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BOLINGBROOK, Ill.May 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Institute for Musculoskeletal Advancement (iMSKA) today appointed Tom Denninger, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, as Executive Director. This is the first executive appointment by iMSKA, which announced its formation earlier this year. Mr. Denninger will play a pivotal role in shaping the strategy for equipping, training, and transforming MSK care delivery through research and post professional development.

“iMSKA represents a commitment to advance scientific MSK research while providing resources and opportunities for practicing professionals,” Mr. Denninger said. “The opportunity for growth and innovation in the field has never been more exciting or crucial. I’m thrilled to lead the Institute and support its mission.”

Mr. Denninger is joined by Ellen Shanley, PhD, PT, OCS, Senior Director of Practice Standards and Quality Improvement, and Adam Lutz, PT, DPT, PhD, MBA, Director of Care Quality and Innovation at iMSKA as board members and major contributors to the research and educational initiatives. ATI’s Chief Information Officer Augustus Oakes will also serve on board, offering his insight and expertise on leveraging innovative technology in the healthcare space.

Founded by ATI Physical Therapy (“ATI” or the “Company”) (NYSE: ATIP), a nationally recognized outpatient physical therapy provider in the United States, iMSKA’s mission is to progress quality clinical care with a focus on value, including: post-operative and non-operative outcomes; early access to care; treatment fidelity; value-based care models; and the effect on outcome implementation science. Applications to become a Research Fellow or to attend an ABPTRFE-accredited Orthopedic Residency, Sports Residency, or Upper Extremity Fellowship program will be announced in the coming months.

Mr. Denninger also serves as Vice President of Clinical Development at ATI where he oversees ATI’s post-professional education programs, research initiatives, and clinical development throughout the organization. Previously, Mr. Denninger was Senior Director of Learning and Development ATI Physical Therapy, where he oversaw all internal and external clinical education and development programs. Mr. Denninger has been with ATI since 2015 working in a variety of patient-facing, operational, and corporate roles.  He completed his DPT and Orthopedic Residency at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT and completed his fellowship in manual physical therapy through Evidence in Motion. Mr. Denninger has presented at national conferences and has multiple peer reviewed articles on the topic of manual therapy and medical screening.

iMSKA also announces an Advisory Board from partnering institutions who are thought leaders in the Musculoskeletal care space and bring insight, advice, and knowledge to strategically guide iMSKA in its research initiatives and support its overall mission as a nonprofit organization, including:

  • Michael Kissenberth, MD, Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas
  • Trevor Lentz, PT, PhD, MPH, Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI)
  • Lori Michener, PhD, PT, ATC, SCS, FAPTA, University of Southern California
  • Kate Minick, PT, DPT, PhD, Intermountain Healthcare
  • Amit Momaya, MD, University of Alabama- Birmingham
  • Mark V. Paterno, PT, PhD, MBA, SCS, ATC, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
  • Laura Pietrosimone, PT, DPT, PhD, Duke University
  • Amee L. Seitz, PT, DPT, PhD, Northwestern University
  • Chuck Thigpen, PhD, PT, ATC, ATI Physical Therapy
  • John Tokish, MD, Mayo Clinic

iMSKA has applied for registered 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit, research-based institution.  For more information, please visit

The Institute for Musculoskeletal Advancement (iMSKA) was founded by ATI Physical Therapy to engage in scientific research to determine the causes of injuries, disorders, and diseases of the musculoskeletal system; to inform, improve, and advance the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries, disorders, and diseases; and to discover, develop, and promote best practices in clinical musculoskeletal care. For more information, please visit iMSKA is based Bolingbrook, IL.

At ATI Physical Therapy, we are committed to making every life an active life. We provide convenient access to high-quality care to prevent and treat musculoskeletal (MSK) pain. Our approximately 900 locations in 24 states and virtual practice operate under the largest single-branded platform built to support standardized clinical guidelines and operating processes. With outcomes from more than 3 million unique patient cases, ATI strives to utilize quality standards designed to deliver proven, predictable, and impactful patient outcomes. From preventative services in the workplace and athletic training support to outpatient clinical services and online physical therapy via our online platform, CONNECT™, a complete list of our service offerings can be found at ATI is based in Bolingbrook, Illinois.

Genesa Garbarino
Garbo Communications

Rob Manker of ATI Physical Therapy