Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association - WPTA.org

About the WPT Fund

The Wisconsin Physical Therapy Fund was developed in 1969 to help advance the physical therapy profession in Wisconsin. Today this fund awards scholarships to students pursuing careers in physical therapy as well as grants to support programs that advance the practice of physical therapy and benefit the people we serve. The WPTF is a trust of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association.

 Make An Donation Online    Download Donation Form

Please Choose From These Options:

Student Scholarship Awards


To provide financial assistance to physical therapist or physical therapist assistant students in their last year of professional education in the state of Wisconsin. The goal is not only to assist students in financial need but also to reward students who demonstrate well rounded personal attributes and who make contributions to the community and/or to the development of the physical therapy profession. Assistance is provided in the form of a scholarship. Amounts are determined by the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Fund Board of Trustees in the Spring of each year.

Applications are available by downloading here.

Students may fill out one application for all of the possible scholarship awards.  Include any relevant information in the appropriate sections for consideration for the Chris Crivello Community Service Award as well as the Tracy Rasor Scholarship.

The applicant must:

    • Be a student in good standing at an accredited college, university, or technical college accredited by CAPTE
    • Be a member of the APTA/WPTA
    • Be expected to graduate from an accredited PT/PTA program within the year following receipt of an award (ie, Year applications are due; Awards distributed that summer; Graduating between December of that year and December of the following year).
    • Submit completed application to WPTA by March 4th
    • Submit two letters of reference by March 4th
The trustees will make the selection considering the following:

    • Financial need of the applicant
    • Assessment of the two letters of recommendation
    • All applicants will be considered for a WPT Scholars award which is based on financial need
    • In addition, students can apply for EITHER the Chris Crivello Award OR the Tracy Rasor Award (both of which also consider financial need in addition to accomplishments)
    • A student may only receive one scholarship (WPT Scholars, Chris Crivello or Tracy Rasor)

Dates and Deadlines:

  1. Applications and letters of recommendation are due March 4th each year
  2. Send to:

    Wisconsin Physical Therapy Fund
    3510 E Washington Avenue
    Madison, WI  53704

  3. Applicants will be notified by mid May whether they will receive an award.
  4. Checks will be sent in late July or early August.

Tracy L. Rasor Sports Medicine Scholarship

Tracy was an inspirational role model and mentor in the field of sports medicine physical therapy.  Tracy received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Ohio State University in 1980 and her Master of Science in Physical Therapy in 1985.  In 1994, Tracy completed her athletic training certification and went on to co-found Advanced Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Appleton, WI.  She was an active member of the WPTA, serving on the WPTA Nominating Committee and the Autonomous Practice Committee.  Tracy was a vibrant, caring person who positively impacted the lives of all that she touched.  Her clinical skills, wit, and dedication to her patients led to her being honored as the 2010 WPTA Physical Therapist of the Year.

In 2010, her friends and family established the Tracy Rasor Scholarship to be awarded to a student physical therapist in Wisconsin who has demonstrated an interest in sports medicine physical therapy.  The Wisconsin Physical Therapy Fund is privileged to adminster this scholarship in honor of Tracy, an outstanding role model and member of our profession.

Chris Crivello Community Service Award

Chris was a role model for hope, inspiration and dedication to the practice of physical therapy for aspiring young professionals through her service to the community and to the profession.  She received her bachelor of science degree in physical therapy from Marquette University.  She was a chair of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association, Southeast District; treasurer of the American Physical Therapy Association Community Health Section and co-editor of the Community Health Section Quarterly Report.

In 1993, a scholarship was designed in her memory.  The Chris Crivello Community Service Award is given to a student who demonstrates not only high academic standards, but also a commitment to community involvement.  This award is administered through the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Fund.

The following tribute was given by Reenie Kavalar at the funeral of Chris Crivello.

April 13, 1993
By Reenie Kavalar

I’m not sure when or where we met.  As often occurs in the work environment, our paths crossed in the line of duty.  Chris and I became colleagues as we helped each other provide services to home care patients.  Chris treated patients and managed the therapy services for We Care, I did the same for RSW.  As our services grew, we developed a community of home care therapists.  Many of you are here today.
In 1987, as Chris was recovering from her first bout with cancer, she called to ask if I knew of anyone in the PT community looking for a manager who couldn’t treat patients.  Her reputation as a hard worker, manager and clinician had preceded this call and I knew before I’d hung up the phone that I wanted her to be part of my team.

