Editor’s note: This is a sponsored post by Bill Boissonnault, PT, DPT, DHSc, FAPTA, FAOOMPT, President of the Foundation for Physical Therapy.

In 2013 the Foundation for Physical Therapy raised more than $3 million as part of the most aggressive campaign in our history, to fund a groundbreaking initiative called the Center of Excellence (COE) for Health Services and Health Policy Research and Training. The COE is dedicated to expanding the number of physical therapist scientists specializing in health services and health policy research.

I am excited to share that the Foundation will soon award a $2.5 million grant to the most qualified institution(s) or health systems network(s) to launch and manage the COE. Physical therapist researchers who are accepted into the program will receive the training and skills necessary to examine the most effective ways to deliver, organize, and finance healthcare delivery, which will ultimately help all in the physical therapy profession dramatically improve patient outcomes. More specifically, the training will allow physical therapists to:

  • Answer key questions related to best physical therapy practice principles and models;
  • Review information from electronic health records and other large scale databases and registries; and
  • Build capacity for creation dissemination, and application of health policy knowledge among practitioners, policymakers, payors and other stakeholders.
Today in PT foundation

Bill Boissonnault, PT, DPT, DHSc, FAPTA, FAOOMPT
President, Foundation for Physical Therapy

We received overwhelming support from the profession and this enabled the Foundation to move quickly to accept letters of application for the grant earlier this year. Applications for the Center of Excellence grant are currently under review. The creativity and innovation presented within all the applications is truly overwhelming. The ideas presented by the teams have surpassed our hopes and expectations concerning the intent of the COE to train the next generation of physical therapist researchers within this field.

We plan to formally announce the institution or network of institutions awarded the COE grant at APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting in February 2015. Additional funds raised for this campaign will strengthen the Foundation’s ability to offer additional grants and scholarships through our own funding program to complement the Center of Excellence. It is an exciting time for the Foundation and I would like to thank APTA, its sections and chapters, PTs, corporations and foundations for turning this idea into reality. To learn more about the Foundation and its impact, visit our website.

Over the past 35 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $14 million in research grants, fellowships, and post-professional doctoral scholarships to more than 550 emerging scientists. Foundation-funded researchers have gone on to receive an estimated $725 million in external funding from the National Institutes of Health and other sources. Many of today’s leading and emerging physical therapist researchers, clinicians and academicians began their careers with a grant or scholarship from the Foundation.

Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible and can be made online at Foundation4PT.org