Joanne Finegan is Recipient of the 2010 Alumni Service Award

Since graduating from Penn State in 1983, Joanne has taken on positions with increasing responsibility and profile in the field of Therapeutic Recreation. She has worked her way up from a staff therapist to CEO of ReMED, a nationally known program serving the re-integration needs of people with traumatic brain injuries. Under Joanne’s direction, the programs at ReMED have developed a reputation as state of the art in the provision of services for people with disabilities in a community based, least restrictive environment. While working full-time, Joanne completed her Masters in Administration at West Chester University.

As a professional in the field, Joanne has been an advocate for both the field of Therapeutic Recreation and for people with disabilities. She has served on the board of the Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals Organization (JCAHO). She has given dozens of presentations within the field of TR as well as to other health professionals about treatment considerations for individuals with disabilities. Joanne has served our profession by lending her expertise to the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) and has served as an adjunct professor in the TR program at Temple University.

Joanne has earned numerous professional awards at the state and national level and is recognized as a leader in the field. In 2007, she was selected as the RPTM Alumni Recognition Award winner.

Joanne Finegan is a strong supporter of Penn State and the RPTM program. ReMED is frequently selected by TR students as an internship site because the students understand they can learn so much about their field at any of the ReMED sites. She has facilitated a strong internship program and accepts our students almost every semester. There are also several of our graduates who are working at ReMED, further evidence of her support for our program. Joanne has also supported the program by encouraging class visits, interview opportunities for class assignments, etc. by her professional staff. In the past, she has approved the use of ReMED staff and patients visiting classes (with transportation costs covered by ReMED) to lend first person accounts of living with a disability. Joanne has also served in an advisory board role for activities at University Park and at the commonwealth campuses.

Joanne has recently offered her service to Penn State as a member of the Inclusive Recreation for Wounded Warriors training team. In conjunction with faculty in the RPTM department, Joanne has been part of a three-year training project that was awarded to Penn State in combination of the Department of Defense, Veterans Administration and Armed Services Morale, Welfare and Recreation. The project provides training to managers in recreation and hospitality on the military installations to assist in the inclusion of veterans and active duty soldiers, sailors and airmen in programs. The goal is to help staff facilitate inclusion of those with disabling conditions into activities of daily life. Joanne is the SME (subject matter expert) in the area of traumatic brain injury. Her presentation (supplemented with a question-answer period of a person living with traumatic brain injury) is always reviewed as one of those most important to the success of the overall presentation. Joanne’s comfort, experience and ease of presentation as well as her obvious knowledge of the topic make her key to the program. Congratulations Joanne!