About the Award
The Catherine Worthingham Fellows of the American Physical Therapy Association (FAPTA), the association’s highest membership category, serves as inspiration for all physical therapists to attain professional excellence. This honor is eligible to APTA physical therapist members or life member physical therapists who have demonstrated unwavering efforts to advance the physical therapy profession for more than 15 years, prior to the time of nomination.
Catherine Worthingham, PT, PhD, FAPTA, was a change agent who was effective, respectful, and honest, and motivated others to make an impact within the physical therapy profession. She was also a visionary who demonstrated leadership across the domains of advocacy, education, practice, and research.
The purpose of the Catherine Worthingham Fellow designation (FAPTA) is to honor Dr. Worthingham and inspire all physical therapists to attain the high level of professional excellence and impact in terms of advancing the profession she exemplified.
The FAPTA designation is the highest honor among APTA's membership categories.
A physical therapist or life physical therapist member of the association whose contributions to the profession through leadership, influence, and achievements demonstrate frequent and sustained efforts to advance the profession for a period of not less than 15 years preceding the nomination for election.
During the online process, the following documents will be required for upload:
A current and complete curriculum vitae or resume of the nominee should include:
- Identification of whether articles are published in refereed or nonrefereed journals
- Differentiation between invited lectures, presentations, addresses, and symposia and whether these were presented nationally or internationally
- Identification of service to the association and the level at which the contribution was made (national, chapter, section, district)
1 letter from the nominator should:
- State the name of the individual being nominated and a clear and compelling case for why the nominee should be granted the Catherine Worthingham Fellow designation.
- Clearly state the nominee's primary domain in the first paragraph.
- Summarize the content of all of the letters of support and include your own experience with the nominee to clearly illustrate how the nominee meets each and all of the following criteria for the Catherine Worthingham Fellow of APTA:
Criteria 1: How has the nominee demonstrated excellence in a primary domain of advocacy, education, practice, or research? Please highlight and elaborate on the contributions and achievements of the nominee that are noteworthy, standout in terms of their quality and/or set a new standard for the profession.
Criteria 2: How has the nominee been nationally recognized for the impact he/she has achieved in his/her primary domain of advocacy, education, practice, or research. Provide specific examples of how the nominee's impact has been recognized by APTA members and by leaders outside the physical therapy profession.
Criteria 3: How have the nominee's frequent and sustained contributions (leadership, influence, and achievements) advanced the profession over a period of not less than fifteen years? The information provided in this section should illustrate a nominee’s track record of consistent contributions to moving the profession forward over a period of 15 years or more. Please consider a nominee’s contributions across appointed, elected, employed, and service-related positions and roles, as well as those that are a result of his/her tenure in any particular position or role.
Criteria 4: In what definitive ways have the nominee’s contributions and achievements promoted/encouraged the progress, growth, or acceptance of the physical therapy profession?
Criteria 5: The nominee should demonstrate leadership and achievements in at least two of three nonprimary domains.
- The nominator must choose one primary domain in which the nominee has achieved national and distinct recognition. The CV, the nominating letter, and the letters of support should provide clear evidence of translation of contributions in the primary domain across at least two of the three non-primary domains.
- Highlight evidence of the nominee’s nationally prominent leadership, influence, and achievements within the physical therapy profession
- Not exceed 4 pages
A completed narrative description (.pdf) (not to exceed 1 page) that provides a rationale for the event (and its date) that constitute the beginning of the nominee's contributions. The narrative description and its contents should focus upon a singular event and provide greater detail relating to the referenced event within the narrative form. The nominee's primary domain must be indicated on the form.
5 letters of support
- 4 letters of support from APTA members
- 1 letter of support from an individual external to the physical therapy profession that addresses the nominee's notable contributions to physical therapy as judged from outside the profession
All letters of support should:
- Indicate the institution or facility with which the author of the letter is affiliated and in what capacity the author works with, has worked with, or otherwise personally or professionally knows the nominee.
- Provide an explicit account of how the nominee meets one or more of the Catherine Worthingham Fellow criteria supported by appropriate details and examples drawn from the nominee’s professional career.
- Reflect genuine knowledge and consideration of the nominee’s qualifications for the membership category of Catherine Worthingham Fellow of APTA.
- Make direct reference to at least 1 of the non-primary domains
- Not exceed 2 pages each
- For those nominees who have published, provide a list of "significant" published papers, monographs, books, and book chapters. Note: This list only needs to be submitted if this information is not included as a part of the nominee's curriculum vitae or resume.
Read the complete instructions for nominators (.pdf) and instructions for individuals writing letters of support (.pdf). Both documents include a table of primary and non-primary domain examples.
What Recipients Receive
A framed certificate, lapel pin, and honor cord will be presented to the recipient(s) at the NEXT Conference and Exposition and an official announcement will appear in an association publication. Recipients may also use the FAPTA designation after their names.
Submit a Nomination
Nominations for the 2020 cycle are now closed. The call for nominations will open again in fall 2020 for the 2021 cycle.
View past award recipients for this award (.pdf).
For questions regarding the nomination process or the award, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.