Utzman awarded the Nancy Tonkin Distinguished Service award for outstanding contributions to the profession of physical therapy

Ralph R. Utzman, PT, MPH, Ph.D., professor and director of clinical education for the Division of Physical Therapy at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, was awarded the 2022 Nancy Tonkin Distinguished Service award by the American Physical Therapy Association West Virginia.

The Nancy Tonkin Distinguished Service award is awarded each year to an outstanding APTA WV member to recognize their contributions to the profession of physical therapy.

Nancy Tonkin served as the director of the APTA WV and though she was not a physical therapist, she advocated for the profession in the state of West Virginia and was a mentor to many in the organization, including Utzman.

“It is an honor to be recognized with this award named for a friend who taught me so much about professional service and advocacy, and to follow in the footsteps of previous honorees who I have worked with and admired for years,” Utzman said.

As both a two-time alumni and faculty member for more than 25 years at WVU, Utzman has modeled the importance of being involved in activities, committees and organizations within the field of physical therapy, and hopes to continue to inspire students to be involved as well.

During and before his time at WVU, Utzman has served in various roles at the APTA WV, including as vice president and the organization’s representative to the West Virginia House of Delegates.

“The Division of Physical Therapy congratulates Ralph on receiving this award for his long-standing contributions to the profession and APTA WV. Ralph is a leader in the field who embodies the Division’s mission to transform West Virginia by optimizing health through education, clinical practice, scholarship and service,” said Ivan Mulligan, PT, DSc, ATC, CSCS.

“With a focus on rural and underserved areas, his service to the profession and the APTA WV component has enhanced the practice of physical therapy and advocated for the profession and the patients we treat. We are proud to see our colleague, mentor and friend receive this award recognizing his dedication to the profession,” concluded Mulligan. 

To learn more about the Division of Physical Therapy, visit medicine.wvu.edu/pt/.