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ANPT Member Awards

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 Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy Award and national American Physical Therapy Award recipients.

  • Nominations are open May 1- August 1 each year.
  • The ANPT Awards Committee does not carry nominations from the previous year over to the next so new submission are needed each year.
  • ANPT Partner Members are not eligible for ANPT Awards.

2022 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 APTA CSM.

Service to the Academy

Nancy Fell, PT, PhD *

Dr. Nancy Fell is well deserving of the award for Service to the Academy as evidenced by her longstanding commitment to the Board of Directors, in which she acted as secretary from 2014 through 2020. Over the past 25 years, Nancy held various leadership roles in the ANPT including Brain Injury SIG Secretary, Programming Committee Chair, and Regional Program Committee Chair. Her colleagues describe her as a "pragmatic visionary", a "creative thinker", and a leader in the strategic planning process of the ANPT. One of Nancy's most notable achievements in service was acting as the co-chair for the critically important IV STEP Conference Planning Committee from 2013 to 2016.  

* Dr. Fell is a Board-Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist, Emeritus

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


Excellence in Neurologic Education

Morris Casano Beato, PT, DPT, GCS *  Dr. Beato has demonstrated excellence across a range of educational activities including both PT and PTA students. He led the Florida Physical Therapy Association Neurologic SIG to focus on educating students and clinicians on evidence based practice, and directs the University of Central Florida and Orlando Health Neurologic Residency Program. He has been instrumental in increasing licensing exam scores and increasing the number of students pursuing residency programs.

Dr. Beato is a Board-Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist

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


Excellence in Neurologic Research

Teresa Jacobson Kimberley, PhD, PT

Dr. Kimberley is an exemplary researcher who has contributed significant knowledge to the field including improving our understanding of neuroplasticity and being a leader in using neuromodulation approaches. She has been funded by the NIH, foundations, and industry partners, showing the breadth of her work, and has consistently published in high-impact journals. Dr. Kimberley also mentors the next generation of researchers through mentorship at the Training in Grantsmanship for Rehabilitation Research workshop and advising of mentees in her research program.

Click here for a list of previous Excellence in Research Awardees


PT Clinical Excellence in Neurology

Stacey Lane, PT, DPT *

Dr. Lane is currently a physical therapy at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab as a clinician where she instituted formal mentorship of staff, new hires, and advancing the advanced skillset in areas of spinal cord injury and vestibular rehabilitation. More recently, she was promoted to a Master Physical Therapist position at the SRALab due to her dedication to her craft, support to other clinicians, and her commitment to her organization’s mission. She has been described by her colleagues as someone who, “is truly the gold standard in driving best practices” as well as someone who “motivates, inspires, and encourages others.”

*Dr. Lane is a Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist.

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


PTA Clinical Excellence in Neurology

No nominations received for 2022. 

Click here for list of previous PTA Clinical Excellence in Neurology Award Winners.


Outstanding Clinical Innovator

Marissa Conrad, MS, PT *

Dr. Conrad established an early intervention program for patients with concussions to create an appropriate recovery program through inter-professional collaboration and establishing protocols to guide the patient upon entering the healthcare system. Her work has helped reduce ED admission rates in November 2019 to 7.98%, which is a 70.6% improvement from the previous year due to her advocacy for direct access to reduce time to initial rehabilitation. The work that Dr. Conrad has provided to her organization, her community, and her patients has helped elevate patient care to the highest standard of practice.

*Dr. Conrad is a Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist


Outstanding Advocacy in Neurology

Jillian MacDonald, PT, DPT *

Dr. MacDonald has demonstrated excellence in her commitment to not only providing exceptional physical therapy care by developing programs to support her patients, but also to supporting and mentoring physical therapists on the front lines. She developed a telehealth program at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to quickly and sufficiently provide care to patients during lockdown, along with a screening tool to assist therapists in decision making. In all of her efforts, her actions indicate her passion to supporting patients, clinicians, and the system in which care is provided. 

* Dr. MacDonald is a Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist

Click here for list of previous Outstanding Advocacy in Neurology Award Winners


Early Career Award

Liliana Jimenez, PT, DPT *
Hannah King, PT, DPT *
Reed Handlery, PT, DPT, PhD

Liliana Jimenez, PT, DPT

Dr. Jimenez graduated with her DPT in 2017 and finished a neurologic residency in 2020. While preparing for the NCS, she created a website called “The Brain PT” to share her knowledge of neurologic physical therapy with others. She has a passion and drive to improve her community of El Paso, Texas, and she is currently the only NCS practicing in the city.

Hannah King, PT, DPT

Dr. King graduated with her DPT in 2018 and completed a neurologic residency in 2019. She demonstrates strong desire to grow the knowledge of the clinicians at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab by leading a group to implement high intensity gait training. Her references praise her evidence-based practice as well as her leadership among her coworkers for initiating in-service learning opportunities and exemplifying outstanding care for patients.

Reed Handlery, PT, DPT, PhD

Dr. Handlery has demonstrated early excellence in physical therapy research since he graduated with his DPT in 2016. Since 2017, he and his co-investigators have produced nine peer-reviewed journal articles and have garnered six research grants. He received his PhD in Exercise Science in 2020 and currently serves as associate professor at Arkansas Colleges of Health Sciences. Dr. Handlery was not able to join us here today.

Click here for a list of prior Early Career Award recipients


SIG Service & Research Awards

To acknowledge a member of a particular SIG who goes above and beyond through contributions in research within the SIGs diagnoses or service to the SIG. These awards were first given out in 2021.


CSM Abstract

Post Professional Student Abstract

Kanika Bansal

Objective Measurement of Perceived Walking Challenge Differentiates between Home and Community Ambulation Levels Post-Stroke”. The research was performed at the University of Florida and Brooks Rehabilitation under the guidance of Dorian Rose as primary mentor.


CSM Early Career Scientist  Abstract Award

Pamela Dunlap

The Reliability and Validity of the Nine Item Vestibular Activities Avoidance Instrument”. The research was performed at the University of Pittsburgh.


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. 

Dr. James Carey, PhD, PT, FAPTA  Difficulties, Mistakes, Accomplishments, and the Future of Stroke Research in Physical Therapy: A Personal Assessment

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:

Jenna Zajac, PT, DPT from Boston University

Project Title: “The Relationship between Walking Capacity and Real-World Walking Activity in Persons with Parkinson Disease” Jenna is a graduate student in the PhD program in Rehabilitation Science at the Center for Neurorehabilitation under the mentorship of Dr. Terry Ellis. Her work includes assisting with research assessments, treating clinical patients, and participating in the development and facilitation of research studies. In addition, Jenna will serve as a mentor/teaching assistant for students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Boston University Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation. Jenna’s research interests include neuroplasticity and motor learning in Parkinson’s Disease, and translating rehabilitation strategies based on evidence into the clinic and community settings. 


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

Allison Elizabeth Miller, PT, DPT from the University of Delaware 

Project Title: “Real-world Walking Activity Post-Stroke” Allison is a PhD Candidate at the University of Delaware working under the mentorship of Dr. Darcy Reisman. Allison received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Connecticut in 2013 and went on to pursue residency training at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation Residency in Neurologic Physical Therapy. Her dissertation research aims to understand real-world walking activity in individuals with stroke using sensor technology. Allison intends to complete her PhD training in 2022 and pursue postdoctoral training.

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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