Dr. Laurence N. Benz, DPT, OCS, MBA, President/CEO of PT Development LLC, co-founder of Evidence In Motion (EIM), and operator of nearly 40 clinics in four states, was named the national winner of the Private Practice Section 2012 Robert G. Dicus award. Benz is the youngest physical therapist to ever receive this prestigious award. The honor is awarded annually to a single member of the Private Practice Section who demonstrates a tireless commitment to advance the profession through clinical excellence, education, and advocacy; and provides meaningful contributions to the American Physical Therapy Association and other industry related organizations. Benz accepted the award yesterday among 1,500 of his peers at the section’s national meeting opening ceremony held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After earning his master’s in physical therapy from Baylor University, Dr. Benz’s passionate mission to elevate the physical therapy industry began. Throughout the last 25 years, Benz’s steadfast efforts to make a difference have yielded measurable results in the areas of physical therapy education, coalition building to influence legislation, innovative care, and philanthropy.
As co-founder of EIM, Benz and his partners have been committed to providing cutting-edge programs, research, resources, and evidence-based training to the world’s community of practicing physical therapists. During the past year, EIM has grown to become the largest provider of post-professional educational programs in the PT industry and now offers Transitional Doctorate programs to Canadian and Caribbean physical therapists.
According to Dr. Benz, one of his greatest achievements was the pivotal role he played in passing Kentucky legislation to equalize physical therapy and primary care co-pays. When Benz decided to take action, he worked with the Kentucky Physical Therapy Association to raise awareness about the issue, mobilized Kentucky physical therapists to join together in support of the effort, met with legislative leaders to explain the need for the bill, and testified at Senate hearings. Successfully passing this legislation was a huge win for the physical therapy industry as it helped set a precedent for other physical therapists around the country experiencing similar challenges in their states. The victory also led Benz to help launch a national physical therapy business coalition – the Physical Therapy Business Alliance (PTBA). The PTBA mission is to improve business conditions for independent physical therapy practices. This alliance now represents over 30 Practices in more than 20 states with over 250 locations and 750 licensed therapists.
Benz’s unrelenting goal to keep physical therapists on the forefront of innovative care, recently led him to join forces with the industry’s most influential and successful stakeholders to create and launch a nationally-scaled, neurologic physical therapy training institution. The new Louisville-based venture, NeuroRecovery Training Institute (NeuroRTI), will begin accepting applications for residency classes in October 2012.
Equal amounts of energy and passion for the physical therapy industry are represented in Benz’s philanthropic endeavors. Following the 2010 catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, Dr. Benz founded Jacmel Rehab, a physical therapy clinic that offers free treatment to local citizens. Benz is especially proud that through new partnerships and the support of his network of volunteers and colleagues, he has been able to sustain the Jacmel clinic as well as expand his philanthropic interest in Haiti to include Kenbe Fem, a children’s home that provides housing and care for 22 Haitian children.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award,” says Benz. “I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to my family, mentors, coaches, partners, and staff who have helped support and sustain my passion for physical therapy. I am fortunate to serve a profession that I truly love.”