Dr. Michael Emery Named 2007 Catherine Worthingham Fellow

News Story: April 30, 2007

Dr. Michael Emery, associate professor and director of Physical Therapy at Sacred Heart University, has been selected as a 2007 Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the most prestigious recognition granted by the organization. Emery, aMilford resident, will be officially bestowed the honor at a ceremony inDenveron June 29, as part of the association’s annual national conference.

“Just being nominated was itself a compliment—it was a real tribute and a very supportive gesture,” Emery said. “And to be selected for the Worthingham fellowship category was a real honor professionally, and very much appreciated.”

Fewer than 100 of the association’s 65,000 members serve as Worthingham fellows. “The fellowship category was established in 1980, so there’s a relatively small group of people in the profession that have been recognized,” Emery said. “To be selected for this makes me feel very appreciative of the years I’ve practiced in physical therapy and of the opportunities that I’ve had in my professional career, a large part of which has come through my time at Sacred Heart.”

According to Emery, the fellows of the association meet annually to provide comment to the APTA’s board of directors on a variety of issues within the field.

The fellowship is named for Catherine Worthingham, who served on the APTA’s board intermittently from 1932 to 1965, was APTA president from 1940 to ’44, and was the first physical therapist to earn a doctoral degree. Worthingham passed away in 1997.

According to APTA literature, the fellowship was established “to recognize those persons whose work, like the distinguished woman honored in this action, has resulted in lasting and significant advances in the science, education, and practice of the profession of physical therapy.”