Dr. Sara F. Maher appointed as permanent associate dean for health sciences

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is thrilled to announce the permanent appointment of Associate Clinical Professor of Physical Therapy Sara F. Maher, PhD, to the position of Associate Dean for Health Sciences, effective Oct. 5, 2022.

Sara Maher
Sara F. Maher, PT, PhD, DScPT, OMPT

Dr. Maher had served as Interim Associate Dean for Health Sciences since Jan. 14, 2022, assuming oversight of nine clinical programs, which include Clinical Laboratory Science, Mortuary Science, Pathologists’ Assistant, Nurse Anesthesia, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies, Radiation Therapy Technology and Radiologic Technology. During this time, she also stepped up to lead the Office of Student Affairs on an interim basis following the retirement of Dr. Mary K. Clark in May 2022.

"Dr. Maher has an outstanding track record of leadership," said WSU Applebaum Dean Brian Cummings. "WSU Applebaum is fortunate to count her among its leaders."

Prior to joining the Dean’s Suite, she served as Chair of Health Care Sciences, during which time she mentored faculty members with expertise and compassion, and guided multiple programs through accreditation, among other accomplishments.

Dr. Maher received her Bachelor of Health Sciences, Master of Physical Therapy, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Wayne State University. In addition, she holds a bachelor’s in Music Therapy from Western Michigan University as well as a DSc in Physical Therapy from Oakland University. She is currently licensed as a physical therapist in the State of Michigan. Dr. Maher began her academic career in 2006 as an Assistant Professor at Oakland University. She was tenured and promoted at that same university in 2012. In 2013, Dr. Maher was offered a position in the Education Leadership Fellowship of the American Physical Therapy Association. This year-long training in leadership culminated in her recruitment to Wayne State University as the Physical Therapy Program Director in 2014.

In 2016, Dr. Maher was asked to serve as Interim Department Chair of Health Care Sciences, and in 2017, she was elected as permanent Chair of the department. In that role, she demonstrated the ability to successfully lead diverse clinical programs, and has continued to do so with great finesse in the Dean’s Suite. In addition to her administrative position, Dr. Maher is an active scholar and an enthusiastic instructor.

Said Cummings, "I am delighted that Dr. Maher has accepted this permanent appointment and look forward to many more years of successful collaboration."

Official memo (PDF)

An anchor in urban health care

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels – from undergraduates to veteran faculty members – translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 25,000 students.

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