March 29, 2007
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
Distinguished alumnus earns Alumni Association's
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Gargantuan is the only way to describe Thomas Zaucha's 40 years of loyalty to Slippery Rock University. Since graduating in 1967, Zaucha has served on numerous boards, participated in hundreds of activities and he's even donated the largest gift ever to the School of Physical Therapy. In honor of his standout legacy, SRU's Alumni Association has named Zaucha the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.
He will receive the award April 21 at the association's annual awards dinner at the University Club in North Hall.
"He has had a profound impact on this University and embodies what SRU graduates are all about," said Michael Saraka, director of alumni relations.
Zaucha, partner/vice president of Benchmark Medical Inc. and the former president and CEO of Keytone Rehabilitation Systems, committed $100,000 to support graduate education in physical therapy through The Campaign for Slippery Rock University, a 10-year fund-raising initiative. A Rock Society member and former SRU Foundation, Inc., board member, he played football as a student and graduated with a degree in health and physical education.
He later received a degree in physical therapy from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in health care management from the University of Pittsburgh.
A long-time health advocate, Zaucha developed Keystone Rehabilitation Systems into a $28-million enterprise and the largest provider of physical therapy services throughout Pennsylvania from its headquarters in Indiana, Pa. In 1995, he sold Keystone to publicly held Northstar Health Services.
Zaucha then served as president and CEO of Northstar for five years. Northstar Health Services in 2000 was sold to private investors. The resulting company was Benchmark Medical Inc. where Zaucha currently serves as a partner and vice president.
Zaucha is a member of several professional organizations including the American Physical Therapy Association, National Athletic Trainers Association and American College of Sports Medicine. He also serves as vice chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy. His community involvement includes service as a member of the Indiana County Airport Authority, Chamber of Commerce (Indiana County), Lifesteps corporate board and the Indiana Borough Mayors Cabinet.
He has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career, including Health Care Entrepreneur of the Year - Western Pennsylvania in 1992; Civic Leader of the Year - Indiana County in 1996; the Benjamin Rush Award in 1999; and the IUP Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. Zaucha has served as chairman of the annual Keystone Rehabilitation Golf Tournament. During the nine years of the tournament, more than $150,000 was raised for various service organizations in Indiana County.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.