Our History

1915

The Atlanta Medical College aligned itself with Emory University to create the Emory University School of Medicine. Over the next 15 years, the University standardized the medical education curriculum, rationalized the training standards for physicians, and built Emory University Hospital (EUH).

1919

At a meeting of university alumni, it was decided that graduates of the antecedent institutions would become alumni of Emory University School of Medicine.

1946

Robert L. Bennett, Jr., MD, a founding father of the medical specialty Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, was named the first chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. To date, Dr. Bennett is the longest-tenured department chair, holding the position for 21 years.

1953 The Emory Clinic (TEC) was established as a source of revenue for both faculty and the School of Medicine.
1965

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was created at the Emory University School of Medicine.  

Miesczylaw Peszcynski, MD, became the second department chair, replacing Dr. Bennett. 

1966

A 22-bed Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation ward opened at Grady Memorial Hospital.

1970

Emory University was given $25,000 from the Woodruff Foundation to conduct a study of program and facility needs on the Emory campus, specifically on the corner of Haygood and Clifton roads.

1972

John V. Basmajian, MD, was named director of the Emory Regional Rehabilitation Research and Training Center.

1974

Plans for construction on Emory’s campus were approved and funding assured for a $7.5 million, six-floor structure containing 56 inpatient beds and large areas for outpatient care, training activities and rehabilitation medicine. 

1975

Construction begins on the Emory Rehabilitation Center (ERC). 

1976

The first outpatients were treated in the Rehabilitation Center.  The structure was completed and movement of staff was initiated.  The Departments of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Nursing were also established in the center.

Dr. Bennett begins serving as the Residency Program Director for Rehabilitation Medicine.  

1977

The first inpatients were admitted to the third floor for rehabilitation and pain management in the ERC.  The departments of Occupational Therapy, Social Services, Dietetics, Vocational Rehabilitation and Communicative Disorders were established.  

Samuel B. Chyatte, MD, was named acting director of the Emory Regional Rehabilitation Research and Training Center.  

1979

The first clinical psychologist joined the CRM staff, replacing services previously provided by Grady Memorial Hospital.

1980

CRM received its first Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accreditation.  

Recreation Therapy began within the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.

1982

The fourth floor opened at the CRM, increasing bed capacity from 32 to 56.

1983

Robert Kibler, MD, held the role of department chair as Rehabilitation Medicine and Neurology were combined departments for six months.

1984

The first neuropsychologist joined the Rehabilitation Medicine staff.

1985

The first patient was admitted to the Head Injury Module.

1986

Emory’s Health Enhancement Program expanded to CRM for early phases of cardiac rehabilitation.  

1995

Brigitte Jann, MD, serves as the acting department chair.  Dr. Jann, who was the first female chair, held the position for two years.

1997

Dale C. Strasser, MD, is named interim department chair.

1999

Dr. Strasser’s interim title is removed and he becomes the permanent Rehabilitation Medicine department chair.  

2005

William Casarella, MD, serves as acting department chairman.

2007

David Burke, MD, is named the ninth department chair in program history.