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HBCU Advocate Dr. Lynda Woodruff's Lifework Honored by Presidential Proclamation (1218 hits)

A pioneering scholar who helped build Physical Therapy curriculum's within the nation's HBCU's.

Alabama State University honored the lifework of a pioneering advocate for health equity who helped to establish ASU’s nationally acclaimed Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, which educates a diverse academy of students.

Longtime national physical therapy leader Dr. Lynda Woodruff, who died in her Atlanta home at the age of 70 on March 20, was recognized on Monday with one of the highest honors that ASU can bestow on an individual, which is an ASU Presidential Proclamation.

The proclamation, executed by ASU President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., on behalf of the Board of Trustees and the University, was presented to Dr. Woodruff’s family at her funeral on Monday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in her hometown of Lynchburg, Va.

Woodruff, a nationally recognized and highly respected leader in the field of physical therapy, became a visiting professor at Alabama State University and utilized her notoriety and remarkable knowledge of the PT profession in helping to establish the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at ASU in 2008. She also worked tirelessly to ensure the success of ASU’s DPT program, developing its curriculum and even helping to design the state-of-the-art facility that houses the program. Because of her vision and continued guidance as a valued consultant, ASU’s DPT program has become recognized nationally for its cutting-edge scholarship and has become one of the institution’s premier academic PT programs, which has helped to prepare hundreds of graduates for successful careers in the profession to date.

Woodruff started out in the PT academic world in 1976 at the University of North Carolina’s Physical Therapy Department. Within a few years, she was recruited to Georgia State University and there founded and directed its Minority Faculty Recruitment & Retention Program. By the 1990’s, Woodruff advanced to North Georgia College and brought about its inaugural post-baccalaureate PT program, which was the first of its kind in Georgia’s history.

ASU is among eight PT programs around the nation that Woodruff is credited with helping to “build.”

From an early age, Woodruff was a “bridge-builder.” In 1962, at only 13- years old, she was one of two African-American students to integrate Lynchburg, Virginia’s E. C. Glass High School. It was merely one of the many “firsts” that Woodruff would achieve, which also included being the first African-American to become a PT faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine.

While she helped create the PT program at Alabama State University, she went a step farther and helped to create what is known as the Baines-Woodruff Endowed Lectureship on Health Disparities. The Lectureship was named to honor her and Dr. Ruth E. Baines, the former assistant chancellor of health sciences for the State University of New York Central Administration, who helped to develop the Allied Health program at ASU and is responsible for bringing Woodruff to the University.

“Dr. Woodruff was a true pioneer who helped to advance the cause of inclusion and access to healthcare for all, especially those in underserved communities,” said Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr., President of Alabama State University. “Because of her determination, zeal and scholarship, ASU’s College of Health Sciences continues to operate as one of the top schools of its kind among the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”

Posted By: Reginald Culpepper
Wednesday, April 4th 2018 at 4:31PM
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