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D.L. Hart International Research Award

Jason Rodeghero2017 D.L. Hart Memorial International Research Award presented to Jason R. Rodeghero, DPT, PhD, OCS, AT, FAAOMPT at Outcomes Conference 2018

Mark Werneke2016 D.L. Hart International Research Award Presented to Mark Werneke at Outcomes Conference 2017

Dr. Pedro Gozalo2015 D.L. Hart International Research Award Presented to Dr. Pedro Gozalo at Outcomes Conference 2016

Hart_International_FOTO_Award-Al_and_Daniel_-_small-300318-edited2014 D.L. Hart International Research Award Presented to Dr. Daniel Deutscher at Outcomes Conference 2015

 Award History

In 2013, the D. L. Hart Memorial International Research Award was established to recognize individual(s) for outstanding research and publication in a peer refereed physical therapy or medical journal. The award year is based on the year of the published research. 

D.L. Hart

The award is named in honor of Dennis Hart PT, PhD (deceased 2012) for his uncompromising love and contributions to our physical therapy profession. Dennis was a functional outcome measurement visionary for his leadership and expertise in the development and clinical application of rehabilitation functional outcome measures using modern psychometrics based on item response theory mathematics. Dennis was the first physical therapist to develop, implement, and publish a value-based purchasing method for quantifying the quality of orthopedic outpatient rehabilitation demonstrating a clinician’s treatment effectiveness and efficiency when managing patients with musculoskeletal or neurological impairments. Dennis had a keen interest in using large clinical databases to promote clinical comparative effectiveness research (CER) with the ultimate goal of identifying the right treatment for the right patient. In addition to Dennis’ scholarly contributions i.e., over 85 articles in scientifically refereed journals, Dennis was a clinician, national and international speaker, and renowned educator. Dennis’ high professional productivity left us a rich heritage of knowledge to be studied and implemented in routine care for the benefit of our patients. His work influenced numerous researchers and helped thousands of physical therapists both in the US and Israel to better understand and integrate data collected during everyday clinical practice to help guide patient management and improve patient outcomes.


To acknowledge an individual or individuals who have published outstanding research that has expanded upon the scholarly contributions and career of Dennis Hart.


Only the first author is eligible. FOTO Research Advisory Board (FRAB) members can be eligible as first author, but not for receiving any award money. In such a case, the money could be given to non FRAB co-authors, or donated to a predetermined cause related to rehabilitation practice or any other cause FOTO would feel comfortable with, or just keep the money for next year's award.

Criteria for Selection

  1. High quality papers from any peer-reviewed journal (English language) which specifically address one of the following categories:
    1. Implementation of observational research design such as Practice-Based Evidence (PBE) or Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) to identify the right intervention for the right patient.
    2. Advancement of risk adjustment to control for potential confounders to enhance meaningful clinical interpretation of patient outcomes.
    3. The advancement of patient subgrouping classification to improve patient care management and outcomes.
    4. The advancement of value-based payment methods such as Pay for Performance (P4P) based on functional change and efficiency measures.
    5. Integration of patient self report functional status or health related quality of life measures during routine clinical practice to assess quality improvement and/or optimize clinical effectiveness.
  2. The manuscript must have made a significant impact on the science of patient management during everyday clinical practice, outcome assessment or advancement in outcome measurement.
  3. The paper explicitly examines FOTO data.

Submit a Nomination:

The call for nominations will begin October 1st.

 The first author may apply for the award or be nominated by a professional colleague familiar with the author's publication.

Procedure for Nomination:

  1. Nominations and a copy of the accepted manuscript or published article for which the author(s) are being nominated must be submitted electronically to Mark Werneke at mwerneke@fotoinc.com. Nominations are due by December 31st and the article must have been published within that year between Jan 1st – Dec 31st. Articles accepted and published online by Dec 31st ahead of print are also eligible.

Notification of Award

  1. The nominee will be selected by FRAB members during March or April following the year after the article's publication year. Nominators, if applicable, will be  informed of FRAB decision. After the recipient is selected by the FRAB, the selected first author will be notified of his or her award nomination either electronically or by a call using the recipient's cell phone number if available.

Nature of Award

First author: The award will consist of a plaque and $1,500 (USD) to be donated by FOTO, Inc. and presented at the spring Annual FOTO Conference. The award recipient will receive round trip coach airfare, one day per diem at conference, one night hotel reservation, and a one day conference registration.

Co-authors: Each co-author will receive a plaque in recognition of their work supporting the article’s publication.

Contact Information

Questions regarding the D.L. Hart International Memorial Research Award, including nomination application and submission, can be sent to Mark Werneke at mwerneke@fotoinc.com.