Our Founding Fellows


In 1991, the leaders of established residency programs in the US met at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan at the invitation of Norwegian orthopaedic manual therapist, Dr. Freddy Kaltenborn. The result? The establishment of a new professional organization, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy, also called the Academy or AAOMPT, that aimed to serve the interests and needs of the growing population of physical therapists practicing OMPT.


The purpose of the 1991 Oakland University meeting was for the leaders of US based OMPT education programs to discuss common issues facing their programs, regardless of their varying backgrounds. Foremost on the agenda were the topics of standards for residency training in the US and US membership in the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manual Physical therapists (IFOMPT). The US did not qualify as a member organization of IFOMPT, because there was no OMPT organization approved by the APTA or any standards for residency training, including mentoring.


In February 1992, the APTA Orthopedic Section (now the Academy of Orthopedic Physical Therapy) business meeting was held during the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) in San Francisco CA. During this meeting, the Founding Fellows elected officers and established key committees, including Standards among others. Significant discussions between AAOMPT President Joe Farrell and APTA President Marilyn Moffat occurred, and AAOMPT rallied over 200 members to this meeting. A vote was held, and the Orthopedic Section unanimously endorsed the Academy in its application to become a member of IFOMPT and to speak for manipulation in the APTA.


Richard Erhard, PT, DC, FFAAOMPT
Joe Farrell, PT, M App Sc, DPT, FFAAOMPT, FAPTA
Kornelia Kulig, PhD, PT, FFAOMPT
Michael Moore, PT, FFAAOMPT
Stanley V. Paris, PT, PhD, FFAAOMPT, FAPTA, Hon LLD (Otago)
Bjorn Svendsen, PT, DHSc, FFAAOMPT

2019: 8 BECOME 10

In addition to the 8 Founding Fellows, the 1992 CSM meeting was attended by Carol Jo Tichenor (then Director of the Kaiser Permanente Hayward OMPT Residency) and Trish King (then Director of Education at the University of St. Augustine). At the request of the Founding Fellows, Carol Jo and Trish participated in discussions and decisions regarding structure and goals of the organization. Carol Jo Tichenor became the chair of the Standards Committee and Trish King worked on the Examination Committee. In 2019 at the AAOMPT conference in Orlando FL , at the urging of Joe Farrell and Mike Rogers, Carol Jo and Trish were recognized as Founding Fellows, and they are 10!

The lecture that Carol Jo and Trish created for their recognition ceremony is “worth the ride”, as they describe joining the “PT Outlaws” in their cause.

2019 Founding Fellows Presentation Slides

Biographies and video interviews of each Founding Fellow provide a glimpse of the foresight and passion for OMPT in our leaders that provide inspiration for all AAOMPT members.

Joe Farrell PT, M App Sc., DPT, FAAOMPT, FAPTA

"I think we need to continue to push the envelope to improve entry and post entry level education, we always have to improve."

Joe Farrell Biography

Michael J. Moore, PT

“This profession has been a quiet pursuit, but a most enjoyable one.”

Michael Moore Biography

Ola Grimsby, PT, DMT, FAAOMPT

"We had a mutual goal. We had the same ambitions"

Ola Grimsby Biography

Stanley Paris, PT, PhD, FAPTA, HonLLD(Otago)

"We should be eclectic. We shouldn’t just be doing it one way or another way. We should combine all of those for the best for the patient. The differences are not that great and we thought they might be. The common goal was protecting the right of the PT to practice spinal manipulation, in particular, and wanting to help our patients."

Stanley Paris Biography

Kornelia Kulig, PhD, PT, FFAAOMPT

Kornelia Kulig Biography


"I’m really proud of the conference. ‘Treat I must’ is my version of the Kaltenborn award Teach I Must. I plan on practicing until my mid-90’s."

Mike Rogers Biography

Bjorn Svendsen, PT, DHSc, FFAAOMPT

Bjorn Svendsen Biography

Bjorn Svendsen Remembrance

Carol Joe Tichenor, PT, MA, FAPTA, HFAAOMPT

Carol Jo Tichenor Biography

Patricia (Trish) King, PT, PhD, OCS, MTC, HFAAOMPT

Patricia King Biography

Remembering Richard Erhard

We would definitely talk about the current evolution of the AAOMPT of which I think he would be very proud and of course the current state of USA politics. I would say I miss him very much and would lift an excellent glass or two or cabarnet and toast to our great profession. In reality, it is very difficult to articulate what a close friend Dick was for me. I do know that prior to the AAOMPT Washington DC conference the year he passed; Mike Rogers, Stanley Paris, Dennis Hart and I drove from D.C. to University Pittsburgh to surprise his wife at a church at Pitt, celebrating Dick's life. She was so happy, yet stunned to see us. Her hugs to all of us I will never forget and I will never forget Dr. Dick Erhard! Very special person.

