Dr. Deborah Ingram was presented with the Catherine Worthingham Fellow award by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) on June 27 in Salt Lake City. It is the highest honor that the APTA bestows.
Catherine Worthingham was an agent of change who was effective, respectful, honest and motivated others to make an impact within the physical therapy profession. She was also a visionary who demonstrated leadership across domains of advocacy, education, practice, and research. The purpose of this designation is to honor Worthingham and inspire others to rise to the high level of accomplishment she achieved.
“This has been a very humbling experience. I can look back with tremendous gratitude that I was able to pursue my dream of being able to help people whose lives were forever changed by disability and disease,” says Ingram.
Ingram has been a physical therapist for nearly 35 years and has been a faculty member of the UTC Department of Physical Therapy for 23. She is the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education and a UC Foundations Professor. She has written 14 peer reviewed publications, made numerous presentations, has received funding for 15 intra-university grants, 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.
Ingram decided to become a physical therapist at the age of 13. Her grandmother had rheumatoid arthritis and Ingram watched as she labored through her daily activities.
“I was thirteen when I decided to become a physical therapist. I took all the courses necessary when I was in college. Then not only was I denied admission to a PT program the first year I applied, but the letter suggested I consider another major. I’m so grateful that I was admitted to a PT program the second year I applied, and I am forever grateful that for going on 35 years I have been able to practice in this wonderful profession. There has never been a day I regretted my decision.”