Skip to main content

The 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.

The inspirational endeavors completed by this award’s recipients will establish a sustainable foundation to provide ongoing value and benefit to their patients and clients, the physical therapy profession, and the public at large.

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.

This award will distinguish association members whose demonstrated leadership and outstanding humanitarian volunteerism have improved the quality of life of individuals worldwide.

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for the APTA Humanitarian Award all nominees must:

  • Be current APTA members in good standing at the time of nomination and selection.
  • Be able to detail and record activity that spans a period of at least one year preceding the nomination submission.

The APTA Humanitarian Award is open to physical therapist, physical therapist assistant, and student members. The award may be presented to either an individual or a team.

Criteria for Selection

  • Extraordinary humanitarian services and volunteerism.
  • Activities that exemplify the advancement of physical therapy.
  • Sustainable activities that benefit humanity and demonstrate advocacy for promoting greater quality of life and expansive reach.

A strong application should demonstrate the following:

Extraordinary humanitarian services and volunteerism that help improve the quality of life for individuals worldwide.

  • Activities that positively impacted the quality of life for groups including (but not limited to): survivors and/or victims after a significant event, or a community in which political/economic/social or other circumstances have caused movement impairments.

Activities that exemplify the advancement of physical therapy.

  • Activities that exemplify the core value and compassionate nature of physical therapy while actively address major global health concerns.

Sustainable activities that benefit humanity and demonstrate advocacy for promoting greater quality of life and expansive reach.

  • Activities that are sustainable and that benefit humanity.
  • Activities that are documented and/or implemented through at least two channels (e.g., publications, provision of services, programs).
  • Details and record of activities that span across at least one year prior to the nomination submission.

Letters of support that are positive, cite specific examples of professional accomplishments, and provide additional information on depth, scope, and quality in a convincing manner.

What Recipients Receive

An award will be presented to the selected recipient(s) by APTA's Board of Directors at an APTA national event. Selected recipients also will be recognized in an official announcement that will appear in an association publication.

Submission Requirements

The following documents are required to accompany the nomination:

  • A completed nomination form.
  • A letter of nomination, not to exceed four pages in length, detailing how the nominee meets all three of the criteria listed above. Letters of nomination cannot serve as one of the required letters of support.
  • Two letters of support, not to exceed two pages in length each, from individuals other than the author of the nomination letter that detail how the nominee meets at least two of the award’s criteria as described above. (Note: If more than two letters of support are received, only the first two will be considered. The nominator will be asked to remove additional letters.)

Submit a Nomination

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

Additional Resources

If you have any questions about the nomination process or the award, please contact