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Deborah Givens, director of the Division of Physical Therapy in the Department of Allied Health Sciences (DAHS), has been named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

The Catherine Worthingham Fellow is APTA’s highest membership category and serves as inspiration for all physical therapists to attain professional excellence. This honor is eligible to APTA physical therapist members who have, “demonstrated unwavering efforts to advance the physical therapy profession for more than 15 years.”

Givens became the UNC division director in 2015 and previously led the physical therapy programs at Creighton University and Ohio State University. 

She taught in PT programs for over 30 years and has been recognized for her contributions to the profession with honors since 2002. Givens’ excellence in education was illustrated through her work in developing centralized models for Residency Administration and Curricular Common Core Modules. She is credited for 29 peer-reviewed publications since 2021.

“I cannot express how proud I am of Dr. Givens for receiving this national recognition,” shared Dr. Stephen Hooper, Associate Dean of Medicine and Chair of the Department.

“Being a Catherine Worthingham Fellow is one of the highest honors in the field of Physical Therapy and showcases the excellence of our Physical Therapy Division at the national level. Dr. Givens works tirelessly for the Division, the Department, and her professional organization, and this is truly deserved. I am excited for her to receive this recognition,” said Hooper.

“UNC has a long history of excellence in their faculty and directors,” said Givens. She is the third director of the UNC division to receive this honor. 

Givens will be honored at the APTA Centennial Celebration Weekend held in Washington, DC on Sept. 10-14, 2021.


Deborah Givens, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA is a professor in the division and joined the department in 2015. She is a Dr. Margaret Lee Moore Distinguished Professor in Physical Therapy. 

The division is one of seven housed in the Department of Allied Health Sciences in the UNC School of Medicine. Ranked #9 by U.S. News and World Report, the physical therapy program is among the best in the country.

-Lizzy Laufters, public relations and communications intern