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Helen May Bradley Scrapbook
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Helen May Bradley Scrapbook

 

Who was Helen May Bradley?

Physical Therapists in Missouri have a proud tradition of service beginning with Helen May Bradley. So, who was Helen May Bradley? I am glad that you asked, because it is often said that I am infatuated with Helen May Bradley!

Helen May Bradley, known to us as the first Physical Therapist in Missouri, answered a call to serve her country as a reconstruction aide during the First World War. After earning degrees from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and University of Southern California education she left her comfortable life in Kansas City in the summer of 1918 to attend the Reconstruction Aide training program at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After mobilization in New York City, on January 1, 1919 she traveled to serve at the Base Hospital at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas.

After her tour of duty she was wise enough to answer a call of her profession and to be a charter member of the American Women’s Physiotherapy Association. As a member of this group, along with Molly McMillan and others, she provided guidance for our profession to move from on-the-job training to an academic degree. These pioneers laid the framework for our profession.

In her clinical career, Helen provided service to Veterans at VA hospitals and service as an administrator to several programs and at the Dickson-Diveley Clinic dedicated to serving the poor in the KC area.

Helen May Bradley kept a very detailed scrapbook of her experience as a Reconstruction Aide. Her original album was found and purchased at an antique shop in Smithville, Missouri by William (Bill) Dunn, PT, a Missouri Chapter member. Joan Mills and the History and Archives Committee reconstructed the scrapbook and brought it to every chapter meeting for members to enjoy. The Committee is happy to announce that the scrapbook has been scanned and is now available online at http://www.maryville.edu/FlipBooks/HMB/flipviewerxpress.html


The original scrapbook is available to view for research by contacting Dr. Charles Gulas, PT, PhD, at cgulas@maryville.edu. The History and Archives Committee would like to thank Maryville University for hosting the digital scrapbook on their server.

 

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