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ANPT Member Awards 2019

The Academy is proud of our members' Academy and National contributions both to the profession and the patients we serve. We extend our heartfelt appreciation and admiration for the 2019 Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy Award and national American Physical Therapy Award recipients. The nominations form for ANPT awards is open May 1 – September 1 each year.

2019 Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy Award Recipients

The Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy celebrates excellence in research, scholarship, clinical practice and service activities by honoring our members for their achievements and successes over the past years at the annual Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy Business Meeting held at the Combined Sections Meeting, held in Washington DC.

Service to the Academy

   Becky Olson-Kellogg, PT, DPT:

Becky Olson-Kellogg is well-deserving of the award for Service to the Academy as evident by the multiple leadership and service roles she has assumed within the Vestibular Special Interest Group including: member of vestibular practice analysis task force; member and chair of vestibular certification task force; member and chair of the vestibular nominating committee; and developer and chair abstract of the week committee. Most recently she was instrumental in the planning and execution of the first annual International Vestibular Conference (with service from 2016-18). She has been a member the Neurology Section/ANPT since 1992. She has alsoserved as a JNPT manuscript reviewer and serves the Academy Geriatric Physical Therapy and Academy of Physical Therapy Education and her Minnesota Chapter.

One colleague describes Becky as, “skilled and helpful, thorough and organized”, and notes that Becky “works tirelessly, is easy to work with, and is strong enough to have her voice heard”. Her colleagues also note that while she has “moved the Vestibular group forward in every endeavor that she has been involved with”, and “is skilled proficiently, Becky prefers not to bring attention to herself and is refreshing to work with”. Becky has won 2 other service awards: one from the vestibular SIG and one from the Minnesota Chapter (the Corrine Ellingham Outstanding Service Award). 

Click here for a list of previous Service to the Academy Awardees 

Excellence in Neurologic Education

      Susan Ostertag, PT, DPT

Dr. Susan Ostertag is a dedicated educator who demonstrates excellence in neurologic education through her integral role at the University of Montana (UMPT) and her role within the UMPT Clinic. She is a passionate educator who is engaged as a classroom instructor, researcher, clinician, clinical instructor and site -coordinator within the on-campus clinic, as well as directing the UMPT Clinic. She epitomizes the core values of the APTA and sets standards for her students and colleagues.

Dr. Ostertag is a creative educator who not only teaches in the classroom but also treads the neurologic curriculum throughout the clinic. She has been engaged in academics since 2004 as a primary contributor to the neurologic curriculum for the School of Physical Therapy at the UMPT. Additionally, she serves as the Director of Clinical Services at the University of Montana Physical Therapy Clinic as well as a clinical instructor. She was instrumental for the development of a care delivery center, which provides not only a wellness program for persons with disabilities and/or chronic illness but serves as a research center for the faculty and a learning lab for the students. Dr. Ostertag also was vital in the successful transition of an Integrated Clinical Experience (ICE) into the UMPT curriculum. Beyond her direct work with students in the classroom and clinic, she mentors neurologic clinical instructors and provides education and support to clinicians who are managing patients with neurologic diagnoses through her region.

Click here for a list of previous Excellence in Neurologic Education Awardees

Excellence in Neurologic Research

    Terry Ellis, PT, PhD, NCS

Dr. Terry Ellis is the worthy recipient of the Excellence in Neurologic Research Award. She has been a member of ANPT since 1987 and has been a researcher for over 20 years with over 60 publications and a long-standing track record of extramural funding from NIH, American Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Davis Phinney Foundation.

Her research has been ground breaking regarding the effectiveness of rehabilitation and exercise in modifying progression of the disease and disability in people with Parkinson Disease, changing the rehabilitation model. She developed an exercise program for people with Parkinson Disease that is distributed internationally by the American Parkinson’s Disease Association to approximately 12,000 persons with PD annually. Dr. Ellis is currently conducting a clinical trial investigating an exercise program for people with PD using mobile health technology and is also exploring innovative ways to improve walking ability for persons with neurologic conditions using robotic technology. 

