Healthcare Experts

Ruth Schemm

Professor Emerita
Health Policy & Public Health
University of the Sciences
United States of America


Dr. Schemm began her career as a home visiting occupational therapist for the City of Philadelphia in 1969. She joined the occupational therapy faculty of Temple University in 1971 and eventually became a tenured, senior faculty member and developed and directed the Occupational Therapy Graduate program. In 1982, she became the founding Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Thomas Jefferson University and developed the bachelors’, certificate and advanced Master’s degree programs. She left Jefferson in 1995 to develop the proposed MOT program at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and also was appointed as Assistant Dean of the College of Health Sciences. In 1998 she became Interim Dean of the College of Health Sciences, developed and served as Interim Director of the Health Policy Program 1998-1999. In 2000, she was appointed as Dean of the College of Health Sciences and served in this capacity until 2007. She taught courses in Health Sciences and Occupational Therapy and co-taught courses in Interdisciplinary Studies and Health Policy. She developed curriculums in health sciences and health and fitness management. Dr. Schemm has focused her scholarship on how community living individuals adapt to chronic disabilities. She also worked on collaborative training projects on HIV/AIDS and career development. She co-edited books on management and prevention and a recent externally supported project included participation in the planning of a state-wide model curriculum on preparedness. She is presently examining the interests and activities of community living elders. She has also published articles on the social history of occupational therapy. Her service activities included membership and leadership roles on local, regional, state and national committees for occupational therapy, a community park & recreation board and equine activity group. Recently she chaired the Board of Directors of a therapeutic riding program (2003-6) and continues participation as a member on her township recreation board. She has served on the editorial boards for Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, 1988 - 1994; Occupational Therapy Practice, 1988 - 1993; Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 1987-1999; 2003-2007 and presently serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Allied Health Professions (2007-Present). Dr. Schemm completed training in 2006 as a mediator and worked with the Montgomery County Mediation Center. She was awarded a Certificate from the Institute for Leadership and Management at Harvard School of Education and presented topics in occupational therapy and health care in England, Canada, Ireland, South Africa and the People's Republic of China. She is the past President of the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association and a past member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Occupational Therapy Education and Licensure. She received her BS in Occupational Therapy from the University of Pennsylvania, her M.Ed. in Psycho-educational Processes and Ed.D. in Urban Education from Temple University. When she is not working in academia, you can find Ruth outside with her dogs or horses.

Research Interest

Role, habits, and interests of community-living, Chronically disabled individuals, Historical development of professional roles

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