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Elizabeth Kenny
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (September 20, 1880-November 30, 1952)
    Born in Warialda, New South Wales, Australia
    Developed a series of muscle exercises for polio patients
    Previously, standard treatment had been to immobilize the affected limbs with splints
    Opened treatment clinics in Australia and the US
    Portrayed by Rosalind Russell in the film ‘Sister Kenny’ (1946)
    She was not an accredited nurse.
    Her outspokenness alienated many doctors and led to a falling out with the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.
    She was usually referred to as Sister Kenny, causing many Americans, unfamiliar with the British Commonwealth custom of using ‘Sister’ to refer to a senior nurse, to erroneously think she was a nun.
    During World War I, she made sixteen round trips on transports carrying troops to England and returning with wounded soldiers.
    She improved the stretcher used by ambulance services.
    She was the first person to displace Eleanor Roosevelt at #1 in Gallup’s Most Admired Women poll (1951).
    Thousands of polio patients, including Alan Alda and Martin Sheen, credited the therapy she developed with enabling them to walk again.

Credit: C. Fishel

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