Ruth U. Mitchell, PT, PhD, of Apex, North Carolina, passed away on January 7, 2018 at UNC Hospitals after a
brief illness. She was 85 years old. Dr. Mitchell was a Professor Emerita in the Division of Physical Therapy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was nationally known for her expertise in geriatric physical therapy and authored a number of publications on this topic.
Dr. Mitchell was the Director of the Division of Physical Therapy from 1975 to 1980 and remained on faculty until her retirement in the 1990s. After retirement, she remained actively engaged in physical therapy education at UNC as a regular participant in the geriatric functional assessment labs. Prior to coming to UNC, Dr. Mitchell was Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Graduate Physical Therapy Program at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Dr. Mitchell was a lifetime member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and was Past President of the Indiana Chapter of the APTA. As “Prime Timers,” Ruth and her friend, Billie Nelson, regularly attended APTA national and state meetings. She also served on the Commission for Physical Therapy Accreditation. Dr. Mitchell received her certificate in physical therapy from St. Louis University and her PhD from Case-Western Reserve.