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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.

Congratulations to our 2020 recipients.

View the historial list of recipients by award.

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

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. Nominations for the Honorary Membership category will be accepted in fall 2020.

Lecture Awards

John H.P. Maley Lecture Award

Awards

The John H.P. Maley Lecture Award is annually presented to an APTA physical therapist member who has demonstrated clinical expertise and significant contributions to the physical therapy profession. The honoree's lecture is considered to be one of the highlights at APTA's NEXT Conference & Exposition.

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. This lecture is regarded as one of the keystone events at APTA's NEXT Conference & Exposition. This award recognizes those who have demonstrated exemplary skills in the areas of administration, education, patient care, management, and research.

Education Awards

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

Awards

The Dorothy Baethke-Eleanor J. Carlin Award for Excellence in Academic Teaching 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. Qualifying teaching expertise must occur within at least 1 accredited program from which students earn an academic qualification upon graduation.

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

Awards

The F.A. Davis Award for Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Educator recognizes physical therapist assistant student educators who have demonstrated and exhibited a noteworthy level of commitment to physical therapy education, physical therapist assistant students, and in advancing, promoting, and upholding standards of academic excellence.

Margaret L. Moore Award for Outstanding New Academic Faculty Member

Awards

The Margaret L. Moore Award for Outstanding New Academic Faculty Member is for a physical therapist 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. Nominees for the Margaret L. Moore Award must demonstrate distinct expertise and knowledge through scholarly activities, teaching excellence, and commitment to the physical therapy profession.

Minority Initiatives Awards

Awards

The Minority Initiatives Award recognizes programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) that have successfully demonstrated ongoing initiatives to assist minority students for at least 3 consecutive years.

Signe Brunnstrom Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching

Awards

The Signe Brunnstrom Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching honors a physical therapist in a Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE) or Clinical Instructor (CI) role, who has been actively engaged in clinical teaching at entry or advanced levels of physical therapy education for a minimum of 5 years.

Practice & Service Awards

Humanitarian Award

Awards

Established in 2017, the APTA Humanitarian Award contributes to the association’s mission of advancing physical therapy by recognizing member efforts that focus on achieving a broad global impact upon humanity.

Henry O. and Florence P. Kendall Practice Award

Awards

The Henry O. and Florence P. Kendall Practice Award recognizes a physical therapy professional who has engaged in extensive clinical practice for a minimum of 15 years. Recipients of this award embody and demonstrate a commitment to developing physical therapy as a caring profession.

Lucy Blair Service Award

Awards

The Lucy Blair Service Award honors physical therapist members or physical therapist life members whose contributions to APTA are of exceptional quality. Qualifying contributions can pertain to association components, through work on appointed or elected positions, and/or in other capacities at the association and component levels.

Societal Impact Award

Awards

Established in 2017, the APTA Societal Impact Award fosters the association’s outward-facing vision and highlights the impact of physical therapy in improving quality of life.

Marilyn Moffat Leadership Award

Awards

The Marilyn Moffat Leadership Award honors an individual held in high regard by his or her peers for distinguished leadership and significant contributions to the physical therapy profession and the association.

Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Award

Awards

The Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Award recognizes a physical therapist assistant who has provided clinical services for a minimum of 5 years. This award honors individual achievements in the areas of patient care, community service, and commitment toward the profession and association.

Outstanding Physical Therapist/Physical Therapist Assistant Team Award

Awards

The Outstanding Physical Therapist/Physical Therapist Assistant Team Award honors professionals who have individually provided clinical service for a minimum of five years, and have positively affected the quality of physical therapy through their combined teamwork during a period of at least three years. This award recognizes a PT/PTA team whose positive work has contributed to the delivery of high-quality physical therapist services.

Publications Awards

Helen J. Hislop Award for Outstanding Contributions to Professional Literature

Awards

The Helen J. Hislop Award for Outstanding Contributions to Professional Literature honors a physical therapist who has been actively engaged in writing and publishing professional literature pertaining to the physical therapy profession for at least 10 years. A qualifying nominee must have been published in at least 2 separate health care professional journals or has contributed to a minimum of 2 books, monographs, and/or proceedings from scientific meetings.

Chattanooga Research Award

Awards

The Chattanooga Research Award recognizes an author or team whose published work in Physical Therapy (PTJ) 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

The Dorothy Briggs Memorial Scientific Inquiry Award recognizes an author(s) in the association's Physical Therapy (PTJ) 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

The Jules M. Rothstein Golden Pen Award for Scientific Writing recognizes published authors in Physical Therapy (PTJ) journal whose writing excellence is demonstrated in a unique contribution or a series of profound articles that have broadened perspectives within a content area. Qualifying authors do not need to be physical therapists, and must demonstrate committed leadership in encouraging collaboration and contributions to improve PTJ.

Jack Walker Award

Awards

The Jack Walker Award honors an author or team whose published study in Physical Therapy (PTJ) 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

The Eugene Michels New Investigator Award recognizes physical therapists 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. Qualifying nominees may work in any aspect of physical therapy including, but not limited to, research, education, clinical practice, and consultation.

Marian Williams Award for Research in Physical Therapy

Awards

The Marian Williams Award for Research in Physical Therapy 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 a demonstrated continuity of professional commitment to physical therapy.

Additional Awards

Federal Government Affairs Leadership Award

Awards

The Federal Government Affairs Leadership Award was established in 2003 to recognize outstanding achievements by APTA members in advancing the association's federal government affairs objectives and activities. The award is presented annually 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

The Public Service Award, established in 1991 by APTA's Board of Directors, annually recognizes individuals who have demonstrated distinctive support for the physical therapy profession at a national level.

Scholarships

Mary McMillan Scholarship Award

Awards

For students within 12 months of completing all requirements for graduation. The intent of the award is to recognize those students who exhibit superior scholastic ability and potential for future professional contribution.

Minority Scholarship Award

Awards

The Minority Scholarship Award recognizes physical therapy students currently in their final year of an accredited program, and faculty members who are pursuing postprofessional doctoral degrees for their professional character and academic excellence. These awards are sponsored by the Minority Scholarship Fund and voluntary contributions.