Remembering Sheila K. Nicholson, PT, DPT, JD, MBA (1961-2019)
It is with great sadness and regret that we share the news of the passing of our esteemed colleague Sheila K. Nicholson, PT, DPT, JD, MBA, MA.
Wednesday, June 12, just 2 days after a recorded video address to the 2019 APTA House of Delegates, she lost her fight against cancer—a battle she'd been waging since March 2017.
Sheila was a member of APTA's Board of Directors and a passionate advocate for the profession. Her incredible strength and courage, both in leadership and her battle for life, were and are an inspiration to us all.
A physical therapist for more than 30 years, Sheila dedicated herself to serving the physical therapy profession and its patients.
After more than a decade as a PT, she earned a law degree and a master's in business administration. She worked tirelessly as a health care defense attorney with a primary focus on defending health care entities and therapists. During this time, Sheila continued to care for patients on weekends.
An APTA member since 1982, Sheila was elected to APTA's Board of Directors in 2014, having previously served as president of APTA's Florida Chapter since 2009. Her outstanding record of engagement also includes service on APTA's Scope of Practice Task Force and within the APTA House of Delegates. Most recently, she was the Board lead on the effort to develop APTA's strategic plan for 2019-2021.
Sheila served to the very end, and her love for her profession was made clear in her recorded address to the House, which inspired a standing ovation from the delegates.
"I can't express how proud I am to have served with the people who are so dedicated to advancing our profession and making the world a better place," Sheila said. "I am grateful for the opportunities I have had and for all of you, my colleagues and APTA family. Thank you for all you have given me. Most importantly, thank you for caring for our profession. I encourage you to make an impact that will outlast us all."
Sheila is survived by her parents and her beloved APTA family. A memorial service to celebrate the life and legacy of Sheila Nicholson will be held at a future date.
Celebration of life details are available here. In lieu of flowers, Sheila requested that donations be made to a charity of the donor's choosing.
The comments section below is open to anyone who would like to share their memories of Sheila. (Comments will publish after approval.)