Dominique ForteDominique Forte prides herself on her drive and passion for helping others. Forte devotes most of her spare time to Equal Access Birmingham (EAB), a student led pro-bono clinic created by UAB’s School of Medicine in 2012. EAB‘s mission is to provide care to all individuals in the Birmingham area that lack adequate insurance to cover healthcare expenses.

“So many people in the Birmingham area do not have enough benefits to receive the healthcare that they deserve,” Forte says. “As a student physical therapist, I apply the knowledge I have gained in order to deliver services to individuals who may not have access to healthcare otherwise. I strive to use the skills and knowledge acquired from a great set of professors and clinicians whenever I volunteer with Equal Access Birmingham.”

A second-year student in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, Forte earned her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from UAB in 2012. “My transition into graduate studies was very manageable,” she explains. “The School of Health Professions provides numerous opportunities for students to be involved in groundbreaking discoveries. Here, I am able to develop the skills needed to be proficient in my chosen profession.”

Forte always knew that she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. “I desire to work in an outpatient orthopedic setting after graduation.” she says. “I also plan to acquire an orthopedic specialist certification. I desire to build relationships with my patients and help better their overall quality of life.”

Building relationships is important to Forte. “I am very passionate about serving the community, and involving others in community service,” she says. An active leader in the UAB Department of Physical Therapy's many community service projects, Forte is responsible for selecting service projects, acquiring volunteers, and representing the department at interdisciplinary meetings and national conferences.

“Our department has completed over 300 community service hours this year,” Forte says. “We have prepared meals for Ronald McDonald House, painted homes with Habitat for Humanity, participated in a local health fair, and completed mission work in the Dominican Republic. It brings great joy to know that we are touching the lives of others through our service and commitment.”

Diversity, community service, and research, Forte emphasizes, are what brought her to the School of Health Professions. “We have touched so many lives through our service, and that is what I am so thankful for. It is such a humbling and rewarding experience to serve my community. It is important to me to help others, as others have once helped me. To me, it means love and hope for all.”