TCOM’s Dr. Rita Patterson named recipient of the 2021 ASHT Honorary Membership Award

By Steven Bartolotta

Rita Web

The American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT) announced that Rita Patterson, PhD has been named the recipient of the 2021 ASHT Honorary Membership Award.

Dr. Patterson, the Associate Dean of Research at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM), received the award at the ASHT 44th Annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri.

“I was fortunate to join a research team early in my career that valued having biomedical engineers on its team,” said Dr. Patterson. “As a result, I am proud that I could be part of a legacy that modeled the philosophy of the late Dr. Paul Brand who recognized the need to translate engineering principles to answer clinical problems in the hand. I have learned that through a diverse team that included therapists, surgeons, engineers, and patients that we could find answers to clinically meaningful questions that can help make people’s lives better.”

The Honorary Membership Award recognizes individuals other than Certified Hand Therapists who have made significant contributions to ASHT and the specialty of hand and upper extremity therapy through education, advocacy, research, public service, marketing, and promotion of the ASHT’s mission, vision and values.

Honorary Membership is awarded to an individual who is not already a member of ASHT and who is not eligible for Active or Associate membership in the society.

ASHT member Caroline Stegink-Jansen, PT, PhD, CHT, nominated Dr. Patterson. In her letter of nomination, Stegink-Jansen wrote:

“Dr. Patterson is a biomechanical engineer who has devoted her career to translational research by providing bioengineering research knowledge of hand structure and function that has altered and improved surgical and rehabilitation clinical practice of the hand, and particularly the wrist. The quality, value and sustainability of her work is recognized within the fields of engineering and hand therapy. Dr Patterson has shared her expertise and exposed a broad spectrum of clinicians, both surgical as well as rehabilitative and engineering researchers, to the field of care for those with ailments to the upper extremity, with the strongest emphasis on the wrist and hand.”

The American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT) is an organization of professionals dedicated to advancing the field of hand and upper extremity therapy by promoting education, advocacy, research and clinical standards. ASHT members include occupational and physical therapists, advanced practice practitioners, surgeons, researchers and administrators.

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