Chris quickly proved to herself and to the rest of us that she was an invaluable asset.  Within weeks of joining our staff, barely having time to get oriented to her home care management job, she was in a nursing home half time, managing me, the acting staff therapist.  We both skipped the fact that she had never done any nursing home work before.  From there the Crivello/Kavalar team did several short stints at other nursing homes on the temporary circuit.  I think we were both a bit surprised at the amount of patient care that could be accomplished as we worked as a team.

RSW became InSpeech and then NovaCare, and as it did our job responsibilities changed and expanded.  Chris faced each new challenge with determination and was always there to pick up the pieces that I couldn’t balance.  I never asked - things just got done.  Some of those pieces included volunteering for positions in the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association and the Community Health Section of the American Physical Therapy Association.

During the past six years, Chris has shared with us her inner strength and fortitude in the face of multiple adversities.  In all that Chris did, she demonstrated her organizational skills and professionalism, as well as her sense of independence accompanied with sincere gratitude.  Ever present was her sense of humor.

In 1989, Chris was recognized by the Marquette University Physical Therapy Program “as a role model of hope, inspiration and dedication to the practice of physical therapy for aspiring young professionals”.  In November of 1992 she received the NovaCare Chairman’s Award for her commitment to the Pursuit of Excellence.

To me, Chris was a role model of hope and inspiration and dedication to excellence.  We learned from each other.  Chris was my partner and my friend.  I will miss her.



Lynn Phillippi Geriatric Advocacy Grant


To support projects or programs in clinical, educational, or administrative settings which are exemplary models for advocating for people who are elderly, i.e., these projects/programs effectively challenge and change unfavorable perceptions of people who are elderly.

Who Was Lynn Phillippi?

Download Biography Here .

Application/Proposal Time Table

Completed applications and proposals are accepted at any time. Reviews will take place twice a year: March I st & September I". Awards will be announced in April and October.

Funding Interests

There are five major areas that are fundable under this grant.

I . Health Promotion: Programs including fitness, wellness, exercise, and education on these topics.

2. Volunteerism: Expenses incurred by a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who volunteers in a project or program that advocates for people who are elderly.

3. Consumer Education: Communications to the general public that advocate for people who are elderly, e.g. newspapers, unrefereed magazines, radio, senior spotlight, etc.

4. Professional Education: Programs/projects that advance the knowledge and skill of physical therapists or physical therapist assistants in the care and management of clients who are elderly.

5. Frail Elderly: Programs/projects targeted to benefit frail elderly people (85 years)

Who May Apply

Anyone may apply for an advocacy grant. First consideration will be given to new programs/projects that can be reasonably expected to be completed within 12 months of the grant being awarded. In cases where proposals are deemed equally meritorious, preference will be given to proposals from physical therapist or physical therapist assistant members of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association or the American Physical Therapy Association's Section on Geriatrics. Second consideration will be given to proposals from physical therapists or physical therapist assistants who do not meet the above criteria. Thereafter, proposals from other applicants will be given consideration

Important Information:


The Trustees of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Fund issue single grants of up to $ 2500 for a 12 month period. To facilitate a wide range of programs/projects applicants will be funded once per project.


The Trustees of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Fund must be informed when a program/project is off track for completion within one year of the date the grant was awarded. A request for an extension should be made. The request should contain a full explanation of the circumstances causing delay for the trustees to render a decision.


Grant recipients are obligated to generate three reports. Six months after the program/project has been funded a one-page report must be sent to the WPTA, Attention: Trustees of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Fund. This report should reflect the status of each of the areas described in the original proposal. Twelve months from the date of funding a two page final report is due. Within a year of completion of the project the grant recipient must present evidence that a report about the program/project has been disseminated, e.g., published in PT Bulletin, GeriNotes, PT Advance, state newsletter, newspaper, etc. The source of funding should be recognized in the article.

