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Mechanicsburg/Harrisburg, PA – June 4, 2024: Select Medical today announced it has gifted $5 million over a five-year term to Harrisburg University of Science and Technology to partner and create The Select Medical Institute of Physical Therapy and Movement at Harrisburg University. The philanthropic investment will support Harrisburg University’s existing undergraduate exercise science program and the development of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

“We are thrilled to partner with Harrisburg University to shape the future generation of physical therapists,” said Bob Ortenzio, co-founder and executive chairman of Select Medical. “We see a tremendous opportunity to help students prepare and successfully enter the field as they endeavor to advance their learning and careers. The Select Medical Institute for Physical Therapy and Movement will deliver on that along with investing in grants and research that will positively impact patient outcomes and recognize the valuable care we provide to patient communities across the country.”

The Select Medical Institute of Physical Therapy and Movement at Harrisburg University will build pathways to expand the physical therapy workforce while providing career advancement opportunities for students and continuing education for professionals. Programs will feature both academic and professional development that engages and educates from the high school level through advanced careers. Additionally, the institute will provide student scholarships, career counseling, placement, and continuing education.

“We are deeply grateful to Select Medical for their transformative $5 million gift to establish The Select Medical Physical Therapy and Movement Institute at Harrisburg University. This generous contribution represents yet another chapter in Select Medical’s ongoing commitment to enhancing the healthcare workforce and their continued investment in Harrisburg University,” said Dr. Eric Darr, President of Harrisburg University. “This institute will enable us to pioneer advancements in physical therapy and movement science, providing our students with scholarships and unparalleled opportunities for research and hands-on experience. This partnership underscores our shared dedication to innovation and improving quality of life through education and healthcare.”

The partnership will also host clinical education conferences, develop clinical residencies and fellowship programs, and fund innovative, evidence-based research initiatives. This ongoing learning will keep aspiring and experienced physical therapists apprised of advanced treatments, technologies, and research developments that will enhance their expertise and advance their career.

“Select Medical employs more than 8,000 physical therapists nationwide in our specialty hospitals and outpatient rehabilitation centers, and the need for this discipline will continue to increase,” continued Ortenzio. “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 15 percent by 2032. This partnership with Harrisburg University is about investing in people to pursue their aspirations, and to cultivate a competency-based workforce to meet the demands of the future.”


Harrisburg University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a private, nonprofit university offering bachelor’s and graduate degree programs in the fields of science, technology, and mathematics. For more information, visit


Select Medical is one of the largest operators of critical illness recovery hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and occupational health centers in the United States based on number of facilities. As of March 31, 2024, Select Medical operated 107 critical illness recovery hospitals in 28 states, 33 rehabilitation hospitals in 13 states, 1,922 outpatient rehabilitation clinics in 39 states and the District of Columbia, and 547 occupational health centers in 41 states. On March 31, 2024, Select Medical had operations in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Information about Select Medical is available at

CAPTE Disclaimer:

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone; 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. Candidacy is considered to be an accredited status, as such the credits and degree earned from a program with Candidacy status are considered, by CAPTE, to be from an accredited program. Therefore, students in the charter (first) class should be eligible to take the licensure exam even if CAPTE withholds accreditation at the end of the candidacy period. That said, it is up to each state licensing agency, not CAPTE, to determine who is eligible for licensure. Information on licensing requirements should be directed to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT; or specific state boards (a list of state boards and contact information is available on FSBPT’s website. Harrisburg University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on November 1, 2024. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

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Media Contacts

For Select Medical: Shelly Eckenroth, or 717.920.4035

For Harrisburg University: Jessica Warren, or 717.756.5465