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Christine (Chris) MacDonell - CARF International. Tucson, AZ, US

Christine (Chris) MacDonell Christine (Chris) MacDonell

Managing Director of Medical Rehabilitation and International Aging Services/Medical Rehabilitation | CARF International


Christine M. MacDonell has more than 35 years of experience as a provider, administrator, and trainer in the human services field.






The role of patients, families, communities, and/or populations in health professional education accreditation Speaker: Christine MacDonell




Christine M. MacDonell, managing director of the Medical Rehabilitation and International Aging Services/Medical Rehabilitation accreditation areas, has more than 35 years of experience as a provider, administrator, and trainer in the human services field. Since 1991, Chris has represented CARF at international and national meetings, introducing and promoting the concepts of quality oversight and enhancement of human services through the CARF accreditation process in both medical rehabilitation and aging services. In 2003, Chris became responsible for the transition of the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC), which CARF acquired in February 2003.

Areas of Expertise (10)

Interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation

Stroke Rehabilitation

Brain injury programs

Healthcare quality oversight

Physical and rehabilitation medicine

Case Management

Interdisciplinary pain management

Cancer rehabilitation

Performance Management

Evidence-based practice initiative

Accomplishments (2)

2019 John Stanley Coulter Award (professional)


To be named the Coulter Lecturer is to be recognized as one whose professional achievements have contributed significantly to the field of rehabilitation, as did Dr. John Stanley Coulter. Since 1951, the John Stanley Coulter Lecture has been a highlight of every annual meeting of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM).

Fellowship, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (professional)


The Fellow of ACRM designation recognizes active members with an outstanding record of professional service to ACRM who have also made contributions of national significance to the field of medical rehabilitation.

Media Appearances (6)

2019 John Stanley Coulter Award Recipient

American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM)  online


ACRM is pleased to honor Christine M. MacDonell, FACRM, with the 2019 John Stanley Coulter Award.

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International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine joins CARF International’s IAC

CARF International  online


“We are excited to bring in this robust, leading international group to assist with standard development and revision and CARF’s activities around the world,” says Chris MacDonell, CARF International’s managing director of international aging services and medical rehabilitation.

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CARF 101 training sessions for medical rehabilitation programs now offered as web-based recordings CARF International

CARF International  online


Medical rehabilitation professionals looking to receive CARF 101 training in 2017 will now be able to do so from their own office on their own time. Beginning this year, MED 101: Preparing for Successful Accreditation training is being offered in web-based recorded modules, which replace the multi-day, in-person version.

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ASCIP joins CARF’s International Advisory Council

CARF International  online


“This group has been instrumental in assisting CARF in moving the field forward in spinal cord rehabilitation by assisting us with identifying trends, development and revision of standards, and giving us the opportunity through conference presentations to update the field,” says Chris MacDonell, CARF’s managing director of Medical Rehabilitation and International Aging Services/Medical Rehabilitation. “We are very pleased to have ASCIP join the IAC.”

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CARF International rehabilitation director honored by ACRM

CARF International  online


The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) awarded Chris MacDonell, CARF International's managing director of medical rehabilitation and international aging services/medical rehabilitation, with two prestigious distinctions earlier this month at the 2014 ACRM Annual Conference in Toronto, Ontario. Ms. MacDonell was presented with a 2014 Distinguished Member Award and named a 2014 Fellow of ACRM.

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Congratulations to Winners of the 2014 ACRM Awards

American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM)  online


Each year, it is the pleasure and great honor of the ACRM Awards Committee and Board of Governors to recognize those individuals most deserving of the prestigious ACRM Awards for excellence in the field of rehabilitation medicine.

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Event Appearances (4)

Identifying Needs for Children and Adolescents With Traumatic Brain Injury....how Do We Manage the Gaps?

International Brain Injury Association  

Emerging Trends in Rehabilitation with Ms. Christine MacDonell

Rehabilitation Sciences Institute Talks  Rehabilitation Sciences Building, University of Toronto


American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine

Progress in Rehabilitation Research  Atlanta

The Role of Accreditation in Enhancing Quality and Innovation in Health Professions Education: A Workshop

The National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine  


Articles (1)

Announcement about MED 101 training opportunities for 2017

CARF International 

We are pleased to announce big news regarding the MED 101 training format for 2017. Beginning this year, CARF’s Medical Rehabilitation unit will offer 101 trainings exclusively as web-based recorded training modules rather than conducting physical-location trainings. Here is the information you need to know about the change.

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Industry Publications (4)

Brain Injury Professional, Vol 15, Issue 4

Cultural Issues in Rehabilitation


Christine MacDonell was invited to server as one of the guest editors for the Special Cultural Issue of the Brain Injury Professional.

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A Framework for Ensuring Competence and Credibility in Cancer Rehabilitation Services

Physiotherapy Canada

Margaret L. McNeely, PT, PhD. and Christine M. MacDonell


Around the world, cancer rehabilitation is being recognized as a core component of cancer medical care, and a growing awareness of the need for cancer rehabilitation services has come to the fore in Canada as well. In a recent article in Physiotherapy Canada, Canestraro and colleagues reported the results of a cross-sectional online survey of current practice patterns and provision of oncology rehabilitation in Canada. Their results suggest that formal oncology rehabilitation programmes in Canada are scarce, leading them to highlight the need to create and expand programmes to meet the needs of the growing numbers of Canadians surviving and living with cancer.

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Chapter 6: Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities Accreditation for Brain Injury Programs

Brain Injury Medicine, 2nd Edition: Principles and Practice

Christine MacDonell


CARF encourages all brain injury providers to interact with CARF and the standards development process to improve, revise, and update brain injury practices to reflect the needs of consumers, providers, payers, and government agencies.

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Quality Oversight and Culture Change in Long-Term Care

Journal of Social Work in Long-Term Care

Deborah Wilkerson and Christine MacDonell


The culture of long-term care is changing as the Baby Boomer generation ages, needing long-term care but finding that the quality of care is such that many would rather die than enter a long-term care facility. While quality oversight mechanisms are looked to for protection of consumers, in fact regulations have been seen by the industry as restrictive in this changing culture. This article explores the ways in which quality oversight organizations attempt to address quality and proposes a model for conceptualizing quality oversight alternatives that may help mediate the conflict between the quality oversight and changing long-term care cultures. Finally, challenges are summarized regarding what the various stakeholders in long-term care might do to form partnerships in meeting the needs and desires of the long-term care consumer population.

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