Tara Jo Manal has received the Lucy Blair Service Award from the American Physical Therapy Association.

Physical therapy honors

Manal wins American Physical Therapy Association's Lucy Blair Award


8:32 a.m., July 18, 2013--Tara Jo Manal, director of clinical services and residency training in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware, has received the Lucy Blair Service Award from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). She was honored at the APTA Conference and Exposition held in Salt Lake City, Utah, from June 26-29.

The award honors members who have made exceptional contributions to the association. Blair, who died in 1985, was known for qualities such as having unswerving dedication, self-sacrifice without limit, an infectious enthusiasm, strong personal and professional values, a sharp wit and sense of humor, and a genuine interest and concern for every individual she met.

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Kelly Daley, clinical analyst and director of clinical education and residencies at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, says, “I echo the sentiments of many colleagues that this is also an apt description of Tara Jo Manal’s qualities and wide area of influence.”

In her letter of support for Manal’s nomination, Daley wrote: “Tara Jo Manal has a tireless enthusiasm for the benefits of physical therapy residency. At the University of Delaware, she oversees highly successful residencies in orthopedics, sports, geriatrics, and neurology. Because of her, the Johns Hopkins Hospital now operates a neurology physical therapy residency and has subsequently developed several additional residencies.”

Lynn Snyder-Mackler, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Physical Therapy, refers to Manal as “the very model of a modern clinician-educator.”

“Tara contributes to clinical practice, research, and the profession in tangible ways, most notably in her stewardship of the University of Delaware Physical Therapy Clinics as the premier clinical practice and ‘laboratory’ for NIH-funded PT research in the country,” she says. “She promulgates best practice via her own publications and presentations. I can’t think of a better candidate for a Lucy Blair Service Award. She is a credit to our University, our community and our profession.”

Manal is a member of APTA’s Research, Orthopaedic, and Sports Physical Therapy sections and has held several offices within the organization, including co-chair of the PTNow.org editorial board and site reviewer for the Committee on Clinical Residency and Fellowship Program Credentialing.

Manal was the recipient of the APTA Sports Physical Therapy Section’s Academic Education Award in 2005. The APTA Orthopaedic Section awarded her the James A. Gould Excellence in Teaching Orthopedic Physical Therapy Award in 2006. She also received APTA’s Signe Brunnström Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching in 2007.

Article by Diane Kukich

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