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We recognize outstanding achievements by our members through an annual honors and awards program.

The APTA Honors & Awards program recognizes outstanding achievements by members in the areas of overall accomplishment, education, practice and service, publications, research, and academic excellence.

Information about eligibility and the nominations process is included in the individual descriptions below. 

Recipients

Nominations and Selections

The nominations call for the Honors and Awards program is open from September 1- December 1. Nominations must be submitted through our online portal by December 1; late submissions will not be considered. Selected recipients and their nominators will be notified in May.

Resources

Honors

Catherine Worthingham Fellows of APTA

Awards

The Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association, the association’s highest membership category, serves as inspiration for all physical therapists to attain professional excellence.

Honorary Membership

Awards

The Honorary Membership category is reserved for those who are not licensed as physical therapists professionals but have made significant measurable and profound contributions to the profession as a whole.

Lecture Awards

John H.P. Maley Lecture Award

Awards

This award is annually presented to a PT member who has demonstrated clinical expertise and significant contributions to the physical therapy profession.

Mary McMillan Lecture Award

Awards

The Mary McMillan Lecture is the most distinguished honor an active APTA member physical therapist or life member can receive.

Education Awards

Dorothy Baethke-Eleanor J. Carlin Award for Excellence in Academic Teaching

Awards

This award is for clinical or academic educators who have been actively engaged for a minimum of 5 years in entry and/or advanced levels of formal education for upcoming physical therapist professionals.

F.A. Davis Award for Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Educator

Awards

This award recognizes PTA student educators who have demonstrated and exhibited a noteworthy level of commitment to physical therapy education, PTA students, and in advancing, promoting, and upholding standards of academic excellence.

Margaret L. Moore Award for Outstanding New Academic Faculty Member

Awards

This award is for a PT or individual not eligible for APTA membership who has been actively engaged in formal physical therapy education for a period of 2 to 5 years via full-time academic appointment.

Minority Initiatives Awards

Awards

This award recognizes programs accredited by CAPTE that have successfully demonstrated ongoing initiatives to assist minority students for at least three consecutive years.

Signe Brunnstrom Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching

Awards

This award honors a PT in an SCCE or CI role who has been actively engaged in clinical teaching at entry or advanced levels of physical therapy education for a minimum of five years.

Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Award

Awards

This award honors individual achievements in the areas of patient care, community service, and commitment toward the profession and association.

Outstanding Physical Therapist Fellow Award

This award honors recent fellowship graduates in order to recognize the intrinsic value of postprofessional training, and thereby promote and provide for the development and accreditation of fellowship education programs in physical therapy.

Outstanding Physical Therapist Resident Award

This award honors recent residency graduates in order to recognize the intrinsic value of postprofessional training and thereby promote and provide for the development and accreditation of residency education programs in physical therapy.

Outstanding Physical Therapist/Physical Therapist Assistant Team Award

Awards

This award recognizes a PT/PTA team whose positive work has contributed to the delivery of high-quality physical therapist services.

Practice & Service Awards

Humanitarian Award

Awards

This award honors individuals who exemplify the compassionate nature of the physical therapy profession by actively expressing a commitment to humanity and exhibiting admirable degrees of selflessness in addressing key health concerns.

Henry O. and Florence P. Kendall Practice Award

Awards

This award recognizes a physical therapy professional who has engaged in extensive clinical practice for a minimum of 15 years.

Lucy Blair Service Award

Awards

This award honors physical therapist members or physical therapist life members whose contributions to APTA are of exceptional quality.

Societal Impact Award

Awards

This award specifically recognizes individuals who exemplify the compassionate nature of the physical therapy profession by exhibiting a distinguished commitment toward philanthropic initiatives, raising public awareness on key societal issues, and demonstrating how physical therapy can be applied to address these issues.

Marilyn Moffat Leadership Award

Awards

This award honors an individual held in high regard by their peers for distinguished leadership and significant contributions to the physical therapy profession and the association.

Publications Awards

Helen J. Hislop Award for Outstanding Contributions to Professional Literature

Awards

This award honors a PT who has been actively engaged in writing and publishing professional literature pertaining to the physical therapy profession for at least 10 years.

Chattanooga Research Award

Awards

This award recognizes an author or team whose published work in PTJ: Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal presents innovative study or a theoretical model and discussion of its impact on future clinical practice or physical therapy research.

Dorothy Briggs Memorial Scientific Inquiry Award

Awards

This award recognizes an author(s) in the association's journal, PTJ: Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal, whose research and discussion has made a measurable contribution to the knowledge base of physical therapy.

Jules M. Rothstein Golden Pen Award for Scientific Writing

Awards

This award recognizes published authors in PTJ: Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal whose writing excellence is demonstrated in a unique contribution or a series of profound articles that have broadened perspectives within a content area.

Jack Walker Award

Awards

This award honors an author or team whose published study in PTJ: Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal presents novel and innovative research related to patient care and advance clinical science as it pertains to the physical therapy profession.

Research Awards

Eugene Michels New Investigator Award

Awards

This award recognizes PTs who have engaged in independent or collaborative research efforts within 10 years of completing their most recent physical therapy professional degree, postprofessional doctoral degree (other than a transition DPT degree), or postprofessional doctoral fellowship.

Marian Williams Award for Research in Physical Therapy

Awards

This award honors an individual who has sustained outstanding clinical and educational research pertaining to the physical therapy profession for at least 10 years through published scientific studies and has demonstrated continuity of professional commitment to physical therapy.

Additional Awards

Federal Government Affairs Leadership Award

Awards

This award is presented to an APTA member who has made significant contributions to APTA's federal government affairs efforts, and has shown exemplary leadership in furthering the association's objectives.

Public Service Award

Awards

This award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated distinctive support for the physical therapy profession at a national level.

State Legislative Leadership & Recognition of Legislative Commitment Awards

This award recognizes and rewards component leaders in the area of state legislative leadership who bring increased awareness and involvement to state legislative issues and who achieve success in state legislative issues that strengthen the practice of physical therapy.

Scholarships

Mary McMillan Scholarship Award

Awards

This award recognizes students within 12 months of completing all requirements for graduation who exhibit superior scholastic ability and potential for future professional contribution.

Minority Scholarship Award

Awards

This award recognizes physical therapy students, and faculty members who are pursuing postprofessional doctoral degrees, for their professional character and academic excellence.