Neurology Section Awards 2015

Service to the Section

Purpose: To acknowledge and honor a member of the Neurology Section whose contributions to the Section have been of exceptional value.

Recipient: Jody Cormack, PT, DPT, MSEd, NCS (California State University Long Beach)

The Award of Service to the Section is given to an individual who is recognized by their colleagues for their selfless and outstanding service to the Neurology Section. This year’s award recipient is Dr. Jody Cormack. Jody has served the Section for many years in many capacities inspiring others to do the same. She has served in different leadership roles and multiple task forces that help change the way we educate and practice neurologic physical therapy. She has been described as a visionary, a role model and an agent of change by many of her colleagues. Jody’s service began 17 years ago when she was elected as Chair of the Nominating Committee of the Stroke Special Interest Group (SIG) in 1998. After three years in the nominating committee, she was elected as vice chair of the Stroke SIG for another three years. Immediately after she finished her term with the Stroke SIG, Jody was appointed to serve as Chair of the Practice Committee in 2004. According to one of her colleagues, it was in this committee where “Jody ignited the group to seek to establish a clearer understanding of autonomous practice in neurology for physical therapists. Even after her term was complete, she continued to serve as a key member of the team who developed the Sections Perspective on Autonomous Practice in Neurologic Physical Therapy.”

In 2008, Jody was elected in the Board of Directors as Secretary of the Neurology Section. As one of her nominators pointed out, it was in this position where “Jody was instrumental in the development and implementation of the current strategic plan and fostering the growth of the section membership” for the last six years. She has mentored others with such energy, dedication, passion, commitment and conviction that she continues to inspire section members around the country to foster collaboration among like-minded professionals.

Jody has served in the Specialization Academy of Content Experts for Neurologic Physical Therapy from 1999 to 2002 where she wrote examination items and participated in the cut-score setting for the Neurologic Specialty Examination. She was also the Co-Chair of the Neurology Section Task Force for the development of Neurologic Entry-Level Curricular Content where she was pivotal in leading the change in the way neurologic physical therapy is taught in the professional curriculum.

It is with great pride that we acknowledge this year’s recipient of the Award of Service to the Section, Dr. Jody Cormack.

For a list of past award recipients, please click here.


Clinical Excellence in Neurology

Purpose: The Award for Clinical Excellence in Neurology recognizes an individual who has demonstrated clinical expertise in neurologic physical therapy, contributed to the overall development of physical therapy as a caring and scientific profession and shared their clinical expertise by mentoring others.

Recipient: Heidi Roth, PT, DHS, MSPT, NCS (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)

It is with great honor that I present to you this year’s award recipient Dr. Heidi Roth. Her love for physical therapy started earlier in her career when she graduated from the Washington University of St. Louis in December 2001. From there on she focused on neurologic specialization by earning her board certification in neurologic physical therapy in 2007 and various certifications in neurologic subspecialties, including a brain injury specialization from The American Academy for the Certification of Brain Injury Specialists, LSVT BIG Certification for patients with Parkinson’s disease and Vestibular Certification from Emory University. She has also earned her Doctor of Health Science degree from the University of Indianapolis in May 2011.

Heidi is the current chair of the Neurology Section of Brain Injury Special Interest Group. She is also a member of the APTA Neurology Section’s Evidence Database to Guide Effectiveness (EDGE) Task Force for Traumatic Brain Injury. As one of her colleagues noted “Heidi is a strong advocate in promoting neurologic physical therapy. She is dedicated to lifelong learning and teaching others through her leadership and expertise.” One of her co-workers mentioned “Heidi is a master clinician in the area of neurologic practice. She strives to achieve clinical excellence not only on a personal level but throughout this organization, as well as nationally.”

Dr. Roth is a level 4 clinician at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) where she currently works in the Sensory Motor Performance Program: Neural Plasticity Laboratory. She continues to exhibit her leadership and mentorship skills as a specialist committee leader for the Battery of Rehabilitation Assessments and Interventions (BRAIN) at RIC. According to one of the numerous clinicians she has mentored “Heidi demonstrates unparalleled patience, dedication to learning and kindness; qualities that make a great clinician and a great mentor. She is dedicated to challenging those around her to become better clinicians, to teach, to learn and to grow personally and professionally on a daily basis.”

