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The APTA Societal Impact Award will recognize leaders within APTA’s member community who demonstrate commitment and dedication to addressing issues related to societal welfare. 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. Award recipients will have demonstrated exemplary leadership and volunteerism. Recognized members will inspire their physical therapy colleagues, their patients and clients, and their communities.

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.

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for the APTA Societal Impact Award, all nominees must:

  • Be active APTA members in good standing at the time of nomination and selection
  • Include detail and record of activity that spans a period of at least 1 year preceding the nomination submission

The APTA Societal Impact 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

Member efforts should be of exceptional value while meeting the following criteria:

  1. Increasing social awareness and improving societal welfare: These are activities initiated by physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and/or students of physical therapy working alone or in association with others to address and positively impact societal welfare.
  2. Leadership and volunteerism: Contributions can be demonstrated through leadership, influence, service, or achievements and sustained efforts to improve the societal welfare over a period of at least one (1) year preceding nomination for the award.
  3. Philanthropic initiatives and advancement of physical therapy: These are activities of a high moral caliber and charitable nature. Activities should be documented and/or implemented through at least two channels (i.e. publications, provision of services, programs), which have influenced these respective areas in durable ways.

What Recipients Receive

An award will be presented to the recipient by APTA's Board of Directors at an APTA national event and an official announcement 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 4 pages in length, detailing how the nominee meets all 3 of the criteria listed above
  • Two letters of support, not to exceed 2 pages in length, from individuals other than the author of the nomination letter that detail how the nominee meets at least 2 of the award’s criteria as described above.

Submit a Nomination

The nominations call for the 2022 Honors and Awards program are now closed. Selected recipients will be notified of receipt of the honor or award in May 2022.

Additional Resources

For questions regarding the nomination process or the award, please contact