The Florida A&M University (FAMU) family is mourning the death of Allied Health Sciences Professor Arnold Bell. Bell passed away Sept. 2 at the age of 62.
“The Florida A&M University family is deeply saddened by the news of the death of one of our distinguished professors, Dr. Arnold Bell, who worked in FAMU’s physical therapy education program since 1982,” said FAMU Chief Communications Officer Sharon Saunders. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and the entire family during this time of bereavement.”
Bell was the first African-American physical therapist in the nation to become a American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) Certified Clinical specialist in any area. His extensive background in sports medicine provided him the knowledge and experience essential to provide instruction in areas such as: modalities; basic evaluation techniques; general orthopedic evaluation techniques; and sports medicine.
He provided athletic training services and physical therapy rehabilitation services to the FAMU Developmental Research School (DRS). Bell has contributed chapters in texts on “Exercise for the Elderly” and on “Conditioning for Athletes.”
“Dr. Bell, has been with Florida A&M University since the very beginning of the School of Allied Health Sciences — more than 31 years,” said Dean of the School of Allied Health Cynthia Hughes Harris. “During his years of service, he was known for his dedication and commitment to the growth and development of the hundreds of physical therapy students that he taught, mentored and guided. Dr. Bell exemplified excellence in physical therapy practice, education and research, which he consistently demonstrated as the program expanded from the baccalaureate to the masters’ and finally to the doctoral level. Arnold Bell was a friend and colleague to all of us in the School of Allied Health Sciences. He will truly be missed.”
In 2012, the ABPTS recertified Bell in sports physical therapy. With more than 13,000 licensed physical therapists in the State of Florida, Bell belonged to a small group of only 353 licensed physical therapists in the entire state who were board certified as clinical specialists (34 in sports physical therapy).
This was Bell’s second recertification in sports physical therapy since 1992. He was a two-time Olympic sports medicine practitioner (1984 – Los Angeles; 1996 – Atlanta) who provided health care to athletes at FAMU and FAMU High School for three decades.
The New York native holds several degrees including a bachelor’s from Springfield College, a master’s from Columbia University, a physical therapy degree from New York University and a doctorate in physical therapy from Florida State University.
Bell’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. at the Timberlane Church of Christ, located at 3569 Timberlane School Road in Tallahassee.
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