If your New Year’s resolutions mirror mine and include making some health changes, you may want to meet Dr. Osteen, otherwise known locally as Katie Hammond, this edition’s alumni spotlight.
Dr. Katie Hammond Osteen was an honor graduate in Buford’s Class of 2011. The daughter of Kerri and the Rev. Thomas Hammond and older sister to Karley (Class of 2015), Katie came to Buford in eighth grade from Perimeter School.
While at BHS, Katie was active and represented AAA Excellence with stellar academic achievement, participation in the Buford High School Chorus and performance in athletics through the inaugural competition cheer team. She was a member of Beta Club, Spanish Club, Student Council, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was a varsity sideline cheerleader, serving as captain of the squad.
“Within the arts program, I learned valuable lessons such as discipline, teamwork, creativity and confidence,” Osteen said.
Outside of school, Katie also sang in the Buford Community Girls’ Chorus.
Within the athletic program, Katie says she learned the importance of teamwork, trust, preparation and time management and leadership skills.
“Some of my fondest memories at Buford involve cheerleading; whether I was on the mat in a competition or under the Friday night lights cheering on our four-peat state champion football team,” Osteen said. “During my senior year, I was blessed with the opportunity to serve as a varsity captain. I was required to show up early, stay late and serve the team however necessary. That leadership role showed me the importance of setting a good example and leading from a place of service.”
Osteen particularly enjoyed honors physics and recalls Ms. Lisa Cole as her favorite teacher.
“She was an amazing teacher and coach. I took physics again in college and was able to breeze through it because of the solid foundation I had,” Osteen said.
“Academically, Buford challenged me,” she added. “However, with diligent study habits and adequate time management, I was able to graduate in the top 10% of my class. This success allowed me to earn several scholarships for college. The academic skills I developed at Buford carried over to my time both as an undergraduate and in graduate school.”
It was in a human anatomy class at BHS where Katie discovered her life’s calling and “developed a passion and interest for the makeup of the human body,” she said. “This was the first time I had ever really enjoyed my school work, and it ultimately led me to the field of physical therapy.”
Osteen graduated from Samford University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and again in 2018 with a doctorate in physical therapy.
She started her career in an outpatient orthopedic clinic in Athens, where she worked for two years, followed by a position as the director of rehabilitation for a clinic at an independent living facility.
Seeing the needs of others and having dealt with her own back pain, Osteen began to empathize. She took stock of her resources, realizing her own skills and formulating a digital course she named “Bye Bye, Back Pain!” for people all across the country to be able to access her care and gain mobility through building a strong back.
“I wanted others to get back to living their lives to the fullest,” Osteen said.
Her innovative digital course is carried on an app that users may download to their phone, making the light, daily exercises available at their fingertips. Back sufferers can register for the six-week program for a fraction of the cost of in-office physical therapy and track their progress on the app while having interaction with Osteen and other participants.
“My passion is for helping others overcome their back pain so that they can return to living their lives with strength, confidence and freedom,” she said.
Osteen fondly remembers cheering on Friday nights in Buford with her friends and making homecoming floats and the run-through banners each week.
“If I could go back and repeat one high school activity, it would be cheerleading at the Georgia Dome for the state football championship,” she said. “The energy was electric, and being on the sideline of such a large facility was an incredible experience.”
Osteen and her husband Harrison were relocated to Charlottesville, Virginia, for his job in August 2021, where they now live and attend The Point Church. She enjoys walking their dog Sammie, hiking, traveling, cooking, baking and reading. She currently works part-time at an assisted living facility and runs the online business she built, using technology to serve people all over the world.
You can find out more about Katie and Bye Bye Back Pain by following @katieosteen_ on Instagram.