Download Guidelines for completing The Lynn Phillippi Geriatric Advocacy Grant Application & Forms


Wellness for Neurological Change Fund

The Wisconsin Physical Therapy Fund would like to announce the initiating of a new opportunity to give back to the health and wellness of Wisconsin citizens with the Wellness for Neurological Change Fund.

Through the efforts of WPTA member, Dr. Teresa Steffen, the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Fund (WPTF) will be establishing a new fund to assist physical therapists in starting and providing wellness programs for people with neurological challenges.

History of Dr. Steffen’s Involvement With Wellness Programs:

The fund is being initiated after six years of developing and conducting nine ongoing programs for people with Parkinson (PD) and related diseases.  This initiative is the result of requests from clients who desire these classes and programs for their disease.

Examples of Classes and Clients that Can Benefit from Wellness Programs:

Many people with Parkinson disease enjoy group exercise programming, but believe they do not fit into the general exercise classes offered.  The classes use a program developed from evidence-based research and consist of treadmill training forward and backwards along with a 30-minute floor routine of exercises promoting back, hip, and shoulder extensor strength along with range of motion activities focusing on stretching the hip flexors and trunk. The programs involve speech enhancement. A video of a class can be found on the Wisconsin Parkinson Association website along with a listing of the current classes.  

Clients with ataxia, including Parkinson’s related disorders of progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration are currently attending some of the programs. There have been requests for other groups (stroke and multiple sclerosis) to start. In addition to the class format, programs can also be initiated for individuals to be evaluated and reassessed by physical therapists with ongoing training on their own or with a trainer.

 Donate to the Wellness For Neurologic Change Fund

Please Consider Helping Us Now and in Future Years:

Mail donations to:       
WPT Fund c/o WPTA
3510 East Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53704

To speak to one of WPTF trustees call WPTA at 608-221-9191.

*The Wisconsin Physical Therapy Fund is a Trust of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association.


Legacy Endowment

The Legacy Endowment was established to build a financial foundation upon which the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Fund can expand its scope to benefit the practice of physical therapy and the people we serve.  Members of the Legacy Society are recognized as those individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Legacy Endowment.  The minimum contribution to qualify for membership in the Legacy Society is a pledge of $1,000 to be donated over 5 years.

Legacy Donation Form Here

We gratefully recognize the following members of the Legacy Society:

  • Charter Members:
    • Otto Cordero
    • Reenie Kavalar
    • Connie Kittleson
    • Wisconsin Physical Therapy Student Conclave
    • Rob Worth
  • Elite Members:
    • Tim Rasor
    • Brett Roberts
    • Phil Bergold
    • Otto Cordero
    • Kristine Hallisy
    • Reenie Kavalar
    • Connie Kittleson
    • Louise Mollinger-Reimann
    • Tim Thorsen
    • Wisconsin Clinical Education Consortium
    • Rob Worth
    • Irene Hughey


    You too can help to support the future of the physical therapy profession, promote geriatric programs and help build a foundation for the WPTF.

  • Members:
    • Sue Griffin
    • Steve Johnson
    • Karna Sandock
    • Kip Schick
    • Lynn Steffes
    • Gwyn and Scott Straker
    • Mary Van Lare
    • Mary Lou Bausch
    • Jane Bernatovich
    • Bill & Jill Boissonnault
    • Anne Coffman
    • Lori Dominiczak
    • Lois Harrison
    • Laurie Heer
    • Amy Helminski
    • John Hendrickson
    • Andy Kerk
    • Susan Kinosian
    • Laurie Kontney
    • Kathryn and Lymon Lyons
    • Mark & Jamelle Milne
    • Larry & Jan Nosse
    • Kathy Shields
    • Jane Stroede
    • Michele Thorman
    • Pat Wilder
    • Kathryn & George Zalewski
    • Jean Darlin
    • Kathy Lyman
    • Julie Siefert
    • WPTA South East District
  • Sustaining Benefactor
    • Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association


  • Student Charitable Activities Grant


    To assist students attending accredited Physical Therapy programs in Wisconsin obtain funding to pursue charitable endeavors related to physical therapy.

    Download Application here

    Participants must demonstrate 100% APTA membership.

    Applications are due October 1st.

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