Stephen M. Levine, DPT, PT, MSHA, FAPTA, a former American Physical Therapy Association board member and one of the physical therapy profession’s most loved and respected voices, died March 3 as a result of injuries suffered in an automobile accident, according to a news release. He was 52.

PT_news-01According to the APTA, Levine was at the center of many important developments in PT practice and payment during the past 30 years. He was considered a leader in efforts to elevate the standards of PT and PTA practice, including eliminating unwarranted variation in clinical practice, according to the APTA. A frequent adviser to the Medicare program, Levine was one of the nation’s leading experts on the Resource Based Value Scale, at one point providing congressional testimony on the topic.

Stephen Levine, DPT, PT (Photo courtesy of APTA)

Stephen Levine, DPT, PT (Photo courtesy of APTA)

In a statement issued March 4, APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr., DPT, PT, MS, wrote that Levine was “so much to so many: a tireless champion of the profession, a friend, a gentleman and a passionate leader.”

Levine’s involvement with APTA dated back to 1985, according to the release, and included 11 years of service to the APTA Board of Directors, where he began as vice speaker of the House of Delegates before moving on to speaker. The position led to his involvement in many of the association’s high-priority projects and initiatives, including the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice and the alternative payment system task force, which he chaired. Levine received a Lucy Blair Service award in 2011 and was named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow in 2014.

As executive vice president of compliance and consulting services for OpimisCorp and a founding partner of the Fearon & Levine consulting firm, Levine focused on practice management and payment policy in the outpatient rehab setting. He received a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, a master’s degree in health administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and his DPT degree from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in Mesa, Ariz., according to the release.

“He touched so many lives,” Rockar wrote in his statement. “Through his work he not only contributed to, but also helped to shape the profession of physical therapy as we know it today.”

Levine is survived by his husband, Bruce Anderson, PT; his father, Stanley Levine; his sister, Wendy Levine; and his nephews Andrew and Ryan Schiff, according to the release. The APTA plans to post funeral arrangements on its website, once details are available.

APTA also has created a tribute page for thoughts and remembrances of Levine.