Foundation for Physical Therapy Awards 2017 Florence P. Kendall Doctoral Scholarships and Research Grants totaling $250,000

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ALEXANDRIA, VA, December 06, 2017 – The Foundation for Physical Therapy Board of Trustees recently awarded $250,000 in Florence P. Kendall Doctoral Scholarships and Research Grants to 8 physical therapists.

“As the Foundation continues to open doors to deserving physical therapist researchers, we are certain that the emerging generation of investigators will change the face of rehabilitation research and physical therapeutic interventions,” said Foundation Board of Trustees President Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA. “We look forward to seeing the growth of our funding recipients as they go on to develop innovations that will transform the field.”

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 postprofessional doctoral degree. These scholarships are funded by the Kendall Fund.

Scholarships were awarded to:

  • Rachel Bican, DPT, Ohio State University;
  • Kristina M. Kelly, PT, DPT, EdM, Ohio State University;
  • Jesse L. Kowalski, DPT, University of Minnesota; and
  • Dana R. Mathews, MS, DPT, University of Delaware;

Stephanie Di Stasi, MSPT, PhD, an Assistant Professor and Research Scientist in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The Ohio State University, is the recipient of the $40,000 Mercer-Marquette Challenge Research Grant, named in honor of the Marquette Challenge, a student-led fundraising initiative. The goal of her 2-year project, “Load Modification versus Standard Exercise to Inform Treatment for Individuals with Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS),” is to evaluate the short-term effects of a single-session of load modification education by a licensed physical therapist on pain and function in individuals with GTPS.

Kenneth J. Harwood, PT, PhD, CIE, an Associate Professor in the School of Medicine & Health Sciences at The George Washington University, is the recipient of the $50,000 Health Services Research Pipeline Grant. His 1-year project titled, “The Effects of Timing of Physical Therapy on Health Care Costs, Utilization, and Opioid Use” seeks to investigate how the timing of physical therapy care and provider mix affects healthcare costs, utilization and short- and long-term opioid use using a national sample of lower back pain private insurance claims. This grant was made possible by a generous donation from the American Physical Therapy Association.

Charles A. Thigpen, MS, PhD, Director of Observational Clinical Research in Orthopaedics with the Center for Effectiveness Research in Orthopaedics at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health, was awarded the $100,000 Magistro Family Foundation Research Grant. His 2-year project titled, “Effectiveness of a Physical Therapy First Musculoskeletal Pathway,” will evaluate the real-world effectiveness of musculoskeletal (MSK) practice redesign on improved outcomes and lower costs by comparing MSK Pathway patients to patients that do not participate in the pathway. The MSK Pathway is a “physical therapy first” integrated clinical pathway implemented through a partnership between ATI Physical Therapy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina and Greenville Health System. This project is funded by the Foundation’s Magistro Family Endowment Fund.

Victoria G. Marchese, PT, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, was awarded the $40,000 Snyder Research Grant. Her 1-year project titled, “A PT Strengthening Intervention (STRONG-PT) for Lower-Extremity Sarcoma Childhood Cancer Survivors: Examining the Impact on Functional Mobility and Muscle Architecture,” aims to examine the efficacy of a lower-extremity functional strengthening program for lower-extremity sarcoma childhood cancer survivors with the expectation that functional mobility and muscle strength will improve. This grant is supported by the Foundation’s Jayne L. Snyder Endowment Fund.

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.

Over the last 37 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships, and postprofessional doctoral scholarships to more than 539 emerging scientists. Foundation-funded researchers have gone on to receive an estimated over $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 N Fairfax St, Alexandria, VA 22314.

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