Implementing AHTF Goals for Doris Slack Fund Proceeds in 2022

Posted by April Cowan OTR, OTD, CHT 02/14/2022

This blog post aims to shine the light on one of the great supporters of the American Hand Therapy Foundation and show you an example how the donor wishes are becoming reality.

In 2020, AHTF received a generous donation from the Doris Ann Slack Fund administered by her family to support the mission of the AHTF to fund clinical and scientific research and education to advance the practice of hand therapy and quality of patient care throughout the world. Specifically, the purpose of this fund is to encourage and support clinical innovations and education in the field of upper extremity rehabilitation, in perpetuity. In 2020, the AHTF Board of Directors decided to designate proceeds from the Doris Ann Slack Fund toward the following areas:

  • Adding funding, increasing the amounts of the AHTF existing grants to promote innovation in clinical research and practice
  • Support of an educational program in conjunction with national upper extremity professional organizations (e.g. ASSH, ASHT, AAHS) to disseminate evidence-based clinical innovation to therapists, which is deemed to directly enhance patient care

AHTF now has the processes in place and is implementing the goals as we speak. The fruits of the Doris Ann Slack Fund could already be felt in 2021 when the AHTF contributed funds to the platform presentations at the ASHT Annual Meeting in St Louis. Due to the hybrid format of the meeting, the abstracts reached those who could or could not attend in person.

So, we have made strides for the educational goal, but not yet for the grants goal, namely to support research grants that are enriched by the Slack fund, either Burkhalter New Investigator Award for Clinical Research in Hand & Upper Limb Rehabilitation, or the Judy Bell-Krotoski "Grab the Evidence" Award. 

The AHTF has made some significant improvements to those grants to make it equally attractive and feasible for those in academia as well as in clinical practice; allowable expenses were added to compensate the principal investigator and allowable expenses were added to reimburse human subjects applications in case those need to be acquired through private companies for those not affiliated with an institution that carries those. The research grants are due soon (March 1) but please do not hesitate to contact April Cowan at if you have any questions or concerns.

We are currently making some simplifications to application form for the Evelyn Mackin Grant for Education by a Traveling Hand Therapist. The intent of the grants remains the same as last year, but the application form will change; the application will be open from May 1 to July 1.

If you are a donor, please visit this site to see the results of your donations at work. If you seek research funding, send us your applications. If you want to hear about who we are and what we do, please also visit our YouTube page.

Doris Ann Slack, an occupational and a physical therapist with a Master’s degree of public health must have known everything about helping people to move forward, both patients and colleagues alike. So, therefore, share with us how we can move you and our beloved profession forward; would multiple application deadlines move you forward? Your comments will be very welcome.

Please comments to April Cowan at, and I will share those comments with the Grants Committee, unidentified if you'd like!