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Task Force Representation and Service


ACAPT was created to represent the voice of academic and clinical institutions.  Current bylaws recognize individual memberships and within those, only identify core faculty and clinical affiliates.  Thus, there are stakeholders within physical therapist education that may fall outside of the scope of membership or service eligibility, thereby limiting ACAPT’s ability to truly represent the academic enterprise.


The task force will use a comprehensive, open process to explore the relationship that ACAPT should consider with each stakeholder, whether by group or individual, within academic physical therapy.

Work by this task force will shape how stakeholders engage with, represent, and direct the future of ACAPT. These activities are in alignment with ACAPT’s strategic plan objectives that include creating a unified voice of all relevant stakeholders for academic physical therapy.


The task force will:

  1. Investigate the current structure of ACAPT and outline the current benefits and limitations for each of the stakeholder groups in academic physical therapy.
  2. Engage stakeholders of academic physical therapy to obtain their experiences, insights and proposed solutions.
  3. Secure feedback through processes such as focus group meetings and surveys.
  4. Research other organizations that have a similar structure to determine how they engage their stakeholder groups.
  5. Utilize the information and/or data gained to develop recommendations.
  6. Identify mechanisms for stakeholders to have invested participation beyond the institutions designated representative and what that may entail (e.g., developing or responding to motions, voting, serving on the Board or leadership groups of ACAPT, etc.) and the range of impact on the institution and/or culture of ACAPT.
  7. Propose a governing structure and resources to ensure sustainability.
  8. Recommend the eligibility factors for participation.
  9. Provide the suggested membership structure, if applicable. 
  10. Specify the suggested representation for each program, including rights and responsibilities.


The task force will be made up of the following:

  1. One Chair whose primary responsibilities shall be:
    • Meeting with the designated Board and staff liaison on a quarterly basis.
    • Providing reports during those meetings on the progress of the task force.
    • Ensuring objectives of the task force are being met within the timeline identified.
  2. One Vice Chair who will serve as the secretary of the task force whose responsibilities include polling for meetings, developing the agenda with the Chair, circulating minutes.

  3. At least one person will be a PT program chair and or program director
  4. At least one person will be a DCE
  5. At least one person will be a CI or SCCE
  6. At least one person will be a recent graduate who graduated within the past three years 
  7. At least one person will be an adjunct faculty member
  8. Total composition shall not exceed 7 people
  9. A majority of the members of the task force will be ACAPT members.

Guiding principles

The composition of the task force should meet the following criteria:

  1. Involve input from multiple stakeholders in academic physical therapy and not the proprietary interests of one practice area segment, institution, clinic, or other organization.
  2. Ability to commit to one-year of active and engaged service on the task force.
  3. Affirmation that you have no conflict of interest by serving on the task force and will act in the best interests of ACAPT and those stakeholders impacted by the work and recommendations of the task force.
  4. Commitment to enter into this work from a neutral perspective, setting aside any preconceived positions or opinions, and open-mindedly consider everyone else’s opinions and concerns
  5. Willingness to provide contributions to the task force work that may include research, writing, meeting with others, etc.
  6. Pledge to actively listen, approach discussions with curiosity, openly ask questions to honestly seek clarification and understanding, speak with respect.
  7. Vow to maintain the confidentiality of all privileged or sensitive discussions and information, as well as the privacy rights of individuals participating in the task force or engaged by the task force.
  8. Endeavor to work toward a positive impact for all parties involved.
  9. Adoption of any recommendations for the Board of Directors requires a majority vote of the task force members.


  • Chair: Diane Heislein, PT, DPT, MS - Boston University, Program Director and Clinical Associate Professor, Physical Therapy
  • Vice Chair: Jill Horbacewicz, PT, PhD, MA - Touro University, Department Chair
  • Emily Moon, PT, DPT - University of Southern California/Harbor Physical Therapy, Physical Therapist
  • Ruth Hanson, PT, DPT, PhD, MS - Mercy College, Associate Professor, Director of Clinical Education
  • Sarah Fultz, MPT - Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation, Program Manager of OT-PT Services Lerner/Autism 
  • Simon Hargus, PT, DPT, MBA - First Settlement Physical Therapy, CEO, Owner

Check out the Center for Excellence in Academic Physical Therapy


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