Leslie F. Davidson Appointed as Chair of the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership at GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences

March 15, 2016

Washington (March 15, 2016) — The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences is pleased to announce that Leslie F. Davidson, Ph.D., OT/L, FAOTA has been appointed to serve as the chair of the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership. As chair, Davidson will oversee this department that serves as home to more than 60 faculty members and supports the educational pursuits of approximately 600 students – most of whom are distance education students.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Davidson will be taking this position. Her expertise in adult learning and her diverse teaching and educational background, make her the right fit for this position,” said Joseph Bocchino, Ed.D., M.B.A., senior associate dean for health sciences. “As the former chair of the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership, I know that it takes a person with the utmost attention to detail and the highest standards of professionalism to lead such an interdisciplinary department, with its many programs and priorities. Dr. Davidson has both of these qualities and will lead this department to continued success.”

In this role, Davidson will oversee nearly 20 undergraduate and graduate academic programs developed to enhance the careers of professionals working in the health sciences and health care fields. She will be responsible for guiding future growth, facilitating institutional collaborations, supporting faculty research efforts, and raising the national and international profile of the department.

Currently, the department provides students with an integrated and rigorous educational experience that prepares them to contribute as researchers and practitioners in the ever-changing health care marketplace. Current departmental offerings include programs in: clinical and translational research; clinical research administration; regulatory affairs; clinical management and leadership; emergency medical services; health care quality; health intervention and disaster response; occupational therapy; and translational health sciences. Under Davidson’s leadership, the department will continue to integrate research and teaching to develop improved models for clinical and translational research and the delivery of health care; and will work to influence policy change.

“I could not be more pleased to step into this important role at GW. The programming in the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership is forward thinking, dynamic, and integrates key elements of health sciences in a fast paced changing industry. I look forward to working with University leadership, faculty and staff to continue the growth of this department and while developing new initiatives that place the department of clinical research and leadership at GW at the leading edge of health science education,” said Davidson.

Davidson joins GW from Shenandoah University, where she served as the director and associate professor of the Division of Occupational Therapy. She also served as an adjunct professor in the Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program at GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, after the program launched in 2014 and is an adjunct assistant professor in the Division of Occupational Therapy at the University of Indianapolis.

She served as an ORISE Faculty Fellow in the Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division of the Army Office of The Surgeon General and was a Subject Matter Expert on U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel for the Command, Telemedicine and Advance Technology Research Center. She also held several positions at Georgetown University Hospital, including interim director of the Department of Physical Medicine and rehabilitation; clinical coordinator in the Division of Occupational Therapy; and staff therapist. She was also the clinical director of the Occupational Therapy and Brain Injury Program at The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Defense and Veterans Health Injury Program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Davidson is a widely published author and her research has appeared in many prestigious academic journals, including the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Military Medicine, and OT Practice. She has presented at national and international meetings on topics related to her work in occupational therapy, neurologic disorders, traumatic brain injury, traumatic stress disorders, and adult learning – among other topics.

During her career, she has been honored with many accolades and awards. She is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association; was given the Service Commendation from the American Occupational Therapy Association; was awarded the Wilkins Award at Shenandoah University; was awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America; and was given a Citation of Excellence – Outstanding Team Award from Georgetown University Medical Center.

As a dedicated member of the profession, Davidson serves as a grant reviewer for the ARDRAF Panel; is an Editorial Panel Member for the National Current Procedural Terminology board of the American Medical Association and has served in multiple roles for the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Davidson will begin serving as Chair of the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership in April 2016.


About the School of Medicine and Health Sciences:
Founded in 1824, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities. smhs.gwu.edu