Newswise — DALLAS – Oct. 16, 2017 – Dr. Kathleen Bell has received the 2017 Frank H. Krusen, MD, Lifetime Achievement Award for advancing research and clinical care in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. The award is the highest honor given by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Bell, Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UT Southwestern Medical Center, is a nationally recognized researcher of traumatic brain injury and has been an Academy member for more than 30 years.

“Her generous commitment, extensive service, and continued leadership have been invaluable to the Academy and to the specialty,” the Academy said in a statement.

Dr. Bell joined UT Southwestern in 2014 after spending 20 years at the University of Washington, where she held multiple leadership positions such as Medical Director of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program.

Under Dr. Bell’s direction, UT Southwestern’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has enhanced its neuro-rehab and research programs – two of her top goals since becoming chair.

“Being given the confidence of UT Southwestern to come in and help develop the department has been a wonderful achievement for me,” said Dr. Bell, who holds the Kimberly-Clark Distinguished Chair in Mobility Research.

Dr. Bell served as the Academy’s President in 2015, co-led the founding of the AAPM&R Leadership Program, spent several years on numerous Academy committees, served as a PM&R Associate Editor, and was the first Chair of the Central Nervous System Rehabilitation Council.

At UT Southwestern, Dr. Bell co-directs the Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair, a state-funded initiative to enhance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of brain injuries.

“Dr. Bell’s contributions to the understanding and treatment of traumatic brain injury and concussion have significantly advanced the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation and benefitted the many people whose lives are affected by accidents that leave them with challenging brain injuries to overcome,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern, who holds the Philip O'Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science. “This recognition of Dr. Bell’s leadership, research, and clinical contributions bring honor to UT Southwestern, and we are proud to have her as the chair of our Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.”

Dr. Bell graduated from Temple University Medical School and completed her residency at the University of Washington. She also completed a National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research fellowship at the University of Washington.

Dr. Bell fondly remembers her early years of study when she realized her calling.

“I took a rotation during medical school, and my first week I just loved it,” she said. “Rehab is all about making people better and more functional. I knew that is where I belonged.” 

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes, and includes 22 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 18 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 14 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in about 80 specialties to more than 100,000 hospitalized patients, 600,000 emergency room cases, and oversee approximately 2.2 million outpatient visits a year.


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