About Us

Dr. Amy DarraghJune 12, 2024

With mixed emotions, we announce that Amy Darragh, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, has accepted a new position and plans to step down as director and vice dean of The Ohio State University College of Medicine’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (HRS). She has been named dean of the College of Health Professions at Virginia Commonwealth University, effective August 15, 2024. 

Dr. Darragh began her tenure as director of HRS on April 1, 2023, after completing nearly a year as the school’s interim director. She joined HRS in 2008 as an assistant professor, progressing to associate professor in 2015 and ultimately attaining the rank of full professor in 2021. Since 2014, she has directed the school’s Division of Occupational Therapy, which hosts one of the nation’s top-ranked Occupational Therapy programs and a fully online Assistive and Rehabilitative Technology Certificate program.

Under her leadership, HRS has experienced significant growth and success in its efforts to educate and train the next generation of health care providers, health science experts and research scientists in health and rehabilitation. The HRS Health Sciences undergraduate program ranks among the top 10 majors at Ohio State, and the school continues to grow its 23 academic programs with innovative initiatives, such as interprofessional educational experiences.

This year, U.S. News & World Report recognized multiple HRS programs as among the best in the nation. In the 2024-25 Best Graduate Schools rankings, the Ohio State Doctorate of Physical Therapy program advanced to #8 (up from #9) while the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program jumped to #11 (up from #13), reaffirming their reputation for excellence. Additionally, the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and the Associate of Science to Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences programs ranked No. 7 in the Best Online Bachelor’s Program rankings.

In August 2023, HRS welcomed its largest incoming class with 667 new students and celebrated its largest graduating class — 614 students — just last month. Undergraduate student enrollment in 2023 increased by almost 4% over 2022, and graduate student enrollment increased by 4%. And in January, the school re-emphasized its commitment to student health and wellness by launching the HRS Student Resource Center, which offers shelf-stable food, personal care items and school supplies free of charge to learners who are struggling to meet basic needs.

Dr. Darragh has executed a robust series of strategic priorities in the past two years. She spearheaded the development of the HRS Strategic Plan, which will launch in July 2024 and led the development of the school’s first Strategic Enrollment Management Plan, which will guide robust and responsible growth and educational innovation. Under Dr. Darragh’s leadership, the school has established the HRS Learning Health System Collaborative and HRS Connects, which join the Injury Biomechanics Research Center in the new HRS Section for Centers, Initiatives and Collaboratives. Dr. Darragh also spearheaded the first workforce development partnership plan with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, which seeks to help meet the growing demand for imaging professionals.

Meanwhile, HRS research funding continues to grow, with $11.3 million in grants and contracts in fiscal year 2023, up from $9.1 million in fiscal year 2022. The school remains focused on two strategic research priorities – increasing the number of undergraduate students who participate in research and organizing faculty around research-focused centers.

Dr. Darragh’s impact extends beyond academics. As a licensed occupational therapist and funded researcher, Dr. Darragh’s research interests include clinical trials in intensive pediatric neurorehabilitation and virtual and digital technology interventions. She is a principal investigator for the NIH-funded National Pediatric Rehabilitation Resource Center and a core investigator for I-ACQUIRE, the nation’s first phase III clinical trial in pediatric stroke recovery and rehabilitation. Dr. Darragh has presented her work at over 120 national and international conferences and has published more than 60 journal articles.

During her time at Ohio State, Dr. Darragh has played pivotal roles in the University Senate, including chairing the Senate Steering Committee and serving as chair-elect of the University Senate Faculty Council. She is also affiliated with the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Dr. Darragh has left an indelible mark on HRS. We thank her for her leadership and service to the school and congratulate her on this new role.

The College of Medicine will appoint an interim director and vice dean for HRS.