News » Ellen Costello, PT, PhD, Earns AACPT Educator Award

Ellen Costello, PT, PhD, Earns AACPT Educator Award

This year for the first time, the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy (AACPT) presented an award to honor an outstanding physical therapy educator. Ellen Costello, PT, PhD, director of the Physical Therapy Program at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), received the inaugural award.

The award honors Costello, who also serves as associate professor of health, human function, and rehabilitation sciences, for her professional involvement and contribution in acute care physical therapy education.

“I am honored to receive the AACPT Educator Award and appreciate the efforts of all acute care physical therapists, who set the stage for optimal patient recovery,” Costello said. “My initial area of clinical practice was in the ICU in a NYC burn and trauma center. Those experiences set the stage for my love of acute care practice and the understanding of the critical role physical therapy should and must play in the hospital setting. Teaching this content to GW’s bright and energetic DPT students is a joy. I look forward to creating innovative and meaningful learning experiences for our students as acute care practice continues to evolve.”

To be eligible for the award, recipients must be current members of AACPT and have exhibited outstanding leadership throughout their career in areas that include scholarship, teaching, administration, and service. In addition, the activities of candidates must reflect substantial advancement and recognition of best practices in acute care physical therapist or physical therapist assistant education.

Over the last 35 years, Costello has taught thousands of physical therapy students in the clinic and in the classroom. She joined SMHS as an assistant professor in 2004, and previously taught in physical therapy programs at Columbia University and Ithaca College. Her primary areas of teaching include gross anatomy and management of individuals with cardiovascular and pulmonary dysfunction.

Costello’s research interests range from outcomes in physical therapy education to physical activity and aging in the older population. She has published and presented her research in both peer-reviewed journals and at national and international research forums.

Costello will received the award at presentation at the AACPT Business Meeting during the Combined Sections Meeting in January 2019.