Visit the Synapse 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. The 2022 nominations are closed.
  • 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.

2021 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

No nominations for 2021.        

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

Excellence in Neurologic Education

Beth Crowner, PT, DPT, MPPA *
Dr. Beth Crowner is the recipient of the Excellence in Neurologic Education Award for 2021. As many of you know, Dr. Crowner was the founder of the Director of Practice role as part of the ANPT Board of Directors.    Additionally, Dr. Crowner has played a significant role in ANPT Knowledge Translation Task Forces.  In her roles at the Washington University in St. Louis and the ANPT, she has had a substantial impact on the education and training of physical therapy students, clinicians, and educators nationally and internationally and we congratulate her on this achievement.

Dr. Crowner is a Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist.

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


Excellence in Neurologic Research

Sandra Billinger, PT, PhD

Dr. Sandra Billinger is a well-known researcher in the stroke world with her focus lying in  cardiovascular physiology, brain aging, and stroke recovery. Her accomplishments include a seminal work detailing guidelines for physical activity and exercise recommendations for stroke survivors and a submaximal exercise outcome measure with use of a recumbent stepper. It is for the breadth of her work ranging from basic science to translational research and her collaborative approach with not only therapists and but other healthcare professionals in the stroke world that we wholeheartedly support her for this award.

Click here for a list of previous Excellence in Research Awardees


PT Clinical Excellence in Neurology

Sara Crandall, PT, DPT*

Dr. Sara Crandall is well deserving of the award for Physical Therapy Clinical Excellence as evidenced by her contribution to the overall development of physical therapy as a caring and scientific profession through continuing education, program development, and mentorship.  Dr. Crandall is well known in the ANPT through her work with the Degenerative Disease SIG. Let’s all congratulate Dr. Crandall on this accomplishment. 

*Dr. Crandall 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

No nominations received for 2021. 

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


Outstanding Advocacy in Neurology

No new nominations for 2021. 

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


Early Career Award

  Alyssa Jones, PT, DPT
  Olivia Berry, PT, DPT
  Carolyn Skyes, PT, DPT

Alyssa Jones, PT, DPT
Since graduation, Alyssa has made a plethora of contributions to the profession as a researcher, role model, and clinician. For example, she is the leader of Battery of Rehabilitation Assessments and Interventions (BRAIN) committee stroke group that coordinates the development of clinical summaries on evidence-based interventions and outcome measures to optimize patient recovery. Congrats, Alyssa!

Olivia Berry, PT, DPT
Olivia is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she transitioned into a neurologic residency at Orlando Health immediately after. Through her time as a student and recent graduate, she has participated in disseminating knowledge through presentations and lectures, engagement in our profession, and continuing to develop herself as a clinician. Congrats, Olivia!

Carolyn Skyes, PT, DPT
Carolyn is described by her colleagues as motivated, driven, passionate, and empathetic. Through her career, she has made contributions in research, community development, and education to further how we and future students practice. Carolyn is currently in a fellowship for concussion management. Congrats, Carolyn!

Click here for a list of prior Early Career Award recipients

SIG Service Award

To acknowledge a member of a particular SIG who goes above and beyond through volunteer contributions to the SIG and its efforts. This award was first given out in 2021.

  • Assistive Technology Seated/Wheeled Mobility: Lauran Cohen, PT, PhD
  • Balance and Falls: Julie Schwertfeger, Pt, DPT, PhD, MBA, CBIST
  • Brain Injury: Mary Beth Osborne, PT, DPT
  • Degenerative Diseases: Elizabeth Yates, Horton, PT, DPT
  • Spinal Cord Injury: Rachel Tappan, PT, DPT
  • Stroke: Meaghan Costello, PT, DPT
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation: Lisa Heusel-Gillig, PT, DPT

SIG Research Award

This NEW award is to recognize a member of each SIG who has demonstrated exemplary contributions to the body of research representative of the population the SIG serves.

CSM Abstract - Early Career Scientist Award

For the criteria for this NEW award click here.  

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. 

  Richard K. Shields, PT, PhD, FAPTA Physiology, Genes, and Lifestyle: Decade of Disruption in Rehabilitation After SCI

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:

  • Ellen Sutter, PT, DPT. University of Minnesota. Project Title: Impact of Early Rehabilitation Intervention on Neurophysiological Development in Infants with Perinatal Stroke     Mentor:Bernadette Gillick, PT, PhD, MSPT

Ellen Sutter, PT, DPT has been pursuing a DPT/PhD joint degree program at the University of Minnesota since 2017. She completed her DPT degree in May 2020 and is continuing the PhD portion of the program in the lab of Dr. Bernadette Gillick. Her research is focused on early brain development in infants with perinatal stroke at risk for developing cerebral palsy. She plans to use tools including neuroimaging, non-invasive brain stimulation, and movement assessments to investigate biomarkers which could predict prognosis for motor development or response to early intervention. Ellen has been the recipient of multiple awards while at the University of Minnesota, including the Minnesota Physical Therapy Association Outstanding Physical Therapy Student Award, the Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, the Rudolph Ptak Fellowship, and the Children with Disabilities Endowment Award. She has multiple co-author and first-author publications and has presented at local, national, and international conferences. She is honored to be the 2020 recipient of the Patricia Leahy Award.

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

  • Rachel Bican, PT, DPT The Ohio State University. Project Title: High Intensity Rehabilitation to Improve Postural Performance in Children with Mild-to Moderate Cerebral Palsy(The HAPPY Study) Mentor: Jill C. Heathcock, PT, PhD

Rachel Bican is a developmental pediatric physical therapist, a PhD candidate in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The Ohio State University, and the Developmental Physical Therapy Research Coordinator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Her dissertation research focuses on factors that contribute to severity of cerebral palsy and rehabilitation approaches to improve motor function for this population. She hopes to expand upon this research to address health equity for children and with developmental motor delays to improve access to care and quality of life for these children and their families.


In addition to the Barnes and Leahy Awards, in 2020 the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy funded an additional PODS II Award through the Foundation for Physical Therapy Neurology Endowment Fund:

  • Alison Miller, PT, DPT. University of Delaware. Project Title: Physical Activity Post Stroke and Rehabilitation Clinical Trials Mentor: Darcy S. Reisman, PT, PhD

Allison Miller, PT, DPT, Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist is a physical therapist and PhD student with Dr. Darcy Reisman in the Biomechanics and Movement Science Program at the University of Delaware. Allison completed her DPT training at the University of Connecticut in 2013 and went on to complete the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation Residency in Neurologic Physical Therapy in 2016. Allison's PhD work focuses on understanding factors that affect daily walking activity in individuals with stroke. Allison's research uses step activity monitors to understand the walking patterns and activity levels in individuals with stroke in the real-world setting. After completing her PhD training in 2022, Allison intends to pursue post-doctoral training to continue to develop her research aimed at improving activity levels in individuals with stroke. Allison is honored to be a recipient of a Foundation for Physical Therapy Research PODS I Scholarship supported by the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy.


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