Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives
Kahmann was hired in 1924 by the Indianapolis Junior League to establish an Occupational Therapy Program at Riley Hospital for Children. The Occupational Therapy Program became a free-standing school at IUPUI in 1934, and she served as Director of Occupational Therapy and Physio-Therapy for all IU hospitals from 1934 to 1959. Kahmann also coordinated the IU cerebral palsy clinic and established a burn clinic. Kahmann was a pioneer occupational therapist and many students traveled to IU in order to study under her direction.
In the early 1940s, Kahmann became a member of the National Research Council Committee on Occupational Therapy. The committee developed an official therapy program that was approved by the Surgeon General. In 1943, Kahmann was appointed by the Army as Chief of Occupational Therapy, and served in Washington, D.C. for two and a half years overseeing the therapy of soldiers wounded in World War II. Kahmann took a leave of absence from IU during these years and returned to the program in 1945. Kahmann retired in 1959.
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