University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Honors Dr. Jon Edenfield with 20th Anniversary Occupational Therapy Professional Award

Dr. Jon Edenfield receives the USAHS 20th Anniversary Occupational Therapy Professional AwardSpecial, one-time award recognizes significant industry, community contributions in 20-year history of university’s Occupational Therapy program

Jacksonville, Florida – November 7, 2017 –  The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS), a leading graduate institution that emphasizes health and rehabilitative sciences education through innovative classroom education, has awarded Dr. Jon Edenfield OTD, OTR/L with its 20th Anniversary Occupational Therapy Professional Award. The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the occupational therapy profession in leadership, advocacy, service, scholarship, mentorship and innovation.

Dr. Edenfield was selected from more than 1,400 graduates of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences’ (USAHS) Occupational Therapy (OT) program, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. Dr. Edenfield is currently a director and founder at Great Strides Rehabilitation Inc., and a resident of Jacksonville, FL.

Edenfield attended USAHS during the university’s inaugural OT program, and was among the first to receive a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the university. He graduated in 2000, and was presented with the top honor for his class, the Outstanding Occupational Therapy Student Award.

“All of our graduates have made significant contributions in the field of Occupational Therapy in the U.S. and throughout the world, so when we looked back over the last 20 years, it wasn’t easy to select a winner,” said Dr. Wanda Nitsch, president and chief academic officer at University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. “Dr. Edenfield rose to the top for a number of reasons, including his innovative approach to pediatric rehabilitation and his leadership in advocacy for the profession.”

In 2004, Dr. Edenfield founded Great Strides Rehabilitation, which provides Hippo-Therapy and Therapeutic Riding services to children. Over the past 13 years, he grew a one-room clinic, providing only occupational therapy, to a 12,000-square-foot facility employing more than 85 therapists of various disciplines. Great Strides Rehabilitation has been recognized locally for the broad range of unique programs it provides to children with special needs.

Edenfield also earned his doctorate from USAHS, researching his capstone project for three years, titled “Pilot Study: The physiological effects of animal assisted therapy on children with autism spectrum disorder.”  His findings were published in the Journal of Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics.

“They say do what you love and love what you do – and I do,” says Dr. Edenfield. “I appreciate the University of St. Augustine giving me this career path.”

The 20th Anniversary Occupational Therapy Award ceremony was recently held in Carlsbad, CA.

In addition to the 20th Anniversary Occupational Therapy Professional Award, the university’s Board of Directors also honored Dr. Katherine Wilford and Dr. Shannon Groff with an Excellence in Teaching Award and Dr. Mary Zadnik with an Excellence in Innovation award.

For more information on USAHS, visit

About University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS)

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) is a graduate institution that offers degree programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, education and health science, as well as continuing education programs. Founded in 1979, USAHS has locations in San Marcos, California; St. Augustine, Florida; Austin, Texas; and Miami, Florida. USAHS is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. USAHS is one of more than 70 institutions in 25 countries that comprise the Laureate International Universities network. For more information about USAHS visit


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