Harbourne Named Duquesne’s First-Ever Catherine Worthingham Fellow

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has presented its highest honor upon Dr. Regina Harbourne, naming her a Catherine Worthingham Fellow and making her the first faculty member at Duquesne University to receive the prestigious recognition.

According to the APTA, Catherine Worthingham Fellows serve as an inspiration for all physical therapists to attain high levels of professional excellence. Only APTA physical therapist members or life member physical therapists that have demonstrated unwavering efforts to advance the physical therapy profession for more than 15 years, prior to the time of nomination, are eligible for the honor.

"I was totally surprised and shocked. It is the highest honor the APTA bestows, so I never dreamed I would be a recipient," said Harbourne, assistant physical therapy professor in the John G. Rangos School of Health Sciences. "Other recipients of this award represent those who have contributed greatly to the profession, and they include many of my mentors to whom I owe a great deal. So it is a little overwhelming to think about being part of this group, and quite an honor."

Harbourne, whose clinical specialty is pediatrics, directs Duquesne's Infant Development Lab. She is currently leading the first national, randomized controlled study of an intervention targeting the development of infants' early motor skills to advance problem solving. The START-Play Program is funded by a $3.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education.

"Since its inception in 1982, there are only 200 individuals that have been recognized with this honor," said Dr. Christopher Carcia, chair and associate professor of physical therapy.  "Recognition of Dr. Harbourne as a Worthingham Fellow is well-deserved and truly exceptional."

Harbourne resides in Pittsburgh's Swissvale neighborhood.

Physical therapist Catherine Worthingham-the namesake of the fellowship-is described by the APTA as an agent of change who motivated others to make an impact on the physical therapy profession and who was a visionary and leader in advocacy, education, practice and research.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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