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October Is National Physical Therapy Month: Let’s Make It a Moving Experience!

October is a time to celebrate the Physical Therapy profession and all the wonderful and caring ways Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and PT and PTA students help enhance lives across the country and around the world. As we celebrate the healthy and meaningful contributions of tireless and dedicated physical therapists, we’d like to shine the spotlight on the extraordinary woman who made all the caregiving possible. Let’s relive and celebrate the life of Mary McMillian, the “Mother of Physical Therapy.” The heroic nurse Florence Nightingale is well-known for her role in the Crimean War, revolutionizing cleanliness and forever altering hospital administration. Her efforts revolutionized medicine and helped to save many lives.

However, are you familiar with Mary McMillan? She, too, was a pioneering wartime nurse who significantly influenced medicine. When it was uncommon for a woman to pursue a complete education, Mary took it upon herself to do so. She received training in Europe to master the most cutting-edge massage and physical therapy techniques, then took her expertise back to the United States to treat polio patients. During World War I, Mary was selected as the first-ever Reconstruction Aide of the US Army Medical Corps. In this capacity, she helped injured soldiers get better by using cutting-edge physical therapy methods. The way we all recuperate from surgery or injuries today was fundamentally altered by a change in the way treatment was provided. Mary published a book detailing the therapies she invented after the war. The 1920 publication of Massage and Therapeutic Exercise was met with unexpected success. Physical treatment was in high demand, and Mary later instructed Reed College’s first physical therapy course.

Mary, a lifelong learner, inspirational educator, and passionate caregiver continued to advance physical therapy. She was a wealthy woman who donated half of her estate to the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research, which now grants scholarships in her honor. A salute to one extraordinary woman! Source: #physicaltherapymonth #rehabilitation #celebratesuccess #transforminglives #Dependablecarestaffing #teamappreciation

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