Hula dancing led Alicia Rabena-Amen, PT, DPT, assistant professor of physical therapy and director of clinical education, to Pacific. Through a local Polynesian dance group, she met Sandra Reina-Guerra ’97, ’99, ’03, PT, DPT, PCS. “In 2014, she invited me to assist Pacific faculty with the Therapeutic Exercise course,” said Dr. Rabena-Amen. “It was something that I never considered and didn’t know that I was qualified to do, but Dr. Reina-Guerra assured me of her confidence in my ability to teach.”
In 2017, Dr. Rabena-Amen stepped into the role of director of clinical education. It is her responsibility to place Pacific’s doctor of physical therapy students in each of their three internships. “The most enjoyable aspect of being a part of the faculty is the one-on-one interactions and mentorship I provide to each student,” she said. One of the most rewarding aspects of her role is seeing students blossom into confident and competent health care professionals.
Dr. Rabena-Amen has a wealth of experience in both acute care and home health physical therapy. She has worked as a physical therapist at Kaiser Permanente in South Sacramento since 1998 and at Infinity Care Services, Inc. since 2011. “At Kaiser Permanente, I work one Saturday a month in acute care. I find it keeps me on my toes and relevant for seeing patients in home health with Infinity Care. In home health, I work very autonomously with the patients in their home environment.”
“The most enjoyable aspect of being a part of the faculty is the one-on-one interactions and mentorship I provide to each student.”
She also has the unique opportunity to approach the physical therapy profession through the lens of consumer advocacy. In February 2014, she was appointed to the Physical Therapy Board of California. She served as vice president from 2016 to 2017, and as president in 2018.
Dr. Rabena-Amen and her husband, Alan Amen, have been married for 19 years. They have three boys, A.J., Jalen and Devin. “Our home hosts most family events and holidays since we have the biggest backyard. It’s not uncommon to have 75 people over for a party, which is typical of Filipino gatherings. It is always loud and there is plenty of food. All are welcome! When you come over, you don’t need to remember everyone’s names; just call the women ‘auntie,’ the men ‘uncle’ and anyone else ‘cousin,’ and you are part of the family!”
By Anne Marie H. Bergthold