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Jennifer L. Womack, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Jennifer L. Womack, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

The Department of Allied Health Science (DAHS) is pleased to announce Dr. Jenny Womack as its inaugural associate chair for faculty affairs, effective July 1.

As part of her new administrative role, Womack will guide the faculty promotion process and oversee professional development across the department’s teaching, research, and service missions.

Womack, a professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, has served as a DAHS faculty member since 1999. Dr. Stephen Hooper, Associate Dean of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Allied Health Sciences, noted, “Dr. Womack is uniquely qualified to address the needs of department’s faculty members because of her many professional experiences within UNC and her outreach efforts both locally and nationally. I couldn’t be more pleased with Dr. Womack’s appointment to this new position and I look forward to working with her on further supporting our faculty.”

Womack shared, “I came into academia via a somewhat nontraditional path and have learned from deep listening as well as many generous mentors; I’m hoping to pay forward some of the wisdom and support I’ve been offered along the way. Within Allied Health Sciences, many faculty members come directly from clinical backgrounds, while an increasing number have substantive research training, and all are oriented toward scholarship as well as service in community, education, and healthcare settings. This mix of backgrounds and contributions lends itself to innovative ways of addressing professional growth and development, and I look forward to helping our entire team achieve their career goals.”

Womack is a native of North Carolina, practicing occupational therapy in the western mountains of North Carolina for many years before joining UNC-Chapel Hill. Her primary practice setting has been adult physical rehabilitation with additional experience in long-term care settings, supported housing, community-based work with older adults, assistive technology and work with paratransit systems. In her faculty role, she conducts qualitative and mixed methods research around caregiving, occupation-based practice, aging, and the built environment in collaboration with colleagues in the U.S. and Sweden. She served as a consulting occupational therapist to the Orange County Department on Aging from 2010-2018, co-writing and leading a three-year grant to increase support for people living with dementia and their care partners. She also worked with the UNC Partnerships in Aging from 2018-2021, recently completing, along with her students, a project with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County to capture the story of their first community developed for senior homeowners.

Womack received her PhD in Occupational Therapy from Luleå University of Technology, Sweden in 2018. She holds an MA in Folklore (2009) and an MS in Occupational Therapy (1989) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BA in Biology and German from Wake Forest University.