Physical Therapy Professor Dr. Joseph Donnelly Recognized as 2019 Healthcare Hero

Dr. Joseph Donnelly - Healthcare Hero

ATLANTA – Dr. Joseph Donnelly, clinical professor of physical therapy in Mercer University’s College of Health Professions, was named one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2019 Healthcare Heroes.

Dr. Donnelly and 18 others were honored during a May 16 awards ceremony at Gypsy Kitchen in Buckhead. Healthcare Heroes are nominated by their peers and judged by the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s editorial board. Recipients appeared in a special section of the Chronicle, released on May 17.

Dr. Donnelly was recognized in the Allied Health Professional category, which honors individuals working in ancillary professions such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology and nutrition who go above and beyond the call of duty and impact the growth and development of their profession and the community.

“We are very proud of Dr. Donnelly’s recognition as a 2019 Healthcare Hero,” said Dr. Lisa Lundquist, dean of the College of Health Professions. “His efforts in developing advanced training programs for physical therapists and his dedicated leadership efforts in state and national organizations make him very deserving of this honor. We know that he will continue to advance the profession of physical therapy.”

Dr. Donnelly joined the faculty at Mercer in 2009 and serves as director of postprofessional programs in the Department of Physical Therapy, consisting of residencies in cardiovascular and pulmonary, neurologic and orthopaedic physical therapy, and a fellowship in orthopaedic manual physical therapy. Additionally, Dr. Donnelly teaches within the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Earlier this year, he began a three-year term as president of the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, the largest academy of the American Physical Therapy Association with more than 20,000 members.

Dr. Donnelly earned his Bachelor of Science from Daemen University, Master of Science in orthopaedic physical therapy from the University of Pittsburgh and Doctor of Health Science in orthopaedic physical therapy from the University of Indianapolis. He is recognized as a Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and is an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists.

About the College of Health Professions

Mercer University’s College of Health Professions is composed of five disciplines: physical therapy, physician assistant studies, public health, clinical psychology, and athletic training. The College offers a doctoral-level physical therapy program, master’s-level physician assistant program, bachelor’s- and master’s-level public health programs, doctoral-level program in clinical psychology, and master’s-level athletic training program. The Department of Physical Therapy offers residencies in orthopaedic, neurologic and cardiovascular/pulmonary physical therapy; a fellowship in orthopaedic manual physical therapy; and an onsite clinic. Each program is housed in a department that provides students with comprehensive didactic courses taught by an extraordinary faculty and extensive clinical experience enhanced by outstanding service-learning opportunities. For more information, visit