In Tribute: Judith Bell Krotoski

Posted by William W. Walsh, MBA, MHA, OTR/L, CHT on 10/21/2013

Judith A. Bell Krotoski, MA, LOTR, FAOTA, CHT
(March 30, 1945 - October 20, 2013)
Our beloved Judy passed quietly into new life on October 20 in Baton Rouge, LA following a long illness. It is not an easy task to fully comprehend or adequately share the enormity of our loss and scope of Judy’s career and contributions. She was a founding member and president of ASHT, chairman of the America Hand Therapy Foundation and served as a member of the Editorial board for the Journal of Hand Therapy for many years.  Mentor, colleague, and historian, Judy actively encouraged professional collaboration across disciplines, nationalities and organizations.  Friend to hand therapists worldwide, Judy gave of herself because of her driving passion and dedication to the hand therapy. She was present at, promoted and witnessed many of the formative moments and milestones within our profession.  Fortunate for us, she also loved to archive those events because she valued how history provides perspective and insight.
Scientist, researcher, and inventor, Judy loved the investigative process. A pioneer in the pursuit of knowledge regarding sensibility testing and the use and refinement of monofilament testing, Judy’s scope was international and her mission global.  She sought to identify universal truth and understanding based on fact and analysis. Tenacious and steadfast, she unselfishly shared her work with the international community and presented and hosted numerous conferences.  Of utmost importance to Judy was the pivotal relationship with our surgical colleagues and friends who encouraged our scientific inquiry.
As each of us reflects upon the magnitude of Judy’s career and contributions, it is revealing to witness how many varying roles she fulfilled.  Both personally and professionally, Judy touched many of our lives in various ways and to differing extents.  However, her vision, personal caring and integrity magnetized us to her and to each other. Together we have united and accomplished her dream of greater purpose.  By encouraging each of us to contribute our own unique talents, Judy helped bring to fruition the specialty of hand therapy for which we will forever be grateful.