OPTA and APTA Awards

Each year at the Annual Conference, we take the opportunity to recognize those in our profession that have provided outstanding services to the profession of physical therapy. OPTA has two awards that honor people that have gone the extra mile, the Mercedes Weiss Service Award and the Distinguished Service Award.

A colleague's formal recognition of a job well done is one of the greatest compliments a professional can receive.

If you are interested in nominating someone for an OPTA award, please complete the nomination form by clicking here. Please contact the OPTA Vice President, Carol-Ann Nelson, at info@opta.org with questions related to OPTA awards.

Mercedes Weiss Service Award

The Mercedes Weiss Service Award was established in 1976 to publicly acknowledge the outstanding contribution of members of the profession.  Eligibility requirements for the Mercedes Weiss Service Award are as follows:

The candidate shall have made significant contribution to the advancement of one or more of the following areas:
1. Clinical Practice, such as innovations in treatment techniques, patient aids, standards of practice.
2. Education, such as program development or modification, educational skills and techniques, continuing education.
3. Administration, such as staff development, successful administrative innovations.
4. Research, such as basic or clinical research, development and implementation of research models, the promotion of research over a broad base.
5. Practice Management, such as legislative issues, reimbursement, quality assurance, etc.
Other areas which may not be included in 1 through 5 but which have significantly affected the practice of physical therapy.
1. The candidate is a member of the OPTA and has been a member for no less than five years.
2. Members of the Selection Committee (OPTA Board of Directors) are not eligible for the award.

Past Recipients

Mercedes Weiss Award

2016 - Richard Rutt, PT, ATC/R, PhD
2011 - JoAnne Bernt, PT, NCS, GCS
2009 – Bill Temes, PT
2008 – Ricci Susick, PT
2007 – Nancy Cicerillo, PT
2006 – None given
2005 – None given  
2004 – Cathy Zarosinski, PT
2003 – Tecla Thiman, PT
2002 – None given
2001 – Lynn Lippert, PT
2000 – None given 
1999 – None given 
1998 – None given 
1997 – None given 
1996 – Anne Porter Hoke
1995 – None given 
1994 – None given 
1993 – Barbara Beardsley
1992 – Bob Burles
1991 – None given
1990 – Fay Horak, PT, PhD
1989 – Paul Winklesky
1988 – Carol Schunk
1987 – None given
1986 – None given
1985 – Clem Eischen
1984 – Dan Jones
1983 – Wilbur Gregory
1982 – Emma Lentzer
1981 – none given
1980 – none given
1979 – Marion Showers
1978 – Mercedes Weiss
1977 – None given
1976 & 1978 – Mercedes Weiss

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award was first given in 1988.  Eligibility requirements for the OPTA Distinguished Service Award are:

  1. The candidate shall have made a distinguished contribution of time, energy or expertise toward furthering the goals of the Oregon Physical Therapy Association and for the benefit of its members. 
  2. The candidate need not be a member of the physical therapy profession or OPTA.
  3. Members of the Selection Committee (Chapter Vice President and Members-at-Large) are not eligible for the award.
  4. List the OPTA/APTA offices held, awards received, committee(s) served on when submitting your supporting statement.

Past Recipients

Distinguished Service Award

2016 – Cathy Zarosinski, PT
2015 – Chris Murphy, PT
2011 – Karen Walz, PT, MA, OCS, FAAOMPT
2009 – Tracy Rutten (lobbyist)
2007 – Dode Jackson, PT
2003 – Ricci Susick, PT
2002 – Kathy Marquardt, PT
2001 – Lucinda Hugos
1993 – Barbara Beardsley, Kathy Marquardt
1992 – Tim Lehman, Dave Groom
1991 – Vinton Mougey, Jewel Lehman
1990 – Teri Nishimoto, Pam Kirk, Hildur Hegstrom
1989 – Bob Burles, Gloria Andrus, Marty McCullough
1988 – Gwen White, Dave Fuchigami, Tom Miller (and Senator Frank Roberts for outstanding efforts on behalf of OPTA at legislative level)