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Faculty and Staff



Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist

Phone: 865.338.5680 (office) | 865.343.7097 (cell)
Email: [email protected]


    - PhD in Epidemiology, minor in Human Performance - Biomechanics, Indiana University – Bloomington

    - Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties

    - Wound Care Certified, National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy

    - Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator, Society of Simulation in Healthcare

    - Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of Southern California

    - Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry, Dartmouth College


    - Risk Factors for Running-Related Overuse Injuries including Biomechanics and Non-Running Physical Activity

    - High Fidelity Simulation in Healthcare Education to Improve Patient Care

    • Impact of Interprofessional Education on Physical Therapy Students

    Dr. Harper-Hanigan serves as the Program Director for the developing Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at LMU-Knoxville. Previously, she was a member of the founding core faculty in another developing DPT program which successfully gained accreditation in 2018.  

    She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Physiological Psychology from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire and, after taking some time off, earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. After practicing in outpatient orthopedics for 3 years in El Segundo, CA, she then completed a Post-Doctoral Research Assistantship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the area of qualitative research methods and community-based participatory research focusing on improving racial health disparities in birth outcomes for African American women in Omaha, NE.  She completed her PhD in Epidemiology from Indiana University-Bloomington with an emphasis on Biomechanics and Physical Activity Epidemiology with a dissertation entitled “The Relationship Between Non-Running Physical Activity and the Development of Running-Related Overuse Injuries." She is passionate about applying the rigor of traditional epidemiological methods related to both study design and statistical analysis to secondary data sets and physical therapy research in general.

    In addition to practicing in outpatient orthopedics and sports rehabilitation for 3 years, she has spent the past 8 years in an acute/intensive care setting as well as in inpatient wound care at a Level I Trauma Center. She is a Board-certified Geriatrics Clinical Specialist through the American Physical Therapy Association as well as Wound Care Certified the American Board of Wound Management. She also is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Additionally, she has volunteered as a National Physical Therapy Examination Item Writer through the Federation for State Boards of Physical Therapy.

    Dr. Hanigan has several peer-reviewed publications and has presented on topics including community-based participatory research, the application of epidemiological methodology in the investigation of running-related overuse injuries, and the impact of acute care simulation experiences on the clinical performance of physical therapy students.

    Professional memberships include the American Physical Therapy Association, Society for Simulation in Healthcare, American Society of Biomechanics, and American Board of Wound Management.


    Harper-Hanigan, K. (2019). "Comment to: “Effect of monosodium L-glutamate (umami substance) on cognitive function in people with dementia”." European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 73(6): 966-966.

    Harper-Hanigan, K, Ross, G, Sims, T, Trotter, KJ, Turman, Jr., JE. (2017) Women’s Perspectives of Needs Surrounding Adverse Birth Outcomes - A Qualitative Assessment of the Neighborhood Impact of Adverse Birth Outcome. Matern Child Health J. Dec; 21:2219-2228.

    Burnfield, J, Buster, T, Goldman, A, Corbridge, L, Harper-Hanigan, K (2016) Partial body weight support treadmill training speed influences paretic and non-paretic leg muscle activation, stride characteristics, and ratings of perceived exertion during acute stroke rehabilitation. Human Movement Science. Jan; 47:16-28.

    Kulig, K, Harper-Hanigan, K, Souza, RB, Powers, CM (2010) Measurement of Femoral Torsion by Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Concurrent Validity. Phys Ther. Nov;90(11):1641-8.




Phone: 423.869.6025 (office) | 865.585.7892 (cell)
Email: [email protected]


    - Doctor of Physical Therapy, A.T. Still University

    - Certified in McKenzie Manual Therapy

    - Masters of Physical Therapy, University of Kentucky

    - Bachelors of Health Science, University of Kentucky


    - Use of standardized patients and patient simulation to prepare physical therapy students for clinical rotations

    - Use of interactive technology to improve balance in athletic and geriatric populations

    - Neuroplasticity and its effect on chronic pain levels


    Dr. Yost currently serves as the Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor for the developing Lincoln Memorial University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.  Previously, he practiced for 20 years in a variety of settings, including acute care at the University of Kentucky.  The greatest majority of his clinical work occurred in outpatient / orthopedics at PT Pros in Kentucky. 

    Prior to moving into academics at LMU, Dr. Yost served as an adjunct faculty at the University of Kentucky Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the Center of Excellence in Rural Health.  Dr. Yost has served as Secretary of the Kentucky Physical Therapy Association and assisted in the implementation of continued competency for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants during that time.  During his time with PT Pros, Dr. Yost provided instruction in the PT Pros Mentoring Program for new graduates including instruction of basic McKenzie treatment concepts and techniques prior to new graduates attendance of McKenzie courses.  Dr. Yost also instructed new graduates in Osteopathic manual treatment techniques as he was instructed by Dr. Edward Stiles.

