Dr. Ann Blair Kennedy Awarded 2019 PHI/MTF Humanitarian Award

Posted:Thursday, November 14, 2019
Left to Right: Douglas Nelson, MTF President; Dr. Ann Blair Kennedy, award recipient; Craig Hall, Director of Sales and Education, PHI

The Massage Therapy Foundation is excited to announce that Dr. Ann Blair Kennedy was presented the 2019 Performance Health (PHI)/Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) Humanitarian Award at the MTF Donor Reception event at the 2019 American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) National Convention. PHI and MTF have presented this award in partnership for eleven years. PHI is making a $2,500 donation to MTF in Dr. Kennedy’s name.

“All of us at [MTF] have been witness to [her] tremendous service to the massage therapy profession. One of the best aspects of this award is recognizing the depth and breadth of her service in so many other areas of life. We are honored to recognize [Dr. Kennedy] for all she does, not just for the profession, but for the tremendous good she does for the world,” stated MTF President Doug Nelson.

“It was an extraordinary honor to present [Dr. Kennedy] with the 2019 Humanitarian award… In addition to [her] career achievements, she makes our world a better place through her volunteer work with students and championing equality, diversity, and inclusion,” said Craig Hall, PHI Director of Sales & Education.

Dr. Kennedy is Clinical Assistant Professor in the division of Behavioral, Social, and Population Health Sciences at the University of South Carolina School Of Medicine Greenville (UofSC SOM Greenville) in the department of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Kennedy serves on the Greenville Technical College Massage Therapy Program’s Advisory Board and works with Prisma Health volunteering on committees that involve women in medicine and science as well as the LGBTQ+ Alliance (a committee working to improve experiences of LGBTQ+ patients and team members). She is a faculty mentor for the Student Advocates for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (SADIE) at UofSC SOM Greenville. SADIE is committed to advancing the integration of diversity and inclusion within the medical school’s curriculum; supporting those student organizations with an emphasis on diversity; and fostering an environment for meaningful discussions centered on diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Kennedy became a Board Certified and state licensed massage therapist in 1999 and began a massage therapy practice in her small, rural community. Her time in practice led to interest in massage therapy research and the realization that the often exclusion of massage therapists from planning and implementation in these research studies led to less applicability to her clinical practice. A strong desire to improve massage therapy research through stakeholder engagement led to her pursuing a Doctor of Public Health degree in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior. Her passion for stakeholder engagement in research expanded to include patients as co-investigators. This led to her additional position of being the Director of the Health Sciences Center Patient Engagement Studio at Prisma Health. Dr. Kennedy has held multiple volunteer roles with MTF and AMTA. She formerly served on MTF’s Board of Trustees and is currently the executive editor/editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

“I am one to simply put my head down and do the work that is needed to fulfill the mission of whichever organization I am serving. That being said, to have that work acknowledged and recognized fills my heart to bursting. It is such an honor to be recognized by Performance Health and the Massage Therapy Foundation with the 2019 Humanitarian Award. I am deeply humbled and grateful. Thank you,” added Dr. Kennedy.