Montpelier: James Madison University Magazine

Awards Follow Pathfinder
Montpelier Fall 1999

Professional accolades have followed Margaret Moore ('42), Ed.D., throughout her career as a physical therapist and professor at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). The short list includes a 1983 JMU Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award and the 1995 North Carolina Physical Therapy Association Founders Lecture Award. Ten years ago, the Outstanding New Faculty Award at UNC was named in Moore's honor; and this year, her career achievements garnered her a rare honor - distinction as one of three 1999 Catherine Worthingham Fellows of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Recipients of the award "demonstrate nationally prominent leadership in advancing the science, education or practice of physical therapy." Only 30 fellows have been named since the awards were established in 1981.

Moore dedicated her career to changing the face of physical therapy. She served as director of physical therapy at the UNC Hospitals and School of Medicine from 1952 to 1974. And for 30 years, she served on the Robbie Page Memorial Committee of the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, which established the nationally known Play Therapy Program for children at the UNC Hospitals. Moore has been a member of the American Physical Therapy Association since 1943, serving in a myriad of offices from secretary to section president to Nominations Committee chair.

After helping to establish the physical therapy division at the new hospital at UNC Chapel Hill in 1952, Moore helped install a physical therapy clinic at the medical school. Five years later, the physical therapy division was granted permission to begin a bachelor of science degree program. In the late 1960s, Moore helped establish a MACT (physical therapy) degree in conjunction with the School of Education and later a MSPT degree program with a separate division for physical therapy. This program was only the fourth physical therapy education program in the Southeast. Now there are dozens.

Moore opted for early retirement in 1979, but her devotion to physical therapy did not end with her distinguished career. She is currently chair of the fitness center committee at the Carol Woods Retirement Center in Chapel Hill. She teaches residents strengthening and balance exercises and how to safely use the equipment at the state-of-the-art fitness center.

Moore says, "Choosing to be a physical therapist was the best decision I ever made. The career holds great opportunities and you get to work with wonderfully bright colleagues."

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