Click here for a list of previous Excellence in Research Awardees

Clinical Excellence in Neurology

     Julie Hershberg, PT, DPT

Dr. Julie Hershberg has demonstrated extraordinary dedication in providing excellent clinical care to the neurological patient population and in advancing neurological physical therapy practice beyond her own practice. As the founder of her own outpatient practice Re+Active Physical Therapy in Los Angeles California, she has made a significant impact on the neurological physical therapy community with the breadth of innovative programs she has developed to meet the needs of her patients. Dr. Hershberg’s letters of support describe her as a compassionate and devoted patient advocate as well as the driving force behind numerous physical therapists’ careers.

Dr. Hershberg’s contributions extend beyond her own practice to the advancement of the field of neurological physical therapy through collaboration and mentorship. Dr. Hershberg developed the Neurological Physical Therapy Network of outpatient neurological physical therapists and developed the Neurocollaborative to bring together neurological physical therapists to further promote the neurological physical therapy specialty. She has demonstrated immense involvement in mentorship including involvement in teaching in the entry level Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Southern California, as a clinical instructor to physical therapy students, and most impressively developed the Schmidt Fellowship, the first movement disorders fellowship for physical therapists. In addition, Dr. Hershberg has contributed to the greater body of knowledge and the advancement of evidenced based practice through her involvement in research, including primary authorship on a number of peer reviewed publications as well as a presenter at numerous national conferences including the APTA Combined Sections Meeting. Dr. Hershberg’s overall contributions to her patients, students, and to the neurological physical therapy profession demonstrate that she is well deserving of the award for Clinical Excellence in Neurological Physical Therapy.

Click here for a list of previous Clinical Excellence in Neurologic Physical Therapy Awardees

Outstanding Clinical Innovator in Neurology

    Hina Garg, PT, PhD, NCS

Dr. Hina Gargreceived her physical therapy degree in Delhi, India prior to moving to the United States. She continued her studies and received her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Utah. In addition to her formal education, Dr. Garg has earned her neurology specialist certification and vestibular rehabilitation certification. Dr. Garg is also involved in various organizations such as the Utah Physical Therapy Association as the co-research chair and peer-reviewed journals as a manuscript reviewer. Currently, Dr. Garg is an assistant professor at the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions and is also the multiple sclerosis program manager at the Rocky Mountain University Community Rehabilitation Clinic.


Dr. Hina Garg established this pro bono clinic for individuals with multiple sclerosis in 2016 and has grown the program over the last two years. Since its inception, Dr. Garg has developed the program into a space where each client receives a full evaluation, treatment, and wellness prescription with focus on evidenced-based treatment interventions and socialization between attendees. Dr. Garg continually strives to improve the quality of services at her clinic with a multitude of publications past and pending publication focused on the effectiveness of treating the multiple sclerosis population in her clinic. Dr. Garg's clinic has risen to prominence in the Utah community very quickly since its inception, which is a testament to her ingenuity and resolve in serving this particular population. It is without reservation that we honor her with the Award for Outstanding Clinical Innovator in Neurologic Physical Therapy. 


Early Career Award

    Clay Schewe, PT, DPT, NCS
    Keenan E. Whitesides, PT, DPT, NCS

Clay Schewe:

The dedication of lifelong education and continued excellence are demonstrated by Clay’s willingness to go above and beyond the expectations of a new graduate. In his short time since graduation, he has become a neurologic clinical specialist, made contributions to research with a journal publication in “Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation,” and created a hospital-wide Spinal Cord Awareness initiative. If that wasn’t enough, he also teaches at Northwestern in Electrophysical agents and acts as a clinical instructor for students in inpatient and outpatient settings at Schwab Rehabilitation hospital.

Clay has been described by others as “a fierce advocate for the patients we care for, the science that informs that care, and the education of future clinicians in neurological therapy.” These words perfectly describe his tenacity and willingness to go above and beyond, molding himself into the professional that best provides for each of his patients. For these reasons and more, it is with great honor that we award Clay as one of the 2019 ANPT Early Career Professional recipients.

Keenan E. Whitesides:

Never one to stand on the sidelines, Keenan has taken the initiative to establish the Holistic Health Institute at her current outpatient physical therapy clinic at Emory University. This initiative sought to transition patients from therapist-led to patient-led management to further empower patients in their recovery process. Taking any opportunity to contribute to our profession, she has become an item writer for the neurologic clinical specialty exam and engaging physical therapy students through multiple teaching opportunities as a lecturer and practical proctor.