    Dr. Yost is currently enrolled in LMU's EdD program with a concentration in higher education.  Dr. Yost is also working toward completion of the Orthopedic Certified Specialist exam.

    Professional membership includes the American Physical Therapy Association, APTA Orthopedic section member, APTA Education section member, and Tennessee Physical Therapy Association member. 




Phone: 865.338.5678 (office)
Email: [email protected]


    - Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy, Andrews University

    - Certified in Manual Physical Therapy, North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy

    - Residency in Manual Physical Therapy, The Ola Grimsby Institute

    - Master of Physical Therapy, Shenandoah University

    - Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


    - Adolescent Injury Prevention and Management and especially Gender Differences

    - Stress Fracture Prevention and Management in Runners

    - Physical Therapy Management with Less Frequent and Overall Visits

    - Interregional Dependence, particularly of the Lower Quarter

    - Clinical Reasoning of Persistent and Recalcitrant Conditions


    Dr. Spadafora serves as a Musculoskeletal Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at LMU-Knoxville. His Bachelor of Science was completed in Kinesiology from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville (1994) where he was also a graduate assistant athletic trainer with the football team (1994-96) and became certified in athletic training (1997). His Master’s in Physical Therapy (PT) was completed at Shenandoah University, just outside of Washington, DC (2000). After graduating from PT school, he earned his specialist certification in Orthopedics (2004) and then completed a yearlong manual therapy residency through the Ola Grimsby Institute (2005). He’s always worked as a clinician in outpatient orthopedic settings, and except for one year, in private practice.  Beginning in 2008, he started teaching in the South College Physical Therapy Assistant program, first as an adjunct and then transitioned to full time in 2010 to the present with a goal of bringing more manual therapy, medical exercise prescription, and clinical reasoning into that part of the profession. Additional motivations in teaching include helping students re-frame material and to put information into terms, stories, and experiences that shorten learning curves for greater understanding, familiarity, application, and fun. He also enjoys helping students develop a skill and passion for learning. He continued to practice in the clinic while teaching and started his own turn-key and concierge cash-based clinic in July of 2017. During the fall of the same year he earned a certification in manual physical therapy through the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy. His clinical focus and research agenda are on prevention and returning to play for competitive and recreational athletes as well as addressing recalcitrant and persistent conditions of all patients that also need thorough and effective biomechanical investigation and treatment with patient empowerment. Lastly, he completed a terminal Doctoral degree in the Science of Physical Therapy from Andrews University (2020).  Professional memberships include the Tennessee and American Physical Therapy Associations.

    He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife of more than 20 years, who is a physical therapist in pediatrics, and their three adolescent children. As a family, he enjoys solid movie nights and physically active games as well as getting away to the mountains for hiking, biking, and camping in between supporting his kid’s various and numerous activities. He also likes do-it-yourself projects, especially those involving woodworking, and is big on prevention and staying ahead of things, including with what he eats and high intensity exercise of running, weight training, and swimming. A good nonfiction book as it relates to incredible individuals, the human body, truth, and family are always around as well.


    Spadafora M, Coolman V, Oakley E, and Pettman E.  Hip Maltracking Prevalence in Adolescent Female Athletes and the Association with Low Back and Lower Extremity Symptoms. Submitted for publication in 2021





Laura Gagnon, PT, PhD, DPT, IMT-C

Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist

Email: [email protected]


    - Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

    - PhD in Biomechanics/Sports Medicine, University of Tennessee-Knoxville 

    - Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties

    - Master of Physical Therapy, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, NYC

    - Bachelor of Fine Arts, Florida State University

    - Certified in Integrative Manual Therapy, IMT Center


    - Impact of IMT/indirect manual therapy techniques on the central and autonomic nervous system

    - Pilates applications in rehabilitation

    - Biomenchanics of baseball pitching and hitting related to injuries and performance

    - Pelvic girdle mechanics/core stability


    Dr. Gagnon serves as an Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at LMU-Knoxville.  Her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance was completed at Florida State University preceding her professional dance career as a member of the Martha Graham Dance Company touring nationally and internationally.  She was a member of the Martha Graham faculty teaching in NYC and as a master teacher on tour.  After dancing professionally for 10 years she began her physical therapy education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in NYC.  Dr Gagnon’s primary research interest at Columbia was the description of sacroiliac joint movement and clinical assessment of pelvic girdle mechanics.  She developed and patented the ‘Pelvic Meter’ that measures innominate position in two planes as part of her master’s Thesis ‘Reliability of the Pelvic Meter in Measuring Pelvic Alignment’.  Dr Gagnon received her PhD in Biomechanics/Sports Medicine at the University of Tennessee Knoxville where her research focused on Pilates in rehabilitation.  She conducted a clinical study comparing Pilates and traditional core stability exercises on pain and functional outcomes for patients with low back pain.  She also obtained a Stott Pilates mat certification and taught Pilates.  She completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.

