Distinguished Alumni Award
The Distinguished Alumni Award is granted to outstanding SHRS alumni who have distinguished themselves through their academic, professional and humanitarian accomplishments. Their commitment to professional excellence and dedication to serving their communities through scholarship, education and advocacy exemplify the core values of SHRS.
Dr. Cynthia Miles (Physical Therapy, BS '77)
BS – University of Pittsburgh, Health Related Professions, 1977 (Certificate in Physical Therapy)
MEd – East Stroudsburg University, Exercise Physiology, 1988
PhD – Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, 2013
Throughout her career, Dr. Cynthia Miles has made significant contributions to the practice of physical therapy – particularly pediatric physical therapy – and has demonstrated substantial service to the profession and her community.
In 1981, Miles opened an outpatient physical therapy practice that specialized in providing pediatric PT services as well as occupational, speech and feeding therapy in the Lehigh Valley – an innovative idea for the time and a much-needed service in her community. Her practice is dedicated to advocating for children’s health and wellness throughout the lifespan, starting with newborn screenings for appropriate movement patterns and symmetries then continuing with annual check-ups. In 2018, she merged her practice with St. Luke’s University Health Network.
Miles has held multiple titles in the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy (APPT) and currently serves as president as well as co-chair and meeting planner for the Academy’s Annual Conference (APPTAC), which routinely attracts more than 500 pediatric physical therapists. She presents nationally on pediatric private practice and reimbursement as well as internationally on torticollis, plagiocephaly and Fitness for All Abilities to promote health and wellness for people of all ages. She has also published in peer reviewed journals and books on topics related to pediatric physical therapy.
She recently established a scholarship fund that will provide tuition support for SHRS DPT students interested in and committed to careers as pediatric physical therapists. Miles has also volunteered her time for a continuing education course on congenital torticollis and plagiocephaly that served as a fundraiser for SHRS students’ efforts to compete in the Pitt-Marquette Challenge for the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research.