Member Spotlight: Janet Kahn

On October 7, 2011, President Obama announced his intent to appoint Janet R. Kahn, PhD, LMT to a key Administrative post as member of Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.

For all of you massage therapists out there who do not have “doctor” before your name, Janet is also one of us.  Janet moved to Vermont ten years ago and – having been an AMTA member since the 1980′s – immediately joined the Vermont Chapter of the AMTA.  In 2008, she reached out to Chris Widlund to offer assistance with the movement towards regulating massage therapy in Vermont.  Together, Janet & Chris founded the Vermont Initiative for Massage Standards (VIMS).  VIMS is a non-affiliated group of massage therapists working together toward regulation of massage therapy in Vermont.  In 2010, VIMS, AMTA and ABMP joined forces to complete the VT Office of Professional Regulations’ Sunrise Application Process.  This process is required by all professions seeking regulation by the state to protect the public.  Although the application was denied by OPR, this important ground work laid a path toward state regulation of massage therapy in the future.

Janet and her mom greet Ella, the first representative of the fourth generation of their family

Janet is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine, a position she has held since 2002.  Since 2000, Dr. Kahn has been a Faculty Preceptor in the Fellowship Program in Complementary, Alternative, and General Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Kahn helped found the Integrated Health Policy Consortium in 2002, where she was on the Steering Committee until 2005, thereafter serving as Executive Director until 2011.  In addition, Dr. Kahn was the Director of Integrated Health Care of the Community Health Center of Burlington from 2008 to 2010, the Director of Research of the Massage Therapy Research Consortium from 2003 to 2008, and a Senior Research Scientist at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women from 1997 to 2000. (1)

Dr. Kahn’s research focuses on equitable and affordable health care delivery models, the importance of massage therapy for the treatment of chronic pain, and supporting the well-being of veterans.  Dr. Kahn has served on a number of boards, including the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health since 2009.  Dr. Kahn holds a B.A. from Antioch College, an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University. (2)

Janet (on R) welcomes a winter snow with her partner Rosi Gowdey (former executive director of the Potomac Massage Training Institute) and their husky, Bella

In her spare time, Janet has a small private practice, enjoys the clean air of Vermont, playing in the mountains and sailing on Lake Champlain.  Thank you, Janet, for all that you do locally and nationally…and for always inspiring us to do more!

By Chris Widlund

(1) (2) excerpted from

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