UAB School of Health Professions Current News

PT program celebrates 50 years

Past PT Faculty Celebrate Program's 50th AnniversaryL/R: Geneva Johnson, Jo Clelland, Betty Canaan, Cara Adams, Joan BergmanThe UAB Physical Therapy program, which began in 1964, graduated the first class of baccalaureate degrees in 1967 before there was a University of Alabama at Birmingham.

On Saturday, May 17, 2014, the School of Health Professions celebrated the UAB PT program's 50th anniversary with a dinner and reception at The Club in Birmingham. In addition to alumni from nearly every class of graduates, many of the founding members were in attendance including Joan Bergman, the first physical therapist hired by University Hospital, who initiated the UAB PT program.

SEE MORE: pictures from the 50th anniversary event

Delitto Gives Inaugural Gossman LectureDelitto Gives Inaugural Gossman LectureAs part of the weekend long festivities, Anthony Delitto, Ph.D., PT, FAPTA, gave the inaugural Marilyn R. Gossman Endowed Lecture on Friday, May 16, 2014, in Volker Hall on the campus of UAB.

Delitto, associate dean for research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, is recognized around the world for his accomplishments and contributions to the PT profession. His lectureship, titled “Opportunity in the Perfect Storm,” touched on the evolving landscape of Physical Therapy as well as his work with Gossman.

WATCH MORE: video profile of Marilyn R. Gossman and lectureship

Gossman PortraitGossman PortraitThe first Physical Therapy program director was Miriam Jacobs, who worked with Dr. Jonas Salk as he developed the polio vaccine. The second director, named in 1968, was Gossman who would guide the PT program for 30 years until her 1998 death due to breast cancer. Following her as Chair was Sharon Shaw who served from 1998 until retiring in 2013.

WATCH MORE: video history of the UAB PT department

Over the first 50 years, the UAB PT program has made indelible marks on the physical therapy profession through clinical care, research, teaching and service. Over the next 50 years the department will continue to evolve and shape the future of physical therapy and the future of healthcare.