Dr. Thornton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Athletic Training in the Congdon School of Health Sciences. Erica received her undergraduate degree from SUNY Brockport and her Master’s from the University of Florida. Erica completed her DAT at A.T. Still University. Erica is a certified athletic trainer (ATC), licensed athletic trainer in the state of North Carolina, and a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Erica practiced as a clinical athletic trainer in the collegiate setting for over 15 years before joining the HPU faculty.
Erica teaches Foundations of Professional Practice, Spine, Posture, and Movement, Interprofessional Seminar I, Manual Therapy, and Clinical Decision Making I and II. Erica also mentors students as they complete their capstone evidence-based practice project as part of the Evidence Based Practice III course. Erica encourages students to always utilize the best available evidence and consider the whole patient including each patient’s values, goals and expectations in all their clinical decisions. Erica is committed to linking the didactic learning with clinical application and experiences using case studies, role playing, standardized patients and other various assessment techniques.
Erica remains clinically active by assisting the HPU Athletic Training staff care for HPU club athletes. In addition to allowing her to keep her skills sharp she uses these patient care opportunities to mentor athletic training students in real patient care cases, allowing them to take the lead and make clinical decisions under supervision. Erica states, “This real-world application is where the rubber meets the road and will both identify gaps and bright spots in the learning process, as well as assist in establishing practice patterns and confidence.”