Leslie Portney

Leslie Portney, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, is Dean of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) at MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP) in Boston. Prior to this she served as Interim Dean of SHRS, and Chair of the health sciences graduate school’s Department of Physical Therapy, where she continues to hold an appointment as Professor.

Dr. Portney joined the MGH Institute in 1990, having previously served in academic and research positions at Boston University, New England Medical Center, and New York University. Her expertise facilitated the development of the MGH Institute's innovative entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program, one of the first in the United States to award the DPT degree. Dr. Portney's primary teaching responsibility is in the area of critical inquiry. She is the first author of a widely used textbook on research design and statistics, Foundations of Clinical Research: Applications to Practice.

With more than 45 years of experience and more than 100 publications and professional presentations, she is recognized as a national leader in physical therapy education and research. An active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), in 2002 she was elected a Catherine Worthingham Fellow, the highest honor among the APTA's membership categories. She has served as the inaugural President of the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy, Chair of the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), and Chair of the Council of Worthingham Fellows. She also serves as an educational consultant to many physical therapy education programs as well as professional organizations, recognized for her leadership in clinical and interprofessional education.

Dr. Portney is the recipient of the Massachusetts Chapter APTA Outstanding Researcher Award, Doctoral Awards from the Foundation for Physical Therapy and the Geriatrics Section of the APTA, the Louis Lowy Certificate in Gerontology from Boston University, the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the VCU Physical Therapy Department, and was named the 2014 Cerasoli Lecturer by the APTA Education Section.