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2022-Peter Edgelow

Peter Edgelow is the first recipient of the Inspire Award presented posthumously in October 2022.

Peter I. Edgelow, PT, MA, DPT, the originator of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT) Fellowship (previously the Kaiser-Hayward program) passed away on July 13, 2018, after an extended illness. In the mid-1970’s Peter traveled to Australia to study manual therapy from Geoffrey Maitland at the University of South Australia. At that time, there were only a handful of physical therapists in the United States using manual therapy. When he returned from Australia, he worked with several clinicians in the area to create a proposal for a yearlong “residency” in OMPT at Kaiser Permanente. As the first physical therapy director of the outpatient clinic at Kaiser Hayward, Peter sought a way to raise the level of physical therapy practice for KP and the community.  He accomplished this by introducing the physical therapy residency model at Kaiser Hayward. The Kaiser program became the first manual therapy residency in the United States and soon attained a national reputation for excellence. Kaiser provided permanent funding to the residency and the program has evolved to a nationally recognized orthopaedic manual therapy fellowship program. The Kaiser program has educated hundreds of fellows around the country and provided community course work to thousands of students, academic faculty, and clinicians.

Across his career, Peter was known for his expertise in treating patients who suffered from severe pain. Peter was an early expert in the management of neurovascular entrapment and managing patients with complex pain syndromes, including thoracic outlet syndrome. Peter treated several thousands of patients, shared his knowledge with physical therapists and physicians from around the country, and published articles and book chapters about his work. For his outstanding contributions to the education of physical therapists, the development of the OMPT Fellowship program and his contributions to advances in patient care, Peter received the Royce P. Noland Award, the highest award of the California Physical Therapy Association.

Peter was deeply committed to his patients. He taught us how to listen to patients and help them to understand and guide their own recovery. One of the finest physical therapists of our profession and a beloved friend to many, Peter may be gone, but his legacy lives on, through the proliferation of fellowships and residencies across the United States.

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