Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy Pledges Major Investment in PT Research

APTA Acute Care – An Academy of the American Physical Therapy Association – recently pledged a major gift of $273,715 to the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (FPTR) to support research grants and scholarships related to and relevant to acute care physical therapy.

The new pledge from APTA Acute Care builds on a 2017 donation that has already yielded two $40,000 Acute Care Research Grants. Through this latest investment, the $40,000 Acute Care Research Grant and $7,500 Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS I) Scholarship will now be offered every year for the next 5 years.

“APTA Acute Care members are integral to health care teams across the United States, “said Traci Norris, PT, DPT, President of APTA Acute Care. “Research that informs, improves, and augments our practice fosters the excellence that we want to provide to our patients and clients.”

FPTR uses a peer review process modeled after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that distinguishes FPTR funding and ensures that the most promising and clinically relevant research is supported.

“We’re so grateful to the Academy of Acute Care for making the decision to invest in research that is meaningful to PTs in acute care practice settings, “said Barbara Malm, MBA, FPTR CEO. “FPTR funding helps PT researchers speak to clinical areas of need and also better prepares our physical therapist investigators for major follow-on funding.”

Since 1979, FPTR has awarded more than $20 million in grants, scholarships, and fellowships. FPTR researchers have secured an additional $894 million in follow-on funding – allowing physical therapist researchers to be competitive in seeking large grants from NIH, the Department of Defense, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, among others.

Researcher Michael Tevald, PT, MPT, PhD, was the first-ever recipient of the Acute Care Research Grant for his 2018 project, “Early Impact of Lung Transplantation on Skeletal Muscle.” This research is clinically relevant to address the substantial and rapid declines in skeletal muscle associated with lung transplantation. Tevald is an Associate Professor at Arcadia University’s College of Health Sciences where he serves as the director of Post-Professional Programs. Tevald presented his research funded in part through FPTR at the recent APTA Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) in San Antonio. “By establishing the Acute Care Research Grant, the Foundation has shown that it recognizes the importance of systematically investigating the issues that acute care physical therapists face,” said Tevald.

Researcher Adele Myszenski, PT, MSPT, of Henry Ford Hospital, is the second recipient of the grants made possible by AACPT’s 2017 investment in research. Her FPTR funded project is looking more closely at the role of rehabilitation on patients recovering COVID-19. This research is expected to provide support for the safety and feasibility of physical therapy services for critically ill patients with COVID-19. Considering the many ways that COVID-19 has affected the way physical therapists care for patients, Myszenski emphasizes that certain vital aspects of physical therapy transcend this health crisis. “At the core of physical therapy, we provide a human touch and hope for a better recovery based on evidence-based care, and that has not changed.”

“The Foundation was the best place for us to invest our research dollars to advance acute care,” said APTA Acute Care Treasurer Edward Mathis, PT, DPT. “We know that we’ll see meaningful returns on these investments in new researchers for years to come.”

Applications for FPTR scholarships and fellowships opens in October. FPTR grant applications open in April. More information on guidelines and grant instructions will be available at soon.


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