It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. The American Hand Therapy Foundation (AHTF) was established by a few visionary American Society of Hand Therapists members who had the desire to promote a higher level of clinical knowledge in the relatively new field of hand and upper extremity therapy, provide world class content for its new Journal of Hand Therapy, and stand up to the challenges of subsistence in a cost-controlled healthcare environment.
Ironically, clinical research was the subject of much debate by early hand therapists. Some voiced the opinion that they “only wanted to be good clinicians.” Fortunately, visionary hand therapy leaders who founded AHTF understood that “proof” would be needed to improve and to distinguish exceptional treatment. Clinical research would provide a pathway for the ultimate survival and success of the practice of hand therapy.