Thomas Selman Profile Picture
HRH Health & Rehabilitation
Tom Selman has led the Texas chapter for 16 of the last 20 years and became a member of IARP in 1989 when its initials were NARPPS, which stood for the National Association of Rehabilitation Professionals in the Private Sector.
"In IARP I can talk to any member and learn what's going on throughout the practice - life care planning, expert witness, case management, etc.," said the flag-carrying member who began his
44+-year career as a professor of government and political science and has never taught rehabilitation courses per se.
"Through IARP I am exposed to the breadth of the field, and I can keep up."
entered private rehab "through the back door.
A panelist with other psychologists discussing educational programing at community colleges very early in his career, Selman, who has earned advanced degrees in psychology and counseling and political science, was offered a job by a member of the audience who liked the teacher's "common-sense approach.
accepted the offer and started down the private rehab path with Goodwill Industries
, a leading international organization helping people with barriers find gainful employment.
All the while he
continued teaching so that for the vast majority of his
professional life he
held two careers, one as college professor, the other as private rehab consultant.
"I love the flexibility of the field," said the enthusiast and entrepreneur.
Today as the president and chief consultant of HRH Health & Rehabilitation
in Dallas, he
is more-or-less retired, doing some program development and accreditation work and considerable stoking of the IARP Texas fires.
is in the throes of planning another IARP Texas conference, which in two years has brought nearly 50 students into the ranks along with nearly 100 more professional members.
"Building the student membership through conferences that talk to their interests and expectations is my focus," said Selman
" I also enjoy making presentations to university classes in the field of rehabilitation.
Building an IARP mentorship program to expose recent grads to the value of private rehabilitation as a career is important but challenging, he
notes the obstacles.
"Many of today's students aren't joiners to begin with, and building mentorship programs has its challenges of geography that puts hundreds of miles between communities, practices and members; time constraints of busy practitioners; and creating viable matches between mentors and mentees."
Not one to say no to a challenge, Selman
aims to bring an additional 100 student members into IARP Texas next year as well as keep current members engaged.
"The only way to do that is to provide programming and services that meet the needs of the students," he
Another primary goal is to foster at least 25 thriving mentoring relationships.
Some universities will help in this effort, according to Selman
, despite the fact that professors in the Texas system typically recommend a public rehab career path.
This is changing, however, at several of the six Texas universities that provide rehabilitation education curricula.
At the University of North Texas (UNT) at least five professors have experience in private rehab, according to Selman, who adds that they have been very supportive of both the field and IARP, recommending membership to students.
Also influenced by Selman
in his career direction, Bellows said, "I chose private rehab because it seemed like a better fit for me. In private rehab I can devote as much time as needed to a case.
also pushed the IARP
button for Camacho who became involved in IARP in his first year of grad school after attending an IARP Texas conference.