ATI Physical Therapy, a nationally recognized outpatient physical therapy provider in the United States, has announced the formation of The Institute for Musculoskeletal Advancement (iMSKA). iMSKA represents a commitment to advance scientific MSK research while providing resources and opportunities for practicing professionals.

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In partnership with ATI Physical Therapy, iMSKA is dedicated to progressing quality clinical care with a focus on research. ATI established the institute to offer long-lasting and ongoing contributions to the growing body of scientific knowledge and evidence in the management of patients with MSK conditions.

Chuck Thigpen, PT, PhD, ATC, senior vice president for clinical excellence for ATI Physical Therapy, says iMSKA will contribute and distribute research and thought leadership in the management of patients with musculoskeletal issues. iMSKA intends to do this through analysis, publications, and presentations of outcome repositories, funded trials, and translational research of formal learning programs to assess implementation of new research and best practices. 

“iMSKA represents a commitment by ATI to promote the advancement of MSK care through scientific research, training and development,” Thigpen says. “We aim to deliver the most advanced and most impactful body of research to drive improved outcomes and the betterment of human life.”

Areas of focus include post-operative and non-operative outcomes; early access to care; treatment fidelity; value-based care models; and the effect on outcome implementation science.

In the future, interested individuals will be invited to apply to join an elite group of clinicians as a Research Fellow or to attend an ABPTRFE-accredited Orthopedic Residency, Sports Residency, or Upper Extremity Fellowship program. For more information, visit  

iMSKA has applied for registered 501(c)(3) status as an independent non-profit, research-based institution.

ATI Physical Therapy, based in Bolingbrook, Ill., provides convenient access to high-quality care to prevent and treat musculoskeletal (MSK) pain. The company’s 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, according to the company. 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 the online platform, CONNECT, a complete list of ATI’s service offerings can be found at