Therapists at work

About Us


The Academy of Hand and Upper Extremity Physical Therapy 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, the Academy of Hand and Upper Extremity Physical Therapy 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, the Academy 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 here to download bylaws.

Member Benefits and How to Join

If you are interested in joining the Academy of Hand and Upper Extremity Physical Therapy, 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 the Academy 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!

Advertising Opportunities

Advertising is available in our electronic newsletter and on our website. By choosing to advertise with us, you will be connecting with members who have an interest and specialization in hand and upper extremity therapy. For information about submitting an ad and to review our deadlines, please download the AHUEPT Media Kit.

Download Advertising Policy

Partners Program

Are you interested in the area of hand and upper extremity rehabilitation?

Are you:

  • A physical therapist or physical therapy assistant from a country other than the United States?
  • An occupational therapist?
  • Other health professional or researcher (not eligible for APTA membership)?
  • Company with products of interest to hand rehabilitation experts?

Then you are eligible to become a partner to our Academy. Please contact [email protected] for more information and an application.

Research Grant Available Through AHUEPT Information

The Leslie Harris Lindsey Grant for Research in the Hand and Upper Extremity Physical Therapy is a $5,000 grant. To qualify for funding, the study must be designed to examine the efficacy of a treatment approach, or the meaningfulness of an examination procedure used by physical therapists in hand and upper extremity physical therapy.

The grant is funded every other year. The next grant deadline is August 15, 2020. The application process and guidelines are currently being reviewed. The application link and guidelines will be posted in March 2020. Please contact the Academy at [email protected] with questions.

Leslie Harris Lindsey, PT, CHT was an accomplished leader in hand and upper extremity physical therapy. Leslie was instrumental in developing this research grant during her time on the executive committee of the Hand Rehabilitation Section. Along with her husband, Mark Lindsey, Leslie owned a private practice specializing in hand and upper extremity physical therapy in the Louisville, Kentucky area. She served in many leadership roles within this organization including President. She also served in a leadership position with the Hand Therapy Certification Commission that sponsors the board certification process for Certified Hand Therapist (CHT).

Officers and Committees


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


Mia Erickson PT, EdD, CHT
[email protected]


Scott Stevenson, PT, CHT
[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
1055 North Fairfax Street
Suite 205
Alexandria, VA 22314
[email protected]