HHS alumna draws on Purdue connections for interdisciplinary healthcare podcast
Written By: Rebecca Hoffa, email@example.com
Healthcare is ever-evolving, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 2 million new jobs across healthcare occupations from 2021-31. As more and more people choose to enter the healthcare field, Justice Montgomery, a travel physical therapist and 2016 graduate from Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS), is helping those interested in a career in healthcare delve deeper into the collaborative nature of healthcare through the podcast Pretty in Practice.
“HHS breeds a lot of different healthcare professionals,” Montgomery said. “I think it really helps in the healthcare field to continuously build on the connections between each other because it really does take an interdisciplinary team to treat a patient.”
Started by four friends who are all Purdue alumnae and pursuing various healthcare disciplines, the podcast’s goal is to be a voice in healthcare and share unique stories about pursuing the field. It has explored a variety of topics, ranging from navigating professional school to diversity in healthcare. The podcast’s first season wrapped up on Feb. 14, and since its start in summer 2022, the podcast has reached 13 different countries and has been downloaded more than 1,000 times.
“We have a lot to give back and offer communities who generally don’t know a lot about health or about pursuing a career in such,” Montgomery said. “That’s kind of what led us to the podcast.”
So far, all of Pretty in Practice’s guests are also Purdue alumnae, including one from the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and one from the Department of Nutrition Science, with the four podcast hosts having developed a strong network during their undergraduate education.
“We’re kind of jumping around to all the healthcare sectors because sometimes we ourselves don’t even know what a specific healthcare profession does,” Montgomery said.
Outside of the podcast, Montgomery uses her bachelor’s degree in movement and sport sciences from the Department of Health and Kinesiology and her subsequent Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences as a travel physical therapist. She works primarily in skilled nursing facilities to help older adults improve their strength, balance and walking to be able to return to independent living.
“The most rewarding part is seeing patients do things that they never thought they’d be able to do or do again,” Montgomery said. “A lot of people truly take for granted the things that our bodies can do every day and for many years.”
Montgomery’s work isn’t limited to older populations, however. She also works with in-patient rehabilitation clients who experienced a stroke or brain injury. Montgomery has a particular affinity for helping patients with neurological conditions because of her interest in how the brain and spine work together.
“I really appreciate how the brain can kind of regenerate and regrow connections so that although we lost some things, we can usually rebuild them back,” Montgomery said.
While a student in HHS, Montgomery was president of the student organization ACCLAIM (A Cultural Connection promoting Leadership opportunities and Academic achievement for International and Multicultural students), served in various leadership roles in Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and was an HHS Success Mentor. It was through these opportunities that Montgomery further developed connections in the College of Health and Human Sciences, including with Heather Dykes, associate director of student services and director of student success.
“What impressed me most about Justice was her undying commitment to leaving Purdue better than she found it,” Dykes said. “She knew that she would have to completely share herself with our campus community to make our campus better for others in our college and those who come to campus long after she was no longer here. It was no surprise to me that she found a way to combine all of her passions into her newest endeavor: the Pretty in Practice podcast. She wholeheartedly represents the philosophy of ‘as you pull yourself up, be sure to reach your other hand behind you to help pull others up.’”