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PIRR Speaker Badge Ulicny


“Rehabilitation: Where are We Now and Where do We Need to Be?”

WED 25 OCT // 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM




Deborah Backus

Debbie Backus

“Few are better qualified than Dr. Ulicny to tackle this critical issue and who better than ACRM to take Gary’s challenge to pave a new path for rehab medicine and research to better serve our patients and their families.” 


Deborah Backus, PT, PhD, FACRM, Eula C. and Andrew C. Carlos MS Rehabilitation and Wellness Program at Shepherd Center



Gary R. Ulicny, PhD, FACRM
President and CEO, GRU Healthcare

And 2017 Recipient of the ACRM GOLD KEY AWARD  ACRM Gold Key Award

In addition to being ACRM headline presenter, the ACRM Awards Committee is proud to recognize Gary R. Ulicny, PhD, FACRM, with the highest honor given by ACRM, the Gold Key Award. The award will be presented at the ACRM Henry B. Betts Awards Dinner & Gala Friday, 27 October.


Primary Content Focus: Cross-Cutting

As professionals we tout the virtues and benefits of rehabilitation and we hear the term evidence based practice. However, if we take the time to evaluate where we are as a field it becomes clear that we have very little evidence to differentiate the outcomes of comprehensive rehabilitation from other venues. This presentation will focus on the current state of our science and is it enough to document our worth in a world that is hurtling towards demonstrating value — where have we gone wrong and what do we need to do to flourish in this new healthcare environment.


Dr. Ulicny has been involved in medical administration for over 30 years. He is currently the President and CEO of GRU Health Care, an international consulting group specializing in building business and treatment cultures that promote excellence. For almost 23 years, he served as the President and CEO of Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, a 152-bed hospital that specializes in the treatment of persons with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and other neuromuscular disorders. During Dr. Ulicny’s tenure, Shepherd Center has for 14 years been ranked in US News & World Report as one of the best rehabilitation hospitals in the nation, been presented with the Edward Loveland Award for Distinguished Contributions in Healthcare by the American College of Physicians, selected as the Hospital of The Year by the Georgia Alliance of Hospitals, and named one of Atlanta’s Best Employers by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and Atlanta magazine.  In addition, Shepherd Center has enjoyed model systems designation, both for spinal cord and brain injuries by the National Institute on Disability, Rehabilitation and Research.  Dr. Ulicny received the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to healthcare and was elected as a Fellow of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. He received his PhD in behavioral psychology from the University of Kansas in 1986.  He is published extensively in the area of rehabilitation and has held adjunct appointments in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and in the Department of Human Development at the University of Kansas. Dr. Ulicny is a member of numerous professional organizations, served on the national board of the Head Injury Foundation and served as the President of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.


Lynne Padgett

Lynne Padgett

“Dr. Ulicny created a system focused on internal customer service for Shepherd employees by Shepherd employees that promotes better patient care and employee morale. He is legendary in rehabilitation and I can’t wait to hear him open the ACRM conference this year.”


Lynne S. Padgett, PhD, Strategic Director, Hospital Systems, American Cancer Society

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