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History of the IPTA

The Formation of the IPTA

Physical therapists formed the first professional association in 1921, called the American Women's Physical Therapeutic Association. Led by President Mary McMillan, an executive committee of elected officers governed the Association, which included 274 charter members. By the end of the 1930s, the Association changed its name to the American Physiotherapy Association. Men were admitted, and membership grew to just under 1,000.

With the advent of World War II and a nationwide polio epidemic during the 1940s and 1950s, physical therapists were in greater demand than ever before. The Association's membership swelled to 8,000, and the number of physical therapy education programs across the US increased from 16 to 39.

By the late 1940s, the Association had changed its name to the American Physical Therapy Association, hired a full-time staff, and opened its first office in New York City. A House of Delegates representing chapter members was established to set APTA policies. The House elected a Board of Directors, previously the Executive Committee, to manage the Association. In addition, Sections were created to promote and develop specific objectives of the profession. The first two Sections were the School and Private Practice sections.

In 1948, the Illinois Chapter of the APTA was recognized as one of the largest of the 45 state chapters then organized. The member directory listed 134 members.The IPTA was officially incorporated in the state of Illinois in February, 1951, following the acceptance of its bylaws by the APTA.

Since then, IPTA has counted thousands of physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students among its membership. Many members have distinguished themselves with exemplary service. Those serving as officers have given much of their valuable time, providing leadership and guidance crucial to the development of the association. Still others have been recognized and awarded by the association for their consistent efforts, whether as clinicians, educators or leaders, toward the betterment of the practice and recognition of physical therapy. The mission and goals that we continue to identify today would be unreachable without the past accomplishments of these individuals. 


IPTA Past Presidents

1948 Dorothy Stultz, PT 2001 - 2004
Barbara Sullivan, PT, MBA
1949 - 1950
Viola Bryson, PT
2005 - 2009
Peter McMenamin, PT, MS, OCS
1951 - 1952 Jean Roland, PT
2010 - 2012
Sandra Levi, PT, PhD
1953 - 1955
Miriam Partridge, PT
2013 - 2015
Mary Keehn, PT, DPT, MHPE
1955 - 1956
Beatrice Marks, PT 2016 - 2021
Mike Riley, PT 
Virginia Daniel, PT
1958 - 1959
Louis Cotovsky, PT
1960 - 1961
Hildegard Myers, PT
1962 - 1963
Minne Hildebrand, PT
1964 - 1965
Richard Kemp, PT
1966 - 1967
Jim Roodhouse, PT 
1968 - 1971
Bette Horstman, PT

1972 - 1974
Bill Dohse, PT
1975 - 1976
Sally Edelsberg, PT
1977 - 1978
George Wolff, PT
1979 - 1982
Donald E. Jackson, PT, MS
1983 - 1984
Robert Babbs, PT, MPA, FAAPT 
1985 - 1986
Judy Anderson, PT
1987 - 1990
Susan Suria, PT 
1991 - 1992
Mary Jane Harris, PT, MS, DSc (Hon)
1993 - 1996
Babette Sanders, PT, DPT, MS, FAPTA
1997 - 2000
Richard Rausch, PT, MBA

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Career Center

Proud Partners of the IPTA

  • Athletico
  • ATI
  • DuPage Medical Group
  • Entropy
  • PTS Inc
  • Catalyst
  • Spotter
  • MAPS
  • HomeCEU
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