Visit the ANPT Education Center

ANPT Member Awards

The Academy is proud of our members' Academy and National contributions both to the profession and the patients we serve. We extend our heartfelt appreciation and admiration for the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy Award and national American Physical Therapy Award recipients.

  • Nominations are open May 1- August 1 each year. Nomination information and forms will be made available on Wednesday, May 1, 2024.
  • The ANPT Awards Committee does not carry nominations from the previous year over to the next so new submission are needed each year.
  • ANPT Partner Members are not eligible for ANPT Awards.

Nomination Forms   CSM Abstract Submission

2024 Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy Award Recipients

The Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy celebrates excellence in research, scholarship, clinical practice and service activities by honoring our members for their achievements and successes over the past years at the annual Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy Business Meeting held at APTA CSM.

Service to the Academy

Genevieve Pinto-Zipp, PT, EdD

Dr. Genevieve Pinto-Zipp is recommended to receive the award for Service to the Academy due to the breadth and depth of her contributions. She has been described as exemplifying “sustained and meaningful service to the ANPT.” Dr. Zipp was instrumental in developing the Stroke EDGE procedures, which has laid the foundation for subsequent ANPT EDGE processes. Firsts come naturally for her as she was also the co-chair to the inauguration of the ANPT Conference in 2021. Dr. Zipp has demonstrated a sustained and highly impactful commitment to the ANPT. She is a role model for professionalism and excellence in leadership. Given her long-standing commitment to the Academy, she is most deserving of this award.

Click here for a list of previous Service to the Academy Awardees


Excellence in Neurologic Education

Jennifer H. Kahn, PT, DPT *

Dr. Jen Kahn is associate professor at Northwestern University Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Science as well as the founding director of the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab Neurological Residency. She served as the chair of the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) EDGE Taskforce and currently serves as the chair for the 10 year SCIEDGE update. She strives to share her vast knowledge with younger generations of PTs. She developed a mentorship framework at both Northwestern and Shirley Ryan Ability Lab that encourages problem-based learning versus purely expert knowledge sharing. As one of her former students said, "Her primary focus as an educator is to develop clinicians with sound clinical reasoning, who have a passion for the profession, commitment to future growth, and a deep caring for the patients they treat."

*Dr. Jen Kahn is a Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist

Click here for a list of previous Excellence in Neurologic Education Awardees


Excellence in Neurologic Research

Darcy S. Reisman, PT, PhD, FAPTA

Dr. Darcy Reisman has made significant contributions to the field of neurologic physical therapy for over 20 years. She has published more than 100 research articles but more than just the number, with topics ranging from aerobic fitness vs. neuromotor function to walking capacity, the effects of different exercise protocols on neural biomarkers post-stroke, and the development of a locomotor high-intensity interval training protocol for stroke rehabilitation. Without question, her contributions to the field of neurologic physical therapy have changed how we think and practice.

Click here for a list of previous Excellence in Research Awardees


PT Clinical Excellence in Neurology

Oscar Gabriel Gallardo, PT,  DPT * 

Dr. Gallardo is an expert in the practice of neurologic physical therapy and continuously pushes the envelope to maximize neurologic recovery and potential in all of his patients. This is a skill that he carries with him in educating students, residents, and other clinicians about how to improve access and care for all. He is a dedicated champion to the profession of physical therapy and tirelessly works to empower and uplift other’s voices for action.

*Dr. Gallardo is a Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist

Click here for a list of previous Clinical Excellence in Neurologic Physical Therapy Awardees


PTA Clinical Excellence in Neurology

Walter F. Guminiak Jr., PTA, ATRI-C, CKTP

Mr. Walter Guminiak is a remarkable clinician and an excellent teacher. Mr. Guminiak is described as exhibiting remarkable versatility, skillful in managing patients neurologic conditions, and someone who is dedicated to his practice. Mr. Guminiak has also been a mentor for fellow clinicians, particularly in areas such as Lokomat, prosthetics, aquatics, and overhead harness track. His profound expertise, unwavering commitment to patient care, and exceptional teaching abilities have significantly impacted the lives of countless individuals.

