in 2000 and was re-elected in 2002. In addition, in 2002, Lauren was appointed as chairman of the Item Writing Committee, which is a sub-committee of the Examination Committee. In that position, she coordinates item writing activities and serves as a mentor to members of the committee. Lauren considers it an honor and a pleasure to be part of such an exceptional organization as HTCC.