Ricardo Fernandez, PT

Ricardo A. Fernandez,PT, PhD, OCS, CSCS graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in physical therapy in 1989. He then returned to complete his Master of Health Science in physical therapy degree from the University of Indianapolis with a specialty in orthopedics in 1992. While a full-time faculty member at Northwestern University, Ricardo studied the relationship between posture and knee dysfunction as part of his doctoral work at Nova Southeastern University where he completed his PhD in 2007. He is a credentialed clinical instructor, three-time orthopedic certified specialist, and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He has lectured at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, Governors State University, Northern Illinois University, Rosalind Franklin University, Morton College, Fox College, Oakton Community College and Flathead Valley Community College. Ricardo has written exam questions for the state board exam as a member of the Item Writer and Review Committee of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy and for the orthopedic specialty exam as a member of the Specialization Academy of Content Experts of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. In 2009, he was appointed and served eight years on the Illinois Physical Therapy Licensing and Disciplinary Board with two years as the chairperson. Ricardo has presented over 200physical therapy related presentations to community-based organizations. Additionally, he has presented over 250professional presentations in nineteen states and has also lectured internationally in Aruba, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Peru. He traveled to Honduras and Nicaragua to volunteer to provide pro bono physical therapy. His publications have appeared in Athletic Therapy Today, Physical Therapy Case Reports, Physical Therapy, and the Sports Physical Therapy Section Newsletter. Ricardo dedicates a lot of his free time honoring our veterans, military members and their families. He hosted sailors from Naval Station Great Lakes at his home for Thanksgiving for 10 years. He volunteers hundreds of hours with USO-Illinois. Ricardo served as a guardian for WWII and Korean War veterans with Honor Flight Chicago on 11 flights to Washington, DC. He served as a trip assistant for veterans on three trips to Washington, DC, from Beloit, Wisconsin with Vets Roll. He has also volunteered at the 1996 Paralympics, Gary Sinise Foundation's Lieutenant Dan Band concerts, Travis Mills Foundation, Sons of American Legion and many other veteran related charities. Ricardo was named the IPTA Physical Therapist of the Yearby the Illinois Physical Therapy Association in 2013. Ricardo received the American Physical Therapy Association Humanitarian Award in 2021. Ricardo is enjoying life in Kalispell, Montana. He has been an active member on the Legislative Committee for APTA Montana, was appointed as the APTA’s Federal Affairs Liaison for Montana for 2023 and has volunteered as a physical therapist for the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, MT.

Ricardo Fernandez

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