Heidi continues to inspire and educate students in the field of neurologic physical therapy by serving as as an adjunct faculty for Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern School of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences.

To conclude, a quote from one of her 25 letters of nominations summarizes her contribution in the field of neurologic clinical practice: “Heidi clearly stands out as one of the greatest clinicians I have ever worked with. She provides exceptional care to her patients and she is determined to improve her practice and the practice of those around her.”.

For a list of past award recipients, please click here.


Clinical Excellence in Education

Purpose: To acknowledge and honor a member of the Neurology Section whose clinical and/or academic neurologic educational contributions have been of exceptional value.

Recipient: Herbert Karpatkin, PT, DSc, NCS, MSCS (Hunter College, City University of New York)

The APTA Neurology Section Teaching Award is annually bestowed on an individual whose clinical and/or academic educational contributions have been exceptional, and whose impact has been great. This year’s recipient of the Education Award is Dr. Herb Karpatkin, who has “exemplified the essence of this award through his teaching of entry level students, education of practicing physical therapists, and active work to develop improved practices in physical therapy intervention for people with multiple sclerosis.”

Dr. Herb Karpatkin, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Hunter College at The City University of New York. The tremendous impact that Dr. Karpatkin’s teaching has had was evident based on wide range of recommendations from his students, peers, department chair, and local and national colleagues. The breadth of his teaching contributions is impressive, to say the least.

One student stated that he was an “outlier” as a teacher because he demonstrates passion in the subject he teaches, instills confidence in his students, and genuinely cares about those he helps in the classroom. “I looked forward to his classes, simply because he was inspiring.” His positive impact on his students has been instrumental to their clinical performance, excellence upon graduation, and their choice of careers in neurologic PT. One of his colleagues went on to describe how eloquent he is in his patient instruction.

The chair of his department went on to note that Dr. Karpatkin is a “gifted and creative educator… He is highly interactive, creative in his explanations and questioning (surveying) of the students to determine their understanding, and generally just a pleasure to watch in his engagement of the class.”

Dr. Karpatkin has been a member of Neurology Section for over 25 years, the coordinator of the Multiple Sclerosis Section for 16 years, and Chair of the Degenerative Diseases Special Interest Group for 10 years. He is a certified Multiple Sclerosis Specialist and Neurologic Clinical Specialist, with over 25 years of clinical experience. He has taught in an academic setting for more than 17 years.
He educational influence has been great, through his classroom instruction, mentoring of student research groups, writing (manuscripts, book chapters), presenting (posters, platforms, instructional videotapes), working as a manuscript reviewer and member of the Specialization Academy of Content Experts, actively participating on advisory boards, and being a clinical role model.

It is with great honor and enthusiasm we acknowledge Dr. Karpatkin with the Clinical Excellence in Education Award.

For a list of past award recipients, please click here.


Excellence in Research

Purpose: To acknowledge and honor a member of the Neurology Section who has demonstrated continuing excellence in research related to neurologic physical therapy science, theory, practice, or education.

Recipient: Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA (Shepherd Center, Crawford Research Institute)

This year’s recipient of the Excellence in Research Award is Dr. Edelle Field-Fote. Dr. Field Fote is a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy within the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. From the beginning of her career, she has been successful in securing grant funding. She was the recipient of an NIH Career Development Award and has since been the PI of several NIH R01 awards, in addition to substantial funding from industry and private foundations. She has been a Primary Investigator or Collaborator on 19 grants, and Dr. Field-Fote has authored or co-authored almost 40 peer reviewed journal articles and a widely respected textbook on spinal cord injury rehabilitation.

But, more important than her quantity of grants and publications, is the quality. She asks research questions that are highly relevant to neurologic physical therapists and patients. Each of her investigations is designed to test how specific physical therapy interventions might or might not improve outcomes for persons with spinal cord injury. Here research has a direct impact on individuals because she is also an expert at disseminating her results through presentations and conferences. Her audience always comes away learning a great deal, because she is able to clearly communicate her data and its relevance to daily clinical practice.

