Dr. John Halle, professor and chair of the School of Physical Therapy at Belmont University, was recently honored with the Outstanding Alumni Award from the U.S. Army Physical Therapy Alumni Association at Baylor University.
Established in 1989, the Outstanding Alumni Award is presented annually and recognizes the graduates who have made significant contributions to the profession and who are furthering the health and quality of life for members of the military and/or civilian communities. Dr. Halle is the 22nd recipient of the award, which was first presented in 1989.
Physical therapy education in the United States Army has a long and proud tradition of excellence beginning as physiotherapy Reconstruction Aides during World War I. Prior to the early 1970s, physical therapists worked in a prescriptive environment. However, after the Vietnam War, due to a physician shortage, Army Physical Therapists took on the role of “physician extender” or direct access and were credentialed to evaluate and treat patients with neuro-musculoskeletal conditions without physician referral. Army physical therapists have been functioning in a direct access setting since that time.
The program at Baylor University transitioned to a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2003. The program has Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health Corps students.