WCPT awards programme

The WCPT awards programme recognises outstanding contributions by physical therapists to the profession and/or global health at an international level.  There are several categories of award, all presented every four years.  The last awards were presented in Geneva at the time of the WCPT General Meetings and Congress in 2019.

An awards committee was established, made up of physical therapists from each of WCPT's regions.  George Chigali (Zambia), Ibtissam M Saab (Lebanon), Judy King (Canada), Oscar Ronzio (Argentina), Shirley Ngai (Hong Kong) and chaired by WCPT Vice President, Margot Skinner.

Mildred Elson Award

Mildred Elson was the founding President of WCPT (1953 - 1956) and a driving force in establishing the Confederation. She believed strongly in the benefits of physical therapists working together nationally and globally. At the second General Meeting she said that the future depended on every single physical therapist working with their patients, professional associations, professional colleagues and private individuals towards a common goal – “the recovery of the patient, physically, socially and economically”.

The Mildred Elson Award is the highest honour that WCPT can bestow. It is for outstanding leadership contributing significantly to the development of physical therapy internationally. It was established in 1987 with funds donated by the American Physical Therapy Association and only one Mildred Elson Award is given at the time of each WCPT General Meeting.

Mildred Elson, the first President of WCPT was also the first recipient of the award:

1987: Mildred Elson - Inaugural President, WCPT 1953-1956
1991: Elizabeth McKay - Secretary General of WCPT 1970-1986
1995: Geoffrey Maitland - clinician, teacher and author
1999: Joan Walker - educator, researcher
2003: Marilyn Moffat - educator, clinician, author, WCPT President 2007-2015
2007: Jules Rothstein - researcher, writer, educator
2011: Stanley Paris - author, clinician, teacher
2015: Kari Bø - clinician, researcher, teacher
2019: Anne Moseley - clinician, teacher, researcher

View details of the 2019 recipient for the Mildred Elson Award.

Nominations must be submitted by WCPT member organisations. Nominees must be members of a WCPT member organisation and they cannot be a member of the current WCPT Executive Board.

In the event a nomination is unsuccessful, the Awards Committee may contact the member organisation to determine if they wish the individual to be considered for another award.

International Service Award

Awards for international service are to honour individuals who have made a significant contribution to physical therapy internationally and/or within their region.

The nominees will have demonstrated leadership, made distinguished contributions and/or had a high impact on the profession at an international or regional level through service in one or more of the following areas: practice; education; research; management/administration; advocacy

More than one award may be given at the time of each WCPT General Meeting.

View details of the 2019 recipients of the International Service Awards.

Nominations are accepted from member organisations, regions and subgroups. All nominations should indicate the area in which the majority of the nominee’s work has taken place.

Humanitarian Service Award

This award is to recognise individual physical therapists who have improved people’s lives through their exceptional care, compassion, dedication and personal commitment.

Previous recipients of this award, Alberto Cairo in 2007, Ann Schmidt in 2011, Diana Hiscock in 2015 and Lorena Enebral Pérez and Daniel Wappenstein Geller in 2019 epitomised this extraordinary level of dedication.

View details of the 2019 recipients of the Humanitarian Service Award.

Normally only one Humanitarian Service Award is given at the time of each General Meeting.

Nominations are accepted from member organisations, regions and subgroups. Nominees for this award may have carried out their work at a national or international level and their work may take place in one of a variety of sectors for example non-governmental or humanitarian organisations. Nominees may have made their contribution as an employee or volunteer.

Leadership in Rehabilitation Award

This award is to recognise an individual or group/organisation that has made an exceptional contribution to international rehabilitation and/or global health. The individual or group nominated do not need to be physical therapists and may have made a significant contribution in areas such as:

  • leading rehabilitation programmes in eg disaster areas, war-affected zones, areas of humanitarian need
  • ensuring that populations have adequate access to rehabilitation services through direct service delivery or advocacy and awareness raising initiatives
  • initiating new rehabilitation education and/or research programmes.

View details of the 2019 recipient of the Leadership in Rehabilitation Award.

Only one Leadership in Rehabilitation Award may be given at the time of each WCPT General Meeting.

Nominations may be submitted by member organisations, regions, subgroups and a member of the WCPT Executive Board.

Recognition of Service to WCPT Award

In addition to awards through nomination, WCPT recognises individuals who have contributed to WCPT as chairs of regions and subgroups and through membership of committees.

Recognition of Service Awards are determined by the WCPT Executive Board and are not open to nomination.

Nominations for all awards other than those for recognition of service, are received and reviewed by the WCPT Awards Committee and recommendations made to the WCPT Executive Board.