Celebrating 75 Years
Working together to work wonders by educating tomorrow’s healers through groundbreaking research and excellent patient care.
$75,000 for 75 Years
The Physical Therapy "75 for 75" is an initiative to raise $75,000 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the opening of the first PT program in Texas. The intent of the fundraiser is to establish an endowed scholarship for students ($10,000), a Greatest Needs endowment ($10,000) for future PT program needs and a Greatest Needs Current Use ($55,000) fund for immediate needs of the department.
Alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the program can give to their specific area of interest. The funds generated will be spent to continue the advancement of the program, its students and faculty.Donate Today!
Our Greatest Needs
Download: Donation Forms (pdf)
Examples of how Greatest Needs Current Use would be spent include the following:
- Treatment tables for St. Vincent’s Physical Therapy pro bono clinic
- Equipment for labs
- Updated technology in classrooms
- Camera system in the labs
- State-of-the-art technology upgrades in labs
- Teaching/learning software
- New faculty development
Examples of how Greatest Needs endowment would be used include the following:
- Research space development
- Research equipment
- Teaching lab space renovations
For Questions or More Information
Assistant Vice President
Alumni Relations & Annual Giving
Calling All Physical Therapy Alumni!
Transformational Moments in the Disability Movement
June 12, 2018
Guest speaker Lex Frieden is one of the architects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Anyone who works in healthcare can benefit from the history of the ADA and the challenges that lie ahead. This learning event was sponsored by the Sealy Center on Aging, the Ability Resource Group and the Office of the Dean.
Download: Event Information (pdf)
Message from the Department Chair
Dear PT Alumni, students, and friends of the program,
The year 2018 is a year of celebration here at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). 2018 marks 50 years as a School of Health Professions and 75 years as a Physical Therapy (PT) program. Our PT program has a long history and tradition. The following information provides some historical perspective, where we are, and where we want to go.
The first formal training for physical therapists in the southwest began at UTMB. In May 1943, Eggers and Billie Louise Cook, Chief Physical Therapist at UTMB John Sealy Hospital, established an official certificate program in physical therapy. A grand total of 53 graduates received their PT certification during the first 10 years of the program. Ruby Decker was a guiding force in those early years and served as director from 1945 through 1963. In 1951, the original certificate program transitioned to a baccalaureate degree for students who had three years of undergraduate studies and one year of PT studies.
Physical therapy was originally under the auspices of the UTMB medical school. But, when the School of Allied Health Sciences (now School of Health Professions) opened in 1968, four programs were included in the school: occupational therapy, medical technology, and medical record administration. Collectively, it was the first such school in Texas, and the southwest. With the transition to the new school, Jeanne Schenck became the first SHP PT department chair (1968-1976), followed by Eugene Rembe (1976), Dr. Betty Landen (1978-1989), Dr. Claire Peel (1989-1995), Dr. Kurt Mossberg (1996-2001), Dr. Marty Hinman (interim 2001-2002), Dr. Elizabeth Protas (2002-2006), and Dr. Carolyn Utsey (interim 2006-08, chair 2008-present).
The physical therapy degree has changed considerably over the last three quarters of a century. These changes reflect the broadening scope of PT practice, advances in education technology, and the growing stature and recognition of the physical therapist in healthcare. In 1995, we graduated our first Master of Physical Therapy students. And, in 2011 our first Doctors of Physical Therapy. Most recently, through grants from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, a Bridge Physical Therapist Assistant to Doctor of Physical Therapy program graduated its inaugural class in 2017. This is the only such program in Texas and the second in the nation.
The Physical Therapy program has a proud legacy of research, service, and education. For a glimpse of these activities, I encourage you to look at the curriculum vitae for faculty in our department and see the magnitude and scope of these activities.
In considering all that the PT program has accomplished throughout the past 75 years, the most valuable accomplishments have been the contributions that our graduates have made to the health of Texas and beyond. We are proud of our alumni and we intend to continue the rich tradition of fulfilling our mission "To advance the practice of physical therapy by generating knowledge and educating students to become health care practitioners of choice for optimizing society’s movement, health and wellness."
Thank you for your continued support of UTMB’s Physical Therapy program and for the contributions you will make to our “75 for 75” fundraising. Your contributions will advance our quest to provide quality education, research and service to the school, university, profession and society.
Carolyn Utsey, PT, PhD
Chair and Professor, Physical Therapy