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Karen McCulloch, PT, PhD, FAPTA, and professor in the Division of Physical Therapy, will be honored as a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) at the PT NEXT conference in June 2019. The award is the association’s highest honor.

Karen McCulloch, PT, PhD, NCS
Karen McCulloch, PT, PhD, NCS

McCulloch is board certified and recognized as a national expert in neurologic physical therapy. Her current focus has been on mild traumatic brain injury in both civilian and military populations. She has developed performance-based measures for therapists to use to aid in decision making for active duty service members who intend to return to military service. Her research is currently funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

In her nomination, Deborah L. Givens, PT, PhD, DPT and the director of the division, said McCulloch exemplified the essence of this award because of her contributions and influence to education, research, and advocacy. The nomination highlighted her development and implementation of innovative professional and post-professional physical therapy education methods and courses, all of which have promoted growth and advancement of the profession.

McCulloch has been a member of the UNC School of Medicine faculty since 1993. She teaches neurorehabilitation courses in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program and mentors PhD students in the interdisciplinary Human Movement Science Curriculum (HMSC) PhD program. She is currently the director of the Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency and the assistant director for Distance and Continuing Education.

“Dr. McCulloch is an amazing educator and researcher. She is a pioneer in the practice of neurorehabilitation for individuals traumatic brain injury and her work in this area is considered groundbreaking,” Givens said.

The division is in the Department of Allied Health Sciences.

About Dr. Catherine Worthingham:

Catherine Worthingham, PhD and APTA Fellow, was a change agent who was effective, respectful, and honest. She motivated others to make an impact within the physical therapy profession. She was also a visionary who demonstrated leadership across the domains of advocacy, education, practice, and research. The fellow designation is to honor Worthingham and inspire all physical therapists to attain the high level of professional excellence and impact in terms of advancing the profession she exemplified.