UTC Physical Therapy Professor To Receive National Honor

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dr. Debbie Ingram will be honored on June 27 at the American Physical Therapy Association Conference 2013 in Salt Lake City.  She will be named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow, “the highest honor among the American Physical Therapy Association’s membership categories.” 

APTA is “an individual membership professional organization representing more than 85,000 member physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students.”

Dr. Debbie Ingram, UC Foundation professor and academic coordinator of Clinical Education, is a faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy at UTC. She has written 14 peer reviewed publications, made numerous presentations, and collaborated on writing and managing a three-year, $823,000 Health Careers Opportunity Program grant from the Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration.

In 1979, Dr. Ingram was a physical therapy student at Georgia State University where she met Dr. J. Randy Walker, a physical therapy professor.  Dr. Walker later joined the PT faculty at UTC and hired Dr. Ingram in 1990.

In a letter of support, Dr. Walker, UC Foundation professor and head of the Department of Physical Therapy, explained, “Debbie quickly established herself as a competent and highly respected clinical education manager, both in our community and nationally.”

Dr. Walker and Dr. Thomas Mohr, Chester Fritz distinguished professor and chair, Department of Physical Therapy, University of North Dakota, wrote in their nomination letter that Dr. Ingram “helped develop the APTA Instruments that are used by the majority of physical therapy education programs to assess students’ perceptions of the clinical experience, specifically the quality of the clinical learning experience at the clinic sites and the supervision provided by the clinical instructor.”

A strong advocate in the physical therapy profession, Dr. Ingram serves on the APTA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee.  She served as the Education Section’s Federal Government Affairs liaison for a decade.

Following her election as national president of the 335,000-member University of Tennessee Alumni Association, UT administrators called upon Dr. Ingram to “represent the university at legislative hearings regarding education issues,” according to Dr. Mohr and Dr. Walker’s nomination letter.

“Debbie has established herself as an outstanding educator, scholar, practitioner and advocate for the profession," said Dr. Walker.  "She has received a number of awards, including outstanding service awards from The Tennessee Physical Therapy Association, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy and The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  She exhibits the characteristics of Dr. Worthingham on a daily basis.  Debbie is most deserving of this recognition by the physical therapy profession and I am very excited and pleased she will receive this honor in June."

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