Keenan’s Holistic Health Institute develops from her ability to see “people with the intention to understand their experience, not just their pathology.” Her ability to foster strong relationships with not just patients but every individual she interacts emphasizes the value she brings to our profession. For these reasons and more, it is with great honor that we award Keenan as one of the 2019 ANPT Early Career Professional recipients.

Click here for a list of prior Early Career Award recipients

Anne Shumway-Cook Lectureship

The Anne Shumway-Cook lectureship is designed to acknowledge and honor an individual who has made a significant contribution to neurologic physical therapy research and practice. Recipients of the lectureship have distinguished themselves as an esteemed neurorehabilitation scientist whose work has influenced neurological physical therapist clinical practice. The lecture provides an opportunity for the honoree to share experiences related to the translation of neuroscience and neurorehabilitation research into neurological physical therapist clinical practice. 

       Margaret Schenkman, PT, PhD, FAPTA A Journey Through Time

Click here for list of previous Anne Shumway Cook recipients

Leahy & Barnes Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) Awards

Patricia Leahy Award for outstanding PODS I application in post-professional studies within neurology:

  • Joseph Lesnak, PT, DPT. University of Iowa. Project Title: Effects of exercise on metabolomics in individuals with chronic pain. Mentor: Dr. Kathleen Sluka

Dr. Joseph Lesnak graduated with his DPT from Creighton University in 2018. He has spent the last year at the University of Iowa in the Rehabilitation Science Ph.D. program studying under Dr. Kathleen Sluka. His research is focused on chronic pain conditions, with a focus on fibromyalgia. Specifically, they are working on establishing biomarkers for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia as well as the impact of different modes of exercise on these biomarkers and symptoms.

Mary Lou Barnes Award for outstanding PODS II application in postprofessional studies within neurology:

  • Anne Palermo, DPT. University of Miami. Project Title: The Effect of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Breathing, Balance, and Blood Pressure in Individuals with Spinal Cord InjuryMentors: Dr. Lawrence Cahalin, PT, PhD, Dr. Mark Nash, PhD, and Dr. Neva Kirk-Sanchez, PT, PhD

Dr. Annie Palermo, PT, DPT is humbled to be this year’s Mary Lou Barns Award PODS II Scholarship honoree. For the last three years Annie has been working to investigate and present her findings on the connections between breathing, balance, and blood pressure in individuals with spinal cord injury as a PhD student at the University of Miami under the mentorship of Dr. Lawrence Cahalin, PT, PhD, Dr. Mark Nash, PhD, and Dr. Neva Kirk-Sanchez, PT, PhD.

In addition to the Barnes and Leahy Awards, in 2017 the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy funded 2 additional PODS II Awards through the Foundation for Physical Therapy Neurology Endowment Fund:

  • Jordyn Rice, PT, DPT. University of Miami. Project Title: Assessing Factors Related to Dual-Task Performance in Aging Adults. Mentor: Dr. Joyce Gomes-Osman, PT, PhD

Dr. Jordyn Rice, PT, DPT is honored to be awarded a PODS II scholarship in support of her dissertation studies at the University of Miami. Under the mentorship of Dr. Joyce Gomes-Osman, PT, PhD, Jordyn’s research at the Neuromotor Plasticity Laboratory utilizes non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) to characterize intracortical circuits relevant for synaptic plasticity in neurologically impaired and healthy individuals. Jordyn’s current research combines the use of NIBS, gait analysis, and neurocognitive testing to better understand the relationship between cognitive and motor performance in aging adults

  • Margaret French, PT, DPT. University of Delaware. Project Title: Factors Impacting Explicit Locomotor Learning Post Stroke. Mentor: Dr. Darcy Reisman

Dr. Margaret French is currently a 3rd year PhD Student at the University of Delaware working with Dr. Darcy Reisman. Her current research focuses on factors that impact locomotor learning in individuals after stroke, specifically the interaction between cognition and locomotor learning. Her long-term research goal is to better understand patient variability in order to facilitate the customization of rehabilitation interventions.

Click here for a list of previous Barnes and Leahy Promotion of Doctoral Studies Awardees


Click Here For a List of Academy Members Who Are APTA Award Recipients


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