APTA Members In Memoriam

June 17, 2020

Honoring the lives and contributions to the profession from members we lost in 2020

Ernie  Burch Jr., PT, FAPTA, the former APTA Maryland President (1963-1965) and APTA Vice President helped lead the way in the establishment of autonomous physical therapist practice in Maryland. Ernest A. Burch Jr., PT, FAPTA, considered a pioneer in physical therapy, died April 28 at age 91.

Originally from Swedesboro, New Jersey, Burch received his undergraduate degree from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) in 1950. He began his career in physical therapy after serving time in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and then completing his PT education in 1956 from the University of Pennsylvania on a G.I. bill that paid his tuition.

He spent 10 years as chief therapist at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore before leaving to open a private practice, Burch, Rhoads & Loomis, focusing on orthopedic and home health services. The practice eventually expanded to 10 offices. While at Union Memorial, Burch spent an afternoon each week observing Henry O. and Florence P. Kendall perform muscle testing and posture analysis with nurses at Johns Hopkins.

As successful as Burch’s career was, he was equally well-known for the depth and breadth of his service to APTA. Notably, he and Florence Kendall helped push for autonomous practice legislation in Maryland in the 1970s. Among the long list of positions Burch held are APTA vice president, chair of the APTA Nominating Committee, secretary and then president of the Maryland Chapter, president of the Private Practice Section, and chair of the Maryland State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. He was named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow, APTA’s highest member category, and he earned several awards, including APTA’s Lucy Blair Service Award and the Private Practice Section’s Robert G. Dicus Award.

"Ernie was a stalwart for physical therapy advocacy," said APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT. "In one of my first presentations for APTA more than 20 years ago, I was at a chapter meeting being drilled with questions about direct access, referral for profit, and incident-to billing. After 30 minutes, Ernie stood up and said if everyone in the room was as aggressive on Capitol Hill as in the conference room we’d have solved those problems already. The crowd applauded and my presentation was over. I hadn’t met Ernie yet, but he supported me and I never forgot that. Over the years I got to know him a bit better. He was a gem and a gentleman. APTA is fortunate for having had his leadership."

Jane Kroh Satterfield, PT was  lifelong advocate for the field of pediatric physical therapy, especially in the care for children with special needs. Jane was instrumental in the development of the Pediatric Special Interest Group in Maryland and was honored by the Chapter with the Henry O. and Florence P. Kendall Award in 1981.  She was also a member of the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. Jane Satterfield passed away on May 10, 2020 at the age of 78. 

Born in Baltimore and raised in Hamilton, she received her BS in physical therapy from the University of Maryland in 1964, and her graduate degree from Johns Hopkins University. From the start, Jane's passion was to help the very youngest of our community by specializing in pediatric physical therapy. In 1985, Jane founded Care Rehab, later Care Resources, with a primary focus on the various therapeutic needs of children.Countless families in the Mid-Atlantic region had their lives forever changed because of her passion for caring.

Jane was extremely dedicated to promoting the importance of the physical therapy profession, advocating for those less fortunate, and helping practitioners maximize their potential impact. She was a skilled visionary and innovator who believed in the power of positivity. Jane valued the importance of education and donated her time and talents to multiple schools, boards, and charities.

As a physical therapist, she mentored younger therapists, advocated for them to advance their education, and even encouraged some to pursue careers in therapy.