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  • Mary Edmonds, Founding Director of Cleveland PT Program, Dies at 85

    Mary Louise McKinney Edmonds, PT, PhD, FAPTA, well respected for her personal strength, her love of study, and her commitment to physical therapy and minority affairs, died on October 11 at age 85.

    Edmonds began her career as a clinician, including treating children with disabilities in Butlerville, Indiana, but she eventually moved into academia. In 1972 she became the founding director of the Physical Therapy Program at Cleveland State University and later was chair of health sciences. In 1981 Edmonds left Cleveland for a position as dean of Bowling Green State University’s College of Health and Community Services. About 10 years later, she joined Stanford University as vice provost and dean of student affairs, where she stayed until retiring from Stanford and in 2000 returning to her alma mater, Spelman College, as special assistant to the president.

    Throughout her career, Edmonds continued to be a student as well as an educator. After receiving an undergraduate degree from Spelman, she earned her first graduate degree, in physical therapy, from the University of Wisconsin, then a master’s degree from Western Reserve University (later to become Case Western University). She earned a second master’s degree and a PhD from Case Western Reserve University, and she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Edmonds’ academic interest was what now is known as cultural competency, and she helped pioneer the study of how behaviors, attitudes, and policies affect the health outcomes of aged black women. She presented over 60 professional papers and was a visiting scholar in the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, China, and former Yugoslavia.

    Edmonds had leadership roles in over 30 organizations and received over 20 honors and awards for her service, including 2 honorary doctorates. APTA named her a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association in 1995.

    Memorial contributions can be made to the Mary M. Edmonds Scholarship fund at Bowling Green State University.


    • I remember Dr. Edmunds when she was at Cleveland State in the late 1970's, and I met her there. she was a very accomplished and competent professional at that time and I am happy to see that her career advanced beautifully, making full use of her talents.

      Posted by stephen gudas on 11/18/2017 7:52 AM

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