I first met Dick in the mid to late 1980's when I taught Autotraction courses with him, as well as Sandy Burkhart, Dr. Natchez, Paul Christensen, Steve Stratton and others throughout the USA. We developed significant mutual respect for each other due to our clinical experiences of many years. Both of us had spent many long days for years treating patients that gave us insight into treatment approaches which were patient centered at the core. We would sit and discuss patient scenario's over a cold beer or nice glass of cabarnet often. Many times, my wife Edie, Dick and his wife Natalie would drink good wines and have dinner together at AAOMPT conferences in the early days. More often than not, our discussions would evolve into professional and USA politics which we definitely felt similarly. They were really fun and lively conversations which I miss to this day! Thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the history of Dr. Dick Erhard and the AAOMPT.

- Joe Farrell

Stanley Paris had the most pre AAOMPT history with Dick as far as I recall. When the academy was in its initial stages Freddy Kaltenborn, who was without question the catalyst that got the group to convene, asked me who should be invited to the first meeting and I felt Dick should come due to two reasons: the OMT program he had involved himself with at that time in Pittsburgh and because of the long-term contact as a manual therapist he had with as being a student of Freddy Kaltenborn over many short courses.

- Michael Moore

In 1974 Richard participated in a course in the Grand Canary Islands on the west coast of Africa. The course was arranged by the International Seminar School under Professor Freddy Kaltenborn, and I was one of several instructors. Following the course Dick Erhard took the Kaltenborn/Evjenth manual therapy exam from their Board of Examiners; Dr. Cyriax, O. Evjenth and F. Kaltenborn, and passed with flying colors. This was my first meeting with Dick. We became good friends and he helped me evaluate a contract proposal from Stanley Paris, who wanted me to come to the US to teach for his Institute. Later that year he was elected the first president of IFOMT at our meeting in Montreal. I was at the time an executive member, representing Norway. This was the first of many seasons cooperating and interacting with Dick Erhard professionally and politically. When we were invited by Professor Kaltenborn to come to Rochester, Michigan in 1991 to establish what later became the AAOMPT, Dick and I was elected “standards committee” and the picture was taken at that meeting. Our “standards” were later mainly developed mainly by Carol Joe Tichenor as Dr. Richard Erhard became our Vice President and I became the Treasurer of the new organization. The picture was taken during a recognition for our time and effort to develop the AAOMPT.

I can share these opinions and observations about Richard Erhard. He had the ability to listen, to find consensus and to emphasize what competitors in our field of work had in common. He did not participate in self-promotion or bragging, but created an atmosphere of cooperation and an intelligence in finding the essence of what was professionally important in all situations. As a chiropractor and manual therapist, he had a broad clinical and academic background and realized the importance of a clinical, multi-disciplinary and eclectic approach, well beyond what was offered by the Orthopaedic Section at that time.I believe these qualities colored his contribution in the creation of the AAOMPT as well as being his main contribution to the organization and the goal for the next generation of manual therapists. In our discussions, he was considering the AAOMPT as an alternative to the theory specialization offered by the Orthopaedic Section. He recognized the need for the US to develop a clinical specialization, necessary for a US membership at IFOMPT, where he served as the first president. We agreed that the first purpose of the AAOMPT was to seek international accreditation, a decision also reflected by the bi-laws at that time. It was removed as unachievable by a later administration.

If I had a chance to discuss this with Dick today I think we would agree that the current submission to the APTA is meeting professional standards, but not necessarily meeting the requirements for the international political and academic recognition we once aimed for. However, he would be happy and proud to observe the standardization of curricular content of residency and fellowship programs and the success and recognition of the AAOMPT. Above all I would tell him that he was a good friend and an excellent clinician.

- Ola Grimsby

Richard Erhard, PT, DC

Richard Erhard Biography

10th anniversary at AAOMPT 2001 Conference in San Antonio, TX. Pictured left to right: Stanley Paris, Ola Grimsby, Joe Farrell, Michael Moore, Mike Rogers, Dick Erhard