Therapists at work

About Us


APTA Hand and Upper Extremity promotes rehabilitation of the hand and upper extremity within the profession of physical therapy, the medical community, and the general public. The Academy serves to mentor, educate, promote research, and respond to the ever changing needs and interests of its membership.


By 2020, APTA Hand and Upper Extremity will be recognized by consumers and other health care practitioners as the leaders and experts in the examination, rehabilitation and prevention of hand and upper extremity impairments. To these ends, APTA Hand and Upper Extremity will increase the introduction of physical therapists to the specialty of hand therapy, provide effective mentoring by experienced clinicians, and provide information about educational opportunities.


Click to download the 2020 Bylaws.

Member Benefits and How to Join

If you are interested in joining APTA Hand and Upper Extremity, please visit the membership page on APTA’s website. Under Chapters & Sections, click “Add a Section” (you MUST be a current member of APTA).

Your choice to pursue a special interest in upper extremity rehabilitation gives you access to resources through which you can explore all areas of hand therapy. Benefits of belonging to APTA Hand and Upper Extremity are:

  • HANDPRINTS E-NEWSLETTER: Delivered to your e-mail periodically throughout the year to provide information on practice issues, course advertisements, and Academy activities and announcements.
  • CONTINUING EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES: Active members receive discounts on registration fees for Academy sponsored continuing education programming.
  • LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATION: Our Academy legislative chair, in partnership with APTA, lobbies for and notifies the members of issues that affect the practice of hand therapy for physical therapists. Historically, we have leaders in supporting PT-PAC, which insures our voice is heard on Capitol Hill.
  • COMMITTEE PARTICIPATION: Our Academy offers members the opportunity to participate in a variety of task force and committee activities that are task and time specific. We are always looking for members to be engaged in Academy activities.
  • NETWORKING: Our Academy facilitates networking among its members through biannual business meetings, enewsletter, website, online community, and continuing education courses. Additionally, any of our Board of Directors welcome member questions, concerns and requests for mentorship.
  • PROMOTE RESEARCH: Our Academy is committed to funding clinical research that examines hand and upper extremity practice issues. (See research grant information below.) Dissemination of clinical research is propagated through platform and poster presentations at the Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA.
  • ACADEMY ONLINE COMMUNITY: A virtual community of Academy members where you can collaborate and engage in lively dialogue with your colleagues about practice questions, CSM, Academy initiatives, etc. The online community is your bridge to other members with an interest in hand and upper extremity physical therapy. As an Academy member, you can go to and click on “APTA Communities” to see the Hand Academy’s Community – make sure to sign up for alerts, so you don’t miss anything!

Officers and Committees


Jane Fedorczyk, PT, PhD, CHT
[email protected]


Mia Erickson PT, EdD, CHT
[email protected]


Scott Stevenson, PT, CHT
sksteve[email protected]


Leah Michelsen, PT, DPT
[email protected]


Emily Altman, PT, DPT, CHT, OCS
[email protected]


Jamie Grigsby, PT
[email protected]


Teri Bielefeld PT, CHT
[email protected]


Susan Duff, PT, EdD, OT, CHT
[email protected]


Chair: Saj Thomas
[email protected]
Wen-Yau Jennie Yen, PT, DPT, CHT
[email protected]
Danielle Watts, PT, DPT, CHT
[email protected]


Marsha Lawrence, PT, DPT, CHT
[email protected]

Executive Director

Cynthia Sliwa
PO Box 113
McLouth, KS 66054
[email protected]