Grateful for “opportunities to grow and develop”: Traci Bush, P.T.’95, D.P.T., OTR/L, D.H.S.

Traci Bush looks upon her life as a “series of fateful events that led to a series of opportunities.” While working full-time as a licensed occupational therapist at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, IA, she decided to also take prerequisite courses so she could apply to a physical therapy program. She applied to three programs, including DMU; she was accepted by two and put on an alternative waitlist at DMU.

“I rolled the alternative list dice,” she says, declining the first two offers in the hope DMU would accept her. After that came true, she says, “I received a phenomenal education here.” She graduated in 1995.

After practicing and developing a new therapy program at Skiff Medical Center in Newton, IA, Dr. Bush returned to her medical alma mater to join DMU’s physical therapy department. She has served the University in numerous roles, including as a faculty member, clinician, manager of the DMU Physical Therapy Clinic, president of the Faculty Organization and in her current role as program director and chair of the department. Yet she emphasizes that she is the one who’s grateful.

“As I have traveled down my career path, DMU has consistently provided me with opportunities to grow and develop,” she told guests at the kickoff gala for Purple & Proud: the Campaign for Des Moines University. “I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with incredibly dedicated and talented individuals, colleagues who give so much to support our mission and advance our cause…Des Moines University has provided me with the unique experience of working with the best and brightest of students – men and women who, upon leaving this institution, make tremendous contributions to the lives of their patients, the entities they serve and their communities. For that, I am grateful.”

The 2013 College of Health Sciences Alumna of the Year and a past recipient of the DMU Outstanding Teaching Award and University Service Award, Dr. Bush chose to participate in Purple & Proud by including DMU in her estate planning. She recently became a member of the Founders Society, which honors donors of cumulative lifetime gifts of $100,000 and greater.

“For literally half of my life, Des Moines University has been a constant for me. It has given me so much, and it is only fitting for me to give back,” she said. “It has been said, that it is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. I will never be able to give back to this institution what it has given to me. But it is my hope that my gift, in some way, will demonstrate how special Des Moines University is to me. For that, I am grateful. I am a proud supporter of Purple & Proud.”


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