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Pioneering Physical Therapist to Receive Association of Rheumatology Professionals’ Top Honor

October 18, 2023 | ACR News


ATLANTA - Jan K. Richardson, PT, PhD, OCS, FAPTA, will receive the Lifetime Achievement award from the Association of Rheumatology Professionals (ARP), a division of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), during ACR Convergence 2023, the College’s annual meeting. The award reflects her outstanding contributions to the advancement of rheumatology.

“I’m very humbled to receive this award,” said Richardson, chief medical officer for Medical Outcome Indicators and professor emeritus for Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. “Especially when I reflect on all the other people who have received this award before me, who have dedicated their lives to rheumatology, their patients, and service to the ACR and ARP. I am honored to be standing upon their shoulders.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a current or former member of ARP whose career has demonstrated a sustained and lasting contribution to the field of rheumatology and rheumatology health professionals.

Richardson, an active ARP member since 2004, has been in numerous leadership roles including her time as ARP president (2012) and president-elect (2011), chair of the ARP nominations & appointments and practice committees, and as a member of the ARP executive committee. She has also served on the ACR’s executive, finance, and communications committees. She says it was her husband, Bob Richardson, PT (also a past ARP president, 1976), who instilled in her the obligation to serve. “He taught me the importance of giving back to the profession and our patients,” she said. “Other people have come before us and have done great things so it was expected that we would, too. It wasn’t a matter of sitting back and waiting, you had to step forward and volunteer.

Aside from her work with the College, Richardson, with her co-investigator, Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA; pioneered early work in establishing valid and reliable scales for pain and disability measurement. Other areas of research include validating an item bank in communities with stroke survivors, studying the meta-analyses of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatments supported by biomedical oncology, and investigating the use of physical therapy in patients hospitalized with a diagnosis of generalized weakness. She is also the founding chair of both Duke University’s (DPT) degree program and Slippery Rock University’s DPT degree program.  Richardson also was the 29th president of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Richardson says she has many people, including her family, to thank, but she especially wants to thank the ARP for not only the Lifetime Achievement award, but for allowing her to volunteer. “I want to thank them for letting me be a part of something much greater than any one individual. I hope that I continue to make them proud, and I hope to make beneficial contributions to the college and the patients that we treat,” she said.

All nomination submissions are reviewed by the ACR’s Membership and Awards Committee, a joint committee composed of both ACR and ARP volunteers. Nominees are considered for an award based on criteria that range from their academic and scholarly representation to their rheumatology service record both inside and outside the College.

See more information on ACR/ARP awards and view past recipients >

Media Contact
Amanda Head


About ACR Convergence
ACR Convergence, the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, is where rheumatology meets to collaborate, celebrate, congregate, and learn. With more than 240 sessions and thousands of abstracts, it offers a superior combination of basic science, clinical science, business education and interactive discussions to improve patient care.

About the American College of Rheumatology
Founded in 1934, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a not-for-profit, professional association committed to advancing the specialty of rheumatology that serves nearly 8,500 physicians, health professionals, and scientists worldwide. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatology professionals are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.

About the Association of Rheumatology Professionals
The Association of Rheumatology Professionals (ARP) is a division of the American College of Rheumatology built by rheumatology professionals, for rheumatology professionals. Our goal is to empower rheumatology professionals by providing education, advocacy, and practice management tools.

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