ALEXANDRIA, VA (April 18, 2017) – The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research announced today that Irene McEwen, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, contributed $250,000 to establish the McEwen Family Fund for School-Based Physical Therapy Research.

“This is an opportunity for me to give back to a profession that has been good to me throughout my career,” says Dr. McEwen. “By supporting school-based practice research grants, we are working to help physical therapists provide effective interventions for students with disabilities of all ages.”

Dr. McEwen has come full circle with the Foundation. While pursuing her PhD in special education, she received a research grant in 1987 to study the effects of assistive positioning on communicative interactions between students and classroom staff.  Subsequently, she became a member of the rehabilitation sciences faculty at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and has been involved in both the American Physical Therapy Association and the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy.

“We are grateful for the tremendous support of the McEwen family in creating a lasting legacy to support pediatric research,” said Foundation President, Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA. “The Foundation is committed to providing research funding opportunities across the lifespan. This generous gift will ultimately lead to innovations and improvement in the way physical therapy is delivered in school-based practice settings to improve movement and health for students with special needs.”

You can read more about Irene McEwen at

The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research 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.

To donate or learn more, visit or call 800/875-13678.




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