Click here for list of previous PTA Clinical Excellence in Neurology Award Winners.


Outstanding Clinical Innovator

Jennifer L. Moore, PT, DHS *

Dr. Jennifer Moore has made a career translating research into clinical practice. Based on her research endeavors, she noted the discrepancy between evidence-based strategies used in research protocols vs interventions utilized in the clinical setting. As a result, my thesis work focused on the impact of locomotor interventions on the perception of a functional plateau post-stroke. This has led to her work on the Rehabilitation Measures database, ANPT Knowledge Translation Summit, and the Institute for Knowledge Translation. One recommendation letter describes Dr. Moore as “an unparalleled example of a clinician with a passion for maximizing the quality of direct patient and client care. The field of neurologic physical therapy has been forever impacted by her important work.”

*Dr. Jennifer Moore is a Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist

Click here for a list of previous Outstanding Clinical Innovator Award Winners


Outstanding Advocacy in Neurology

Jacob I. McPherson, PT, DPT, PhD *

Dr. McPherson has a long and consistent history of advocacy that makes him most deserving of this award. He has fought to bring issues that impact patients and providers to the New York State Department of Health and Financial Services as well as meeting with payor leadership to improve coverage and care for individuals with neurologic conditions. His impact has reached beyond individuals in the clinic and demonstrates his commitment to improve access and care for all.

* Dr. McPherson is a Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist

Click here for list of previous Outstanding Advocacy in Neurology Award Winners


Early Career Award

Samantha Pietrzak, PT, DPT *

Dr. Pietrzak graduated from physical therapy school in 2018 and has since advanced through her career as a clinician, educator, and outstanding contributor to the Illinois PT Association. Her work involves piloting a Rehabilitation Treatment Specification System as a quality improvement project, mentoring new staff, and serving as the Secretary for the Illinois PT Association. She demonstrates excellent preparation, mastery of content, and the confidence to manage stressful situations for the betterment of our organization, our patients, and our profession.

* Dr. Pietrzak is a Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist

Mitchell Adam, PT, DPT

Dr. Adam graduated from physical therapy school in 2020 then immediately transitioned into residency and now is working on his PhD to investigate various mechanisms of neurologic impairment in persons post-injury. Dr. Adam has already contributed to the general body of knowledge through journal publications as well as poster presentations. He is a dedicated learner and actively seeks out opportunities for growth not only for himself but for his patients and the entire profession as a whole.

Kayla B Coutts, PT, DPT *

Dr. Coutts graduated from physical therapy school in 2019 and since then has completed a residency, obtained her NCS, volunteers to teach dance, works with children with disabilities at a charity carnival, and has participated in research on high intensity gait training in acute rehab as well as spinal muscular atrophy. She demonstrates passion for this profession and her exemplary contributions will continue to positively impact the field of neurological physical therapy for years to come.

* Dr. Coutts is a Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist

Click here for a list of prior Early Career Award recipients


SIG Service & Research Awards

To acknowledge a member of a particular SIG who goes above and beyond through contributions in research within the SIGs diagnoses or service to the SIG. These awards were first given out in 2021.


CSM Abstract

Post Professional Student Abstract 

Kiersten McCartney, PT, DPT

“What Intervention Is Best for Who? Moderators of Improvements in Walking Performance in Chronic Stroke”. The research was performed at the University of Delaware.


CSM Early Career Scientist  Abstract Award

Lei Ma, PT, DPT, PhD

“Auditory and Visual Cues Elicit Different Cortical Responses in Parkinson's Disease Patients during Walking".


Anne Shumway-Cook Lectureship

The Anne Shumway-Cook lectureship is designed to acknowledge and honor an individual who has made a significant contribution to neurologic physical therapy research and practice. Recipients of the lectureship have distinguished themselves as an esteemed neurorehabilitation scientist whose work has influenced neurological physical therapist clinical practice. The lecture provides an opportunity for the honoree to share experiences related to the translation of neuroscience and neurorehabilitation research into neurological physical therapist clinical practice. 

