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The American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) was founded in Rochester, Michigan. During the summer of 1991, at the urging of Norwegian manual therapist, Freddy Kaltenborn, a group of manual therapists met at Oakland University to discuss common issues facing manual therapy in the United States. This was the first time that leaders of various manual therapy residency programs had come together under one roof. Recognizing their common interest in advanced manual therapy in the United States they proceeded to form the AAOMPT. The members, Richard Erhard, PT, DC; Joe Farrell, PT, DPT, MS; Kornelia Kulig, PH.D, PT; Michael D. Rogers, PT, OCS; Bjorn Svendsen, DHSc, PT; Stanley V. Paris PT, PhD; Ola Grimsby PT; and Michael Moore PT became the 8 initial Founding Fellows of the AAOMPT with Carol Jo Tichenor, PT, MA, HFAAOMPT and Trish King, PT, PhD, HFAAOMPT recognized as Founding Fellows in 2019. The first officers were: President, Joe Farrell; Vice President, Richard Erhard; Secretary, Michael Moore; Treasurer, Ola Grimsby; and Member-at-Large, Stanley Paris. Each has contributed hundreds of hours of their time to help the AAOMPT move forward.
The AAOMPT was instrumental in the preparation of the successful application of the United States to become a voting member of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapists (IFOMPT). This was the first time in the 20 year history of the IFOMPT that the United States had been a voting member. Included in the IFOMPT application were Standards for Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Residency Training in the United States. These comprehensive standards now form the basis for Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT) Fellowship programs which are credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and recognized by the AAOMPT. The OMPT Fellowships have been a model for the development of other residency/fellowship programs credentialed by the APTA. Carol Jo Tichenor, PT, MA, the 1996 recipient of the John Mennell Service Award, was a key player in the development of the original standards document and remains a significant contributor to the AAOMPT having served as the Co-chairperson for the task force which in 2008 published the revised Description of Advanced Specialist Practice in OMPT. Carol Jo named her colleagues on the task force as the "Dream Team" and they consisted of Stephania Bell, Bill Boissonault, Ann Porter Hoke, Trish King, Kornelia Kulig, and Bob Rowe (Co-chair).
The AAOMPT has been instrumental in raising the awareness of physical therapists to the contributions of manual therapy to the physical therapy profession and of the contributions of fellowship training in achieving advanced clinical competence. The AAOMPT has been active and visible within the APTA and the Orthopedic Section. The AAOMPT leadership has also gained the respect of the IFOMPT for its role in forming the Academy- in a country where there are more physical therapists using manual therapy than any other place in the world. Continued visibility of the AAOMPT requires the work of many individuals.
The AAOMPT has been fortunate to have many tremendous leaders with vision to see what the AAOMPT could become in the future. The Past Presidents of AAOMPT in order are Joe Farrell, Mike Rogers, Ken Olson, Tim Flynn, Bob Rowe, and Jim Rivard. These individuals in conjunction with our Founding Fellows have placed the AAOMPT on a path that has an incredibly promising future. Just as important to the success of the AAOMPT is the leadership provided from among the various AAOMPT committee chairs/members as well as the support of the AAOMPT membership. Without these two groups AAOMPT would not have the rich history and culture that draws so many individuals to join AAOMPT.