Foundation for Physical Therapy Awards 2015 Florence P. Kendall Doctoral Scholarships and Research Grants totaling $135,000

Categories: Press Releases

ALEXANDRIA, VA, December 17, 2015 – The Foundation for Physical Therapy Board of Trustees recently awarded $135,000 in Florence P. Kendall Doctoral Scholarships and Research Grants to 5 physical therapists.

“We continue to be amazed by the wonderful work achieved by Foundation award recipients,” said Foundation Board of Trustees Chair Barbara Connolly, PT, DPT, EdD, FAPTA. “We are all anxiously awaiting the great strides the next generation of physical therapist researchers will make for the profession.”

The Florence P. Kendall Doctoral Scholarship awards $5,000 annually to outstanding physical therapists as they begin their first year of graduate studies toward a post professional doctoral degree. These scholarships are funded by the Rhomberger Fund.

Scholarships were awarded to: Karah Bush, PT, DPT, The Ohio State University; Kelly Hawkins PT, DPT, University of Florida; and Joshua Johnson, PT, DPT, ATC, University of Utah.

The $80,000 Magistro Family Foundation Research Grant has been awarded to Christine McDonough, PT, MS, PhD, research assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy Management at the Boston University School of Public Health. Her 2-year project, “Living In Fitness Together (LIFT): Testing an Innovative Fall Prevention Program,” aims to reduce the possibility of falls in older adults by testing the feasibility, safety and efficacy of delivering tailored exercise intervention for those who are at risk, while empowering them to meet their goals through training in self-management and peer-coaching. McDonough received her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Vermont and both her master’s and PhD in Evaluative Clinical Sciences from Dartmouth College. McDonough has also received a New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative – Health Services Research (NIFTI-HSR) from the Foundation in 2009. The LIFT project is generously funded by the Magistro Family Foundation Endowment Fund.

Karin Grävare Silbernagel, BS, MSc, PhD, an assistant professor in Physical Therapy in the Biomechanics and Movement Science Program at the University of Delaware, is the recipient of the $40,000 Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge Research Grant named in honor of the Marquette Challenge, a student led fundraising initiative. Her 2-year project, “Evaluation of Recovery Following an Achilles Tendon Rupture,” will assess and determine whether the degree of physical activity during the first eight weeks after an Achilles tendon rupture is related to the short and long-term outcome of early physical activity on tendon healing and recovery. Gravare-Silbernagel received her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Boston University, and her master’s degree in physical therapy and PhD in orthopaedics medicine from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.


About the Foundation for Physical Therapy

The Foundation for Physical Therapy was established in 1979 as a national, independent nonprofit organization, dedicated to improving the quality and delivery of physical therapy care by providing support for scientifically based and clinically relevant physical therapy research and doctoral scholarships and fellowships.

To learn more, visit

Over the last 36 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships, and post professional doctoral scholarships to more than 550 emerging scientists. Foundation-funded researchers have gone on to receive an estimated $753 million in external funding from the National Institutes of Health and other sources. Many of today’s leading and emerging physical therapist researchers, clinicians, and academicians began their careers with a grant or scholarship from the Foundation. Contributions to the Foundation for Physical Therapy are tax-deductible and can be made online at or sent to its headquarters at 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

For more information, email, or call 800/875-1378.