Barb MelzerIt is with a heavy heart that I write this post, one I sincerely wish I didn’t have to. My esteemed colleague and friend, Dr. Barbara Melzer, PT, PhD, DPT, FAPTA, has passed away. The world has lost a kind and intelligent soul and the physical therapy profession has lost a legend. Her captivating smile, is no more.


If I may summarize her bio:

Dr. Barbara Melzer, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA has been an active participant in physical therapy clinical practice and education for 38 years. She has served as the Texas Physical Association President and Chief Delegate. She has served on the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Board of Director and as APTA Secretary, as well as the Chair of the APTA Nominating Committee. She served as an officer of the APTA Education Section for 6 years and Commissioner on the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) as a Team Leader. She was a co-editor of the Normative Model of Physical Therapist Professional Education, Version 2000, and has presented almost too many times to count on matters related to clinical education in physical therapy. She has impacted countless physical therapy education programs through the activities above as well as through her widespread consultation. She has served on dozens of doctoral dissertation committees. At Texas State she served as Professor, and Director of Clinical Education, and has represented the School of Health Professions on the Faculty Senate and was a multiple winner of the Texas State University Presidential Award for Service. Dr. Melzer was awarded the status of Catherine Worthingham Fellow in 2003, the highest honor for members of the APTA. Through the incredible span of her service and lengthy list of accomplishments, she has impacted the profession in ways no words can accurately capture.

But more than these accomplishments, she was strong. She was generous, and entertaining. She may have been the only faculty on her phone more than I during faculty meetings, which I appreciated.  She could distill most of the world’s problems to a primary color. She was a balanced, thoughtful and wise voice of council that I will personally miss, and Texas State University will not be the same without her.

Please join me in extending thoughts and prayers for Barb and her family, and raising a toast in her honor. Let’s celebrate a life of excellence and service, lest we invoke her ire for stopping to be sad for too long. Barb Melzer, I will miss your brain. I will miss our conversations. I will miss your smile.

Her memory and contributions to the profession will live on forever.


The College of Health Professions and the Department of Physical Therapy will establish a scholarship to honor Dr. Melzer’s contributions to the College, Department of Physical Therapy, and Texas State. Donations will be accepted in memory of Dr. Barbara Melzer. Please make checks payable to the Development Foundation and mailed to:

Texas State University-San Marcos Development Foundation
Attn: Donor Services, JCK-480
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666

Update #2:

Barb had worked with a charity she helped found, Texas WINGS, that provides health care to uninsured women with breast cancer. She served on the board as secretary and treasurer of this charity. With this in mind, this is another avenue by which those who wish to donate in Barb’s memory can take action.