Dr. Bastian, PT, PhD 

Amy Bastian, PT, PhD is a physical therapist and neuroscientist who has made important contributions to the neuroscience of sensorimotor control. She is the Chief Science Officer and Director of the Center for Movement Studies at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Professor of Neuroscience, Neurology and PM&R at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Bastian is a recognized as a highly accomplished neuroscientist whose interests include understanding cerebellar function/dysfunction, locomotor learning mechanisms, motor learning in development, and how to rehabilitate people with many types of neurological diseases. She has had continuous funding from the NIH since 1997 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2023. She has served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology and chaired many committees including the NIH MRS study section and the Advisory Board for NIH NICHD National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research. Dr. Bastian has been recognized with several awards including the American Physical Association Eugene Michels Award, Susanne-Klein-Vogelbach International Award for Human Movement Research, American Society for Neurorehabilitation Outstanding Clinician Scientist Award, NIH NINDS Javits Award, NIH NINDS Research Program Award R35. 

Click here for list of previous Anne Shumway Cook recipients


Leahy & Barnes Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) Awards

Patricia Leahy Award for outstanding PODS I application in post-professional studies within neurology:

Wesley Thornton, PT, DPT * from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Project Title: "Midsagittal tissue bridges and functional mobility prognosis in individuals with traumatic spinal cord injury".

Wesley Thornton, PT, DPT, NCS, is a 3rd year Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student and member of the SCI Imaging Research Laboratory at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Wesley’s research interests are in neurological disorders with a focus on spinal cord injury and functional recovery prognosis. He graduated with honors from Regis University’s DPT program in 2014. That same year, Wesley was also a recipient of the APTA’s Minority Scholarship Award. He has been board certified as a clinical specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy for over 6 years and has presented multiple lectures both locally and nationally on the optimization of rehabilitation for patients with spinal cord and/or traumatic brain injuries throughout the continuum of care. Wesley is a practicing physical therapist at Craig Hospital, a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, and the newest member of the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy's Spinal Cord Injury SIG Nominating Committee.

* Wesley Thornton is a Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist


Mary Lou Barnes Award for outstanding PODS II application in post professional studies within neurology:

Ellen Sutter, DPT from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Project Title: "Neuroimaging and Movement Assessment in Early Detection of Cerebral Palsy.”

Dr. Ellen Sutter, PT, DPT is a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota pursuing a DPT/PhD dual degree program. She received her DPT and obtained physical therapy licensure in 2020, and is currently performing her dissertation research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Pediatric Neuromodulation Lab with her advisor Dr. Bernadette Gillick. Her dissertation research incorporates advanced brain imaging techniques to investigate neural correlates of atypical general movements in infants with early brain injury, as well as clinical data analysis to explore implementation and outcomes of early assessment tools for cerebral palsy. She is honored to be the 2023 recipient of the Mary Lou Barnes Award for her project "Neuroimaging and Movement Assessment in Early Detection of Cerebral Palsy".


PODS I Award:

Morgan Lee Kelly, DPT from the University of Southern California

Project Title: “The Impact of Post-Stroke Cognitive Impairment & Apathy on Walking."

Morgan Kelly has completed a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Dance at Duke University, a Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Columbia University, and an acute care residency at the University of Washington. She has been a licensed physical therapist since 2018, and is passionate about translational research and teaching basic science to rehabilitation students. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern California where she studies the impact of post-stroke cognitive impairment and post-stroke apathy on gait rehabilitation.

Click here for a list of previous Barnes and Leahy Promotion of Doctoral Studies Awardees


Click here for a list of Academy members who are APTA Award Recipients


Client Logo
Client Logo
Client Logo
Client Logo
Client Logo
Client Logo
Client Logo
Client Logo