On December 10, the College of Health and Human Services will host the 2020 Health and Human Services Hero Awards to recognize individuals who are making a bold difference right here in the Central Valley. We will highlight the nine honorees in our Heroes Blog Series.


Name: Robert Bacci

Occupation:  Physical Therapist, Bacci & Glinn Physical Therapy

Nominated by:  Department of Physical Therapy

For the past 30 years, Dr. Robert Bacci has led his profession with the heart of service in mind. As a physical therapist, he is committed to providing health care to anyone in need of services, regardless of income or access to insurance. In fact, that is the core mission of Bacci and Glinn Physical Therapy – his practice based in Visalia and Hanford. 

Bacci has now hosted over 80 educational workshops for the community that cover topics ranging from how to treat and prevent lower back pain to how to balance and control movement to osteoarthritis management. He provides these workshops for free and over the past two years, has reached hundreds of South Valley residents who would otherwise not have access to care. 

In addition to his gift of service, Bacci continually provides the gift of mentorship and knowledge for countless Fresno State physical therapy students. After all, he was once in their same shoes. His journey in the profession began in 1974, when he was among the first class to earn a bachelor’s degree from the newly formed Physical Therapy Program. 

After he graduated, Bacci led a multifaceted career working in private outpatient orthopaedics, acute hospital settings and long-term care. After a number of years, he ventured into the corporate arena and became the area vice president of NovaCare – the second largest physical therapy provider in the U.S. at the time. Bacci now dedicates his time to giving back to the academic program that launched his career. 

Through his practice, he provides clinical education sites for doctoral students, in an effort to enhance their hands-on experience in the field. This allows them to stay and serve in the Valley, while learning directly from licensed professionals in the field. Bacci even helped sponsor the purchase of Web PT’s educational model for students to use in the program’s Gait, Balance, and Mobility and MusculoSkeletal Care Clinics. Web PT is one of the leading electronic medical records used by physical therapists today. 

For Bacci, the opportunity to support future physical therapists is the best way to give back to the profession that means so much to him. He continues to impact students and the profession through the Robert and Jessica Bacci Physical Therapy Scholarship – named after he and his wife. 

“I have spent 50 years of my life preparing to be a physical therapist and in clinical practice,” Bacci said. “Thanks to the physical therapy program at Fresno State, I have helped literally thousands of patients. Those 50 years has  been time well spent – time that matters. Providing an opportunity for future students at Fresno State to make their mark and serve others is just another way we can leave a legacy, and make a contribution to future generations.”

The 2020 Health and Human Services Hero Awards, which celebrates heroes from each of the seven departments, as well as centers and institutes within our college, will be held virtually this year. For more information on the event, contact Beth Wilkinson at bwilkinson@csufresno.edu.