Dr. Rita Wong, PT, EdD, FAPTA, chair of Marymount University’s Department of Physical Therapy, was recently selected to be a Catherine Worthingham Fellow by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
The Catherine Worthingham Fellow designation is the highest honor among APTA’s membership categories, awarded to a select few annually. To achieve this honor, a FAPTA member must demonstrate sustained contributions to the advancement of the profession across the domains of advocacy, education, practice, and research.
Dr. Wong has an outstanding record of leadership and accomplishments in advancing physical therapy practice and education, particularly in the areas of geriatrics and scholarship.
Speaking at a reception honoring Dr. Wong, Dr. Theresa (Tess) Capello, dean of Marymount’s Malek School of Health Professions, remarked, “Dr. Wong came to Marymount in 1995 and single-handedly developed the Physical Therapy program, the first problem-based curriculum at the University. She guided its changes from a master’s to a doctoral level, while continuing her research and publishing the seminal text in geriatric physical therapy [co-editor, Geriatric Physical Therapy]… She truly deserves to be a Catherine Worthingham Fellow.”
Dr. Matthew D. Shank, president of Marymount, congratulated Dr. Wong on the recognition, stating, “It puts her in the Hall of Fame in the PT profession.” He noted that as the new president of the University, he has been impressed by the PT program and knows that “Dr. Wong will continue to lead and grow this great program.”
Marymount’s PT faculty also recognized her vision and leadership in the profession with the establishment of the Rita A. Wong Scholarship, which will be awarded to a PT student with demonstrated financial need.
In remarks following the announcement of the scholarship, Dr. Wong said, “I’m truly honored to have been selected as a Catherine Worthingham Fellow and to have this scholarship set up in my name. The scholarship is a wonderful way for my colleagues, my students, and friends to continue to advance excellence in PT. I feel very blessed.”
Dr. Wong will be officially recognized as a Catherine Worthingham Fellow at the June APTA meeting in Tampa, FL.
1. Dr. Rita Wong
2. Dr. Wong with Doctor of Physical Therapy students. L to R: Landa Fentnor, president Class of 2013; Dr. Wong; Brett Jackson, president, Class of 2012; Jessica Zink, president, Class of 2014