However, what really set Dr. Field-Fote apart from this year’s many other impressive nominees, is the effect she has had on neurologic physical therapy research in general. Dr. Field-Fote she has a tremendous positive impact on research and the application of research findings to clinical practice as the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy. With Dr. Field-Fote’s leadership, JNPT has blossomed. Through her role as Editor in Chief, she provided the direction and momentum to strategically move JNPT through the rigorous application and review process to obtain an impact factor for the first time, placing JNPT on par with larger rehabilitation research journals. Through this tremendous accomplishment, as well as her own prolific research, Dr. Field-Fote plays a key role in furthering evidence-based practice throughout the physical therapy profession.

For a list of past award recipients, please click here.

Barnes-Leahy PODS I & II Scholarships

Purpose: An award for post-professional studies in neurology given in memory of Neurology Section members and accomplished physical therapists Marylou Barnes, PT, FAPTA and Patricia Leahy, PT. Members of the Neurology Section provided generous support for this award through the Foundation's Neurology Endowment Fund.

PODS I (Scot C. Irwin Award): Pierce Boyne, PT, DPT, NCS, University of Cincinnati

PODS I (Patricia Leahy Award): Kendra Cherry-Allen, PT, DPT, University of Washington in St. Louis

PODS I: Timothy Faw, PT, DPT, NCS, The Ohio State University

PODS I Scholarships provides up to $7,500 per year in support of the coursework phase of post-professional doctoral studies prior to candidacy. This award is given in memory of APTA Section on Neurology member, accomplished physical therapist, and Foundation Doctoral Training Research Grant recipient, Patricia Leahy, PT, MS, NCS. Leahy was a professor at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and was one of the first physical therapists ever to receive the Neurologic Certified Specialist (NCS) certification.

*Funded by the Neurology Section's endowment

PODS II (Mary Lou Barnes Award): Hyosub Kim, PT, DPT, University of Illinois at Chicago

PODS II  scholarships provide up to $15,000 in support of the post-candidacy phase of post-professional doctoral studies. This award is given in memory of APTA Section on Neurology member and accomplished physical therapist Mary Lou Barnes, PT, FAPTA. Barnes was the founding director of the West Virginia University physical therapy program and served as chair of Georgia State University's program. During her terms, both programs achieved national recognition. Members of the Neurology Section provided generous support for this award through the Foundation's Neurology Endowment Fund.

The following sections members also received PODS funding from the Foundation for Physical Therapy.

  • Kristan Leech, PT, DPT, Northwestern University (PODS II was funded by the Neurology Section)
  • Hyosub Kim, PT, DPT, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Miriam Rafferty, PT, DPT, NCS, University of Illinois at Chicago

Post-Professional Level Research Award

Purpose: An award for post-professional studies in neurology given in memory of Neurology Section members and accomplished physical therapists Marylou Barnes, PT, FAPTA and Patricia Leahy, PT. Members of the Neurology Section provided generous support for this award through the Foundation's Neurology Endowment Fund.

Recipient: Nora Fritz, PT, DPT, NCS, The Ohio State University 

Dr. Fritz received this award for “Interhemispheric Supplemental Motor Area Tract-Specific Measures are Associated with Dual-Task Walking Variability in Multiple Sclerosis”.

PT Professional Student Research Award

Recipients: Evan Sandler, SPT, University of Miami

He received the award for the project entitled, “A Dose-response Analysis of Change in Walking Speed and Distance Associated with Different Forms of Locomotor Training in Persons with Motor-incomplete SCI.”

Golden Synapse Award

Purpose: The award recognizes the most outstanding article published in JNPT each year.

The decision is made by the JNPT Reviewers and Associate Editors and is based on the article’s conceptualization, execution, presentation and contribution to physical therapy practice.

Effects of Amplitude Cueing on Postural Responses and Preparatory Cortical Activity of People with Parkinson's Disease. Beth Smith, Jesse Jacobs, Fay Horak.

For a list of past award recipients, please click here.

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