The Legacy of Evelyn J. Mackin, PT 1922 – 2020Publish Date: March 11, 2020
Describing Evelyn J. Mackin via a litany of her many accomplishments fails to capture the essence of her being. Her dynamic abilities and visionary capacity stemmed from a combination of diversified qualities. Evelyn’s inherent compassion was apparent to all who knew her. She was extremely kind hearted and nurturing, as exemplified by her love for animals and her unwavering devotion to family, friends, and colleagues. Evelyn was exceptionally organized, focused, and dedicated regarding professional objectives, not for herself, but for the benefit of hand / upper extremity (UE) patients everywhere. Her commitment to hand rehabilitation included developing and advancing associated educational endeavors and related organizations locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Never confrontational, she quietly negotiated and navigated around barriers that arose as she worked toward these goals. Telling Evelyn “no” only made her more resolute in her efforts to improve patient care through advancing the science and art of hand therapy. Generating trust in those with whom she worked, her inner core of ethics could not be deterred. Always fair, Evelyn consistently gave credit where credit was due; she disdained petty politics; and her love of people and travel made her a natural ambassador.
The following is an annotated timeline of Evelyn’s remarkable contributions to hand / UE rehabilitation. Brief quotations, many taken from her written works, provide insight into Evelyn, the person, therapist, and advocate. Readers are encouraged to delve further into these short narratives by perusing the cited full-text references.