Our History


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).


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


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.

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. 


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


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.


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


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. 


Construction begins on the Emory Rehabilitation Center (ERC). 


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.  


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.  


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


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

Recreation Therapy began within the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.


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


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


The first neuropsychologist joined the Rehabilitation Medicine staff.


The first patient was admitted to the Head Injury Module.


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


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


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


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


William Casarella, MD, serves as acting department chairman.


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