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APTA Names Thuringer Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant of the Year

Posted on: March 25, 2015   |   Category: News

WATERTOWN, SD – The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has awarded the distinguished Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant of the Year award to Lake Area Technical College’s Brad Thuringer. At LATI, Thuringer is a Physical Therapist Assistant program instructor and academic coordinator of clinical education.

Each year, APTA honors outstanding achievements of its members in the areas of overall accomplishment, education, practice and service, publications, research, and academic excellence. Thuringer has been an active member of APTA since 1997, and has contributed to, represented, and promoted the role of the PTA to multiple components and groups at the local, state, and national levels.

At Lake Area Technical College, Thuringer is a role model for his students and other PTAs. He founded Shoes4Kids, a charitable foundation that distributes shoes to children in need. Annually, the foundation targets communities in which the APTA Annual Conference is held, and over the years Thuringer has solicited contributions that have provided more than 8,500 pairs of new shoes and socks to children. He has raised funds for PTA scholarships at Lake Area Technical College, and pledged personal funds for this effort.

“I am truly honored to be selected as the recipient of APTA’s Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Award,” Thuringer said.  “I especially wish to thank HPA The Catalyst, the Section on Health Policy & Administration for coordinating the preparation of my nomination package. I would like to thank my wife Anita, son Tyler, and daughters Alexis and MaKenzie for their perpetual tolerance and support of my professional activities that often imposed upon our family life. Any accomplishments that may be credited to me would not have been possible without your support. I would like to thank my many good friends and PT family. You have always been there for me and believe in me as a person. I can’t thank you enough! Finally, I’d like to thank LATI President Mike Cartney and my colleagues at Lake Area Technical College, Chris Barrett, PT, MEd, and Brenda Norton, PTA, BS, for supporting my service endeavors, even when it took my attention and energies elsewhere. Thank you for allowing me to express my passion for physical therapy.”

Thuringer earned his Physical Therapist Assistant A.A.S. degree at Lake Area Technical College and also holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Education from Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Thuringer will be recognized during the APTA Honors and Awards Ceremony and Reception in June during the NEXT Conference and Exposition in National Harbor, Maryland.