Foundation for Physical Therapy Research To Honor 2019 Service Award Recipients at 40th Anniversary Celebration

These awardees have shown exceptional commitment to advancing the physical therapy profession.

ALEXANDRIA, VA (March 14, 2019) – The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (Foundation) Board of Trustees will recognize the 2019 Service Awardees and celebrate the Foundation’s 40th anniversary during the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) NEXT Conference. Every year, the Foundation recognizes individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting the Foundation and advancing physical therapy research.

The Foundation will present awards to honor:

  • Laurence N. Benz, PT, DPT, OCS, MBA, MAPP
  • Michael J. Mueller, PT, PhD, FAPTA
  • Charles L. Martin, Jr., MBA, CAE, CIA
  • New York Physical Therapy Association
  • Magdalen and Emil Goergeny (posthumously)

The awardees will be recognized at the Foundation’s annual Awards Luncheon and PT Party on June 13, 2019 in Chicago.

“The Foundation has strong support in the physical therapy community,” said Foundation President, Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA. “However, these awardees have shown particular dedication through years of service in advancing our mission and strengthening the profession. While we are thrilled to be presenting them with these awards, the Foundation is the true beneficiary.”

The 2019 Robert C. Bartlett Trustee Recognition Service Awards will be presented to former trustees Laurence N. Benz, PT, DPT, OCS, MBA, MAPP, Michael J. Mueller, PT, PhD, FAPTA and Charles L. Martin, Jr., MBA, CAE, CIA. 

Larry Benz is President/CEO of Confluent Health. He served on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees for a total of nine years. During this time, he contributed to the Audit, Finance, Awareness, and Corporate committees. Benz also championed major gift campaigns such as the Center of Excellence. Prior to joining the Foundation, Benz served on APTA’s Advisory Panel on Practice and The Board of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and was a Trustee and Chairman at The University of Louisville.

Michael Mueller is a professor of physical therapy and investigates movement & musculoskeletal problems in people with diabetes at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Mueller served the Foundation for nine years as a trustee, four years as Vice President and 9 years as the chair of the Research Committee. He also was the liaison to the Foundation’s Scientific Review and Scientific Advisory Committees. Mueller received Foundation Doctoral Research Grants in 1998 and 1991.

The 2019 Charles M. Magistro Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Charles L. Martin, Jr., MBA, CAE, CIA. This award, named for the first President and Chair of the Foundation, is presented to individuals for outstanding service and steadfast commitment toward promoting the Foundation’s goals. Martin will also receive the 2019 Bartlett Trustee Award.

Prior to becoming a Foundation Trustee, Martin was a USAF officer serving in key positions in the financial and academic areas. He retired after serving as the deputy chief of staff and comptroller for the Tactical Air Command. Prior to his work for the Foundation, he served the profession as COO/CFO of APTA for 18 years, including supervision of the Foundation. During his nine years as a trustee, Martin served on the Executive Committee as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee, while concurrently serving as Treasurer for other national associations. During his FPTR tenure, Martin helped implement policies and plans to guide the financial growth of the Foundation and oversee the financial reports, operating budget, investment portfolio, and independent audit processes.

The 2019 Premier Partner in Research Award will be presented to the New York Physical Therapy Association (NYPTA). This award is given to select organizations who have made generous and long-standing contributions critical to the success of the Foundation. The NYPTA has been a steadfast supporter of physical therapy research. The NYPTA is one of the largest APTA chapters with more than 6,000 members. Over the years, the NYPTA has given regularly to the Foundation and most recently generously contributed to the Center of Excellence for Health Services Research Campaign.

The 2019 Spirit of Philanthropy Award will be presented posthumously to Magdalen and Emil Goergeny. The Goergeny’s left the Foundation an unrestricted bequest of $1.58 million in 2015. The bequest is one of the largest planned gifts ever received by the Foundation. Both natural-born Hungarian citizens, Magdalen received her physical therapy instruction at the New York University College of Medicine and the University of Oregon Medical School and went on to establish a practice in Portland, Oregon. Her husband, Emil, served 2 years of mandatory service in the Hungarian Army, and was severely injured losing sight in both eyes when the city of Kassa was bombed during World War II. The Foundation Trustees directed funds from the gift to support High Impact and High Priority research projects.  The first Goergeny Research Grant of $240,000 will be awarded in the winter of 2019. The Goergeny’s are also posthumous members of the Foundation’s Legacy Society as their historic bequest has made an extraordinary impact to help further research.

The Foundation for Physical Therapy was established in 1979 as a national, independent nonprofit organization to fund physical therapy research to optimize health and movement. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships and scholarships. Many of today’s leading physical therapy researchers, clinicians, and academicians began their careers with this support. Foundation-funded researchers have gone on to secure more than $824 million in follow-on funding.

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