    Dr. Gagnon’s clinical work has been primarily in outpatient orthopedics in clinics in Atlanta, GA and Knoxville/Maryville, TN covering 26 years.  She opened her own clinic in Maryville 2006, A Moving Experience, Inc.,  with the goal to provide one-on-one care, reduce patient visits and improve care through direct and non-direct manual therapy techniques and promotion of improved compliance in home exercise programs.  She completed a three-year program and became certified in Integrative Manual Therapy including Jones Strain Counterstrain techniques.  She continues to operate her clinic in the Maryville area.  After noticing interesting clinical changes in patients over years of applying IMT with traditional manual therapy techniques she began conducting research at the University of Tennessee Hospital in Knoxville investigating the impact of Integrative Manual Therapy on the central and autonomic nervous system.

    Dr. Gagnon’s teaching background includes teaching, choreographing and setting works by Martha Graham as part of the dance faculty at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.  She also taught in the exercise science department at UT as an adjunct professor in coursework covering applied anatomy, biomechanics and orthopedic rehabilitation. She enjoyed teaching for Cross Country/Vyne Education CEUs in biomechanics and manual therapy.

    Dr. Gagnon lives in Maryville, TN with her husband and pre-teen boy/girl twins, 5 cats and 4 dogs.  She enjoys supporting her kids in multiple sports, dance and music.  They enjoy homeschooling, triathlons, outdoor activities, fishing and volunteering at the animal shelter.


    Gagnon, L. H. (2017). Assessment of Flexibility and Low-Back Function. In E. T. Howley & D. L. Thompson (Eds.), Fitness Professional’s Handbook (pp 195-214). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

    Gagnon, L. H. (2017). Exercise Prescription for Flexibility and Low-Back Function. In E. T. Howley & D. L. Thompson (Eds.), Fitness Professional’s Handbook (pp 291-312). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

    Dissertation research presented in “Effects of Pilates-Based Exercises on Pain and Disability in Individuals With Persistent Nonspecific Low Back Pain:  A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis.  JOSPT Feb. 2011 vol 41, no.2

    Liemohn WP, Baumgartner TA, Gagnon LH.  Measuring Core Stability.  J Strength Cond Res.  2005 Aug;19(3):583-6. 

    Dissertation “Efficacy of Pilates Exercises as Therapeutic Intervention in the Treatment of Patients with Low Back Pain”.  University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 2005.             

    Contributing author:  Exercise Prescription and the Back. Wendell P Liemohn.  McGraw-Hill/Appleton & Lange; December 7, 2000. 

    Masters Thesis “Reliability of the Pelvic Meter in Measuring Pelvic Alignment”. Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, NYC. 1995.






Kwaku Kankam, PT, DPT

Board-Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist

    - Doctor of Physical Therapy, Emory University

    - Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties

    - Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering, University of Toledo


    - Rehabilitation strategies in specific neurologic populations

    - Social Determinants of health and healthcare systems

    - Interprofessional education and its effect on professional relationships and PT referral outcomes

    - Use of patient simulation in classroom education and its effects on student’s clinical success


    Dr. Kankam currently serves as a core faculty member involved in curriculum development and overseeing the neurorehabilitation section coursework with the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at LMU-Knoxville. He was previously an adjunct professor with the DPT program at the University of St. Augustine-Austin since 2017 while concurrently working clinically in the acute care setting with the St. David’s Healthcare system.  

    He received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Emory University in Atlanta, GA in 2011 after completing his Bachelors of Science in Bioengineering from the University of Toledo in 2008.

    He began his career in inpatient rehabilitation at Carolinas Rehabilitation in Charlotte, NC in 2011. In 2014, with the goal of experiencing the different healthcare settings and an opportunity to explore the country, he spent a year being a traveling contract-assignment therapist eventually settling in Texas.

    He is a Board Certified Neurologic Physical Therapist by the ABPTS and has a Certification in Clinical Instruction by the Texas Consortium for PT Clinical Education. He has now fully transitioned into academia from his previous part-time clinical role however working hands-on with patients will always be his passion.

    He is new to the Knoxville area, after living in Austin, Texas for the past 6 years. He is an avid runner and has participated in several half marathons and triathlons. Exploring craft beer and new musical artists are some of his favorite hobbies and he is looking forward to discovering what Knoxville has offer.

Lawrence Ramiscal, PT, DPT, PhD

Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist

    - PhD in Applied Health Sciences, Rehabilitation track, Augusta University

    - Doctor of Physical Therapy, Chatham University

    - Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties

    - Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, University of Santo Tomas (Manila, Philippines)

    Coming soon...
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Jill Townsend, MS


Phone: 865.338.5741 (office)
Email: [email protected]








Preston Sangster, BA

Administrative Assistant - Admissions and Clinical Education

Phone:  865.338.5746 (office)
Email: [email protected]