Ann Blair Kennedy, LMT, PhD, receives the 2019 Performance Health/Massage Therapy Foundation Humanitarian Award.

November 14, 2019 – Ann Blair Kennedy, LMT, PhD, was presented the 2019 Performance Health / Massage Therapy Foundation Humanitarian Award at the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) National Convention held last month in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Performance Health, manufacturer and marketer of Biofreeze® Professional, Bon Vital’®, Thera°Pearl®, Prossage®, TheraBand® and Cramer® health and wellness products, and the Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) have presented this award in partnership for eleven years.

“It was an extraordinary honor to present Ann Blair with the 2019 Humanitarian award,” said Craig Hall, Director of Sales & Education, Performance Health. “Among all the awards and sponsorships Performance Health supports, this is one of my favorites because through the process we get to hear about yet another individual in our profession who embodies the concept of giving back. And Ann Blair does just that.  

“In addition to Ann Blair’s career achievements, she makes our world a better place through her volunteer work with students and championing equality, diversity and inclusion. Thank you, Ann Blair,” concluded Hall.

Ann Blair Kennedy, LMT, PhD, is Clinical Assistant Professor in the division of Behavioral, Social, and Population Health Sciences at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville (UofSC SOM Greenville) in the department of Biomedical Sciences. Kennedy serves on the Greenville Technical College Massage Therapy Program’s Advisory Board and works with Prisma Health volunteering on committees that involve women in medicine and science as well as the LGBTQ+ Alliance (a committee working to improve experiences of LGBTQ+ patients and team members). She is a faculty mentor for the Student Advocates for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (SADIE) at UofSC SOM Greenville. SADIE is committed to advancing the integration of diversity and inclusion within the medical school’s curriculum; supporting those student organizations with an emphasis on diversity; and fostering an environment for meaningful discussions centered on diversity and inclusion.

Kennedy became a board certified and state licensed massage therapist in 1999 and began a massage therapy practice in her small, rural community. Her time in practice led to interest in massage therapy research and the realization that the often exclusion of massage therapists from planning and implementation in these research studies led to less applicability to her clinical practice. A strong desire to improve massage therapy research through stakeholder engagement led to her pursuing a Doctor of Public Health degree in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior. Her passion for stakeholder engagement in research expanded to include patients as co-investigators. This led to her additional position of being the Director of the Health Sciences Center Patient Engagement Studio at Prisma Health. Kennedy has held multiple volunteer positions within the Massage Therapy Foundation and with the American Massage Therapy Association, both within her state and nationally. She formerly served on the Massage Therapy Foundation’s board of trustees and is currently the Executive Editor/Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork

“All of us at the Massage Therapy Foundation have been witness to Ann Blair’s tremendous service to the massage therapy profession. One of the best aspects of this award is recognizing the depth and breath of her service in so many other areas of life. We are honored to recognize Ann Blair for all she does, not just for the profession, but for the tremendous good she does for the world,” stated Douglas Nelson, LMT, BCTMB, President, Massage Therapy Foundation.  

“I am one to simply put my head down and ‘do the work’ that is needed to fulfill the mission of whichever organization I am serving. That being said, to have that work acknowledged and recognized fills my heart to bursting. It is such an honor to be recognized by Performance Health and the Massage Therapy Foundation with the 2019 Humanitarian Award. I am deeply humbled and grateful. Thank you,” added Kennedy.

Performance Health is making a $2,500 donation to the Massage Therapy Foundation in Kennedy’s name.

About American Massage Therapy Association

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) is the largest non-profit, professional association serving massage therapists, massage students and massage schools.

About The Massage Therapy Foundation

The Massage Therapy Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity, with a mission to advance the knowledge and practice of massage by supporting scientific research, education and community service. 

About Performance Health

Performance Health is the largest specialty distributor and manufacturer of branded products and solutions for rehabilitation, recovery, and sports medicine in the world. The Performance Health brand family includes the well-known and highly recognized brand names – Bon Vital’®, Biofreeze®, TheraBand®, Cramer®, Active Ankle®, Perform®, and Hygenic®. Performance Health is proud of the ability to serve anyone including those recovering from an injury, to those suffering from pain, to weekend warriors, to elite athletes, to health care professionals…and everyone in between. For each person, our purpose is simple: Help them feel good, perform better and live great!