The Mildred Elson Award, WCPT’s highest honour, has been presented to Stanley Paris. Now President of the University of St Augustine for Health Sciences, Stanley Paris has been a driving force in the physical therapy profession across the world.
From New Zealand, where he earned his physical therapist entry-level qualification in the 1950s, to the United States of America where he currently lives and works, Stanley Paris has influenced the world of physical therapy through his writing, teaching, clinical practice, and advocacy efforts.
“His work has truly furthered the development of the physical therapy profession,” said WCPT President Marilyn Moffat presenting him with the award, which honours sustained and continuous leadership over a career and a significant contribution to the development of physical therapy at an international level.
Receiving the award at the WCPT 60th anniversary Gala Dinner, Stanley Paris drew warm applause for his words. “What I’ve learned over the years,” he said, “is that the gap between nations in terms of practice standards is narrowing. WCPT has helped place the international community of physical therapy on a more level platform.”
The profession, he said, was under-appreciated, and what was needed was more research showing the long-term outcomes of physical therapy interventions – research that depended on the profession gaining full autonomy. “I’m convinced that with our increasing emphasis on wellness, physical therapy is equal or better than medical and surgical care.”
“The future of our profession is very bright,” he said.
Stanley Paris was the founding Chairman of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists, IFOMPT, and also its second President. He was the founder and President of the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. He founded the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy.
“Over his career, Stanley has been as energetic in the pursuit of excellence as he has in his own many physical activities and adventures,” said Marilyn Moffat.