Foundation for Physical Therapy Announces 2017 Service Award Recipients

Categories: Press Releases

The Foundation for Physical Therapy is pleased to announce its 2017 service award recipients. Every year, the Foundation recognizes individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting the Foundation and advancing physical therapy research.

For their ongoing contributions to the Foundation and support for the profession, this year the Foundation will present awards to:

  • Barbara H. Connolly, PT, DPT, EdD, FAPTA,
  • The Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy,
  • Nancy E. Byl, PT, MPH, PhD, FAPTA, and
  • Patricia A. Traynor, PT.

The awards will be presented during the Foundation Awards Luncheon on June 22, 2017 during APTA’s NEXT Conference in Boston, MA.

“Winners of the 2017 Service Awards are proven visionaries and innovators of the profession and have long supported the Foundation in its mission to fund physical therapy research,” said Foundation Board of Trustees President Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA. “As leaders, they continue laying the groundwork for active participation in the profession through charitable work to ensure a more vibrant future for the Foundation, its funding recipients and the clients and patients we serve, and for this we are truly grateful.”

The 2017 Robert C. Bartlett Trustee Recognition Service Award will be presented to Honorary Trustee Barbara H. Connolly, PT, DPT, EdD, FAPTA. This award is presented to individuals whose personal service and commitment as a trustee has helped develop and sustain activities that promote the funding of physical therapy research and education programs. Connolly served 9 years as trustee, the last two as president.  During this time, she had a tremendous impact on the Foundation and was an integral leader in fundraising efforts for the 2013 Center of Excellence Campaign.  As president, Connolly worked to implement initiatives to make steady progress towards the Foundation’s strategic priorities. She strengthened relationships with leaders of the profession, and worked collaboratively to advance shared goals. In addition to her generous personal contributions, Connolly has helped lead fundraising efforts for the annual President’s Sustaining Fund.

The 2017 Premier Partner in Research Award will be presented to the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy. Over the years, the Foundation has presented this award to a select few who have made generous and long-standing contributions critical to the success of the Foundation and its mission. To date, the Academy has donated over $460,000 in support of geriatric physical therapy research. Through their support, 97 awards have been made possible since 1973. Most recently, their support has allowed the Foundation to award Margaret Danilovich of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern, the Geriatrics Research Grant to “implement successful aging intervention to reduce frailty.”

The 2017 Charles M. Magistro Distinguished Service Award, will be presented to Nancy E. Byl, PT, MPH, PhD, FAPTA. This award, named for the first President and Chair of the Foundation, is presented annually to individuals for outstanding service and steadfast commitment toward promoting the Foundation’s goals. Byl and her husband Fred have long been dedicated to the Foundation and have generously contributed to various fundraising initiatives and most recently the Magistro Endowment Fund. Byl also launched a personal matching gift challenge for the Center of Excellence that helped propel evidence-based research. As President of the California Physical Therapy Fund, Byl was an advocate for funding health services research through the Foundation’s Center of Excellence Campaign to which the CAL PT-FUND contributed $50,000.

The 2017 Spirit of Philanthropy Award will be presented to Patricia A. Traynor, PT. Since 2005, this award has been presented annually to donors who exhibit enthusiastic support and dedication to the growth of the Foundation and its mission. Traynor’s unwavering dedication to the Foundation dates to the founding of the organization in 1979. One of the earliest champions of the Foundation, her generous personal contributions and support of campaigns span decades.  In 1984 Traynor helped to create the Foundation’s first annual banquet and auction. She served as the chair of the Foundation’s annual fundraising efforts from 1991 to 1997.  Pat was instrumental in the development of the Foundation’s planned giving program, including the development and funding of the Legacy Endowment Fund.  The fund has grown through contributions from Traynor and others to over $600,000 and will continue to support research awards in perpetuity.  She currently serves as a member of the Foundation’s Planned Giving Committee and is a Legacy Society donor, helping to ensure that the Foundation will be able to sustain its important work for generations to come. Traynor served on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 2003-2013.

To learn more about the Foundation’s Service Awards, visit

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 38 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships, and postprofessional doctoral scholarships to more than 583 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 therapy 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.

To learn more, visit

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