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John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award

John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award

2019 Ruth Meyer (USA)


Ruth Meyer, MEd, RKT has been working in pools since the early 1970’s, teaching aquatics in suburban Philadelphia alongside her mother and sisters. Meyer swam competitively while at Conestoga High and received her WSI in 1973. Feeling driven to apply her love of water to her lifelong career while at Bucknell University, Ruth volunteered at Selinsgrove State School in 1977. While interning in the rehab department she developed a staff in-service on how to optimize the use of their uniquely designed therapy pool, improving safe access for clients and staff.


Meyer continued her education at University of Toledo where adapted aquatics and aquatic therapy were part of the Kinesiotherapy curriculum. Upon completion of her Master of Education in Kinesiotherapy, Ruth started working in 1980 at Fernald State School, in Waltham MA in 1980, teaching adapted aquatics. She then worked as a Kinesiotherapist in New Hampshire providing aquatic therapy, work reconditioning and Kinesiotherapy services at various pools and fitness facilities from Portsmouth to Nashua to Concord, with a strong focus on clients with back pain and disability. She continued her education becoming an AEA water exercise instructor, Arthritis Foundation water exercise/PACE and self-help instructor, and instructor-trainer; AAHPERD Adapted Aquatics Master Trainer, and ATRI aquatic therapist. She presented at various conferences: American Back Society, American Pain Society, NRPA, USWFA, ATRI, AEA, AF, AAHPERD, AKTA, MFA. She then became a Watsu practitioner and Watsu level 1 instructor.


She taught aquatic therapy, kinesiology and biomechanics at various institutions NEIWH (New England Institute Whole Health), NH Technical College, Macomb Community College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Murphy Deming School of Health Sciences (Mary Baldwin) and University of Virginia (master level adapted PE program aquatic section). She has offered aquatic therapy classes through ATRI, Medical Fitness Association and AKTA.


Ruth published various articles on health, wellness and was featured in her local papers about her work in aquatics and wellness. She completed her Federal Employee Wellness coaching certification in 2010 and presented at the first Federal Employee Wellness conference in Washington DC in 2012. Ruth wrote the chapter on Staff Training in Comprehensive Aquatic Therapy (Becker and Cole) editions 2 & 3. She taught with Dr. Becker’s aquatic therapy team in China in 2018.


She is an adapted ski instructor through PSIA and has volunteered at Wintergreen Adapted Sports for more than 10 years.


Ruth has recently been working at Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC as a kinesiotherapist in employee wellness, weight management, health coaching, rehab and aquatic therapy. Ruth continues to offer Watsu as a practitioner and instructor and consults with various organizations.

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