Virtual Course – Pave the Way to Success on the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialty (CCS) Exam

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Date(s) - 10/01/22 - 10/08/22
8:00 am - 3:30 pm

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PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A 2-DAY COURSE BEING HELD VIA LIVE VIDEO CONFERENCE, OCTOBER 1 & 8  FROM 8-3:30 pm Mountain Standard Time. Includes 12-hours of live vide conferencing and 4-hours of pre-recorded content.


The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) established the specialist certification program in 1978. As of June 2020, there were 30,041 Board Certified Specialists. Of these, 378 are certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialists. Every year, individuals hoping to take the CCS seek assistance in examination preparation. Due to conflict of interest, the ABPTS and the APTA Academy of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy are unable to provide comprehensive advice and instruction for the best way to prepare for this exam. Thus, there are very few resources available for these individuals and many people postpone the process of specialization. This course intends to demystify the process of preparing for this exam. We will cover the most prevalent topics on the exam in the depth of knowledge required for successfully passing the examination.


COURSE OBJECTIVES: By the end of this course participants will be able to independently

  1. describe the anatomy and physiology of the human oxygen transport system,
  2. explain the pathophysiology of 3 commonly seen cardiovascular diseases,
  3. explain the pathophysiology of 3 commonly seen pulmonary diseases,
  4. interpret 3 cardiovascular and pulmonary diagnostic tests,
  5. perform a chest exam and alter the performance of the fragile cardiovascular and pulmonary patient with breathing and airway clearance techniques,
  6. interpret the results of a maximum exercise test,
  7. analyze 3 cardiovascular and pulmonary medications including their mechanism of action, why they are prescribed and how they act on the cardiovascular or pulmonary system,
  8. design a treatment plan for a patient with cardiovascular disease,
  9. design a treatment plan for a patient with pulmonary disease, and
  10. design a treatment plan for a pediatric patient with cardiovascular or pulmonary disease.


Saturday, October 1

Cardiovascular Anatomy (pre-recorded mp4 video access)

Cardiovascular Pathophysiology (pre-recorded mp4 video access)

8-10pm: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing (live video conference)

10:15-12:30: Cardiovascular Interventions (live video conference)

12:30-1: Lunch break

1-2:30: Exercise Testing and Prescription (live video conference)

2:30-3: Case Studies


Saturday, October 8

Pulmonary Anatomy (pre-recorded mp4 video access)

Pulmonary Pathophysiology (pre-recorded mp4 video access)

8-10:15: Chest Examination and Pulmonary Interventions (live video conference)

10:30-12:30: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Medications (live video conference)

12:30-1: Lunch break

1-3: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Pediatric Conditions and Treatment Strategies (live video conference)



Morgan Johanson, PT, MSPT, Board Certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist received her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of California, San Francisco.  She is currently the President of Good Heart Education, a continuing education company offering training for rehabilitation specialists working with patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases across the continuum of care and mentoring services for PTs preparing for the ABPTS Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialty (CCS) Examination.  She has worked as a Level 3 ICU/Acute Care Physical Therapist at the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) and as the Coordinator for the Inpatient and Outpatient Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS). She was a Co-Director, mentor and faculty member for the VAAAHS Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy (CVP PT) Residency Program. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Toledo, Ohio DPT Program and VAAAHS CVP PT Residency Program. She treats patients at the Grand Traverse Pavilions Rehabilitation Center. She is the Professional Development Chair for the Academy of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy. In 2004, she received the Service Star for excellence in patient care from CPMC and in 2022 she received the Merit Award from the Academy of CVP PT.  She is a contributing author to the 4th and 5th Edition of the Essentials of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy by Ellen Hillegass.


Ellen Hillegass, PT, DPT, FAPTA, Board Certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist received her entry-level training in physical therapy from the University of Pennsylvania, her Master of Medical Science in cardiopulmonary physiology from Emory University, and her doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Georgia. She is an Adjunct Professor at Mercer University in Atlanta and Western Carolina University. She has developed a residency program in Cardiopulmonary PT at Mercer and practices at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, GA in the ICU. She is President and CEO of Cardiopulmonary Specialists, a private consulting firm that provides consulting and education on cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation. She has published an entry level text entitled Essentials of Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy for PTs. She was the chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee on Venous Thromboembolism for the APTA (published in Physical Therapy journal in February of 2016) and is the past chair of the Oxygen Recommendations Task Force for the APTA. She is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association. Ellen Hillegass is a member of the board of directors of the US COPD Coalition, as well as the chair of the COPD Coalition Strategic Planning Committee.

CEUs: 16 contact hours (1.6 CEUs)


Bookings are closed for this event.