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Manual Edema Mobilization Pioneer

Sandra Artzberger MS, OTR CHT CLT

Sandra Artzberger MS, OTR CHT CLT (retired)

Before retirement in 2014, her career included being a private practice hand therapist in Pagosa Springs Colorado, graduate level college instructor, author, and a national/international lecturer in the field of hand therapy and lymphedema treatment. Sandra taught Manual Edema Mobilization (MEM) in eight different countries and published five chapters and eight articles on MEM.

Highlights of her career included working over 20 years as director of hand therapy for a group of plastic surgeons in the Milwaukee WI area, and establishing with another therapist the pilot for what became the Froedtert Hand Rehabilitation Clinic in Milwaukee.

Sandra was a Charter Active Member of the American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT) and past Educational Division Director for ASHT. Also, Sandra received awards for pioneering treatment techniques in Hand Therapy in the Milwaukee area and from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM) the Henrietta McNary Award for significant contributions in continuing education. In 1995 Ms. Artzberger was certified in Manual Lymphatic Treatment and established, with two other therapists, the first lymphedema clinic in Wisconsin.

Combining her knowledge of the lymphatic system with years of hand therapy experience, the technique of Manual Edema Mobilization evolved and continues to evolve thanks to to the creative and diligent instructors she has endorsed to teach MEM nationally and internationally. 

Life Time Achievements

  1.  Creation of Manual Edema Mobilization concept and technique in 1997, with invites to present and teach concepts at The American Association for Hand Surgery January 1998; May 1998 IFSHT meeting in Vancouver Canada; The American Society of Hand Therapists Annual Meeting September 1998; March 1999 The Philadelphia (Hand Rehabilitation Foundation) Meeting.
  2. Being asked to teach MEM internationally in 8 countries by IFSHT members-unforgettable  experiences and life time friendships made. 
  3. 27 years of teaching Hand therapy courses to University and College Occupational Therapy students in Wisconsin. More important the honor to watch some of them become outstanding hand therapists, teachers, and researchers.
  4. Received various awards such as: 1985 and 1996 Awards of Appreciation from the Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association; 1991 Award of Appreciation from Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital Hand Rehabilitation Clinic for pioneering in the practice of Hand Therapy in Wisconsin; 1994 Henrietta Mc Nary Award of Appreciation from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee for contributions in professional and continuing education
  5. Asked to be Educational Chairman on the board of American Society of Hand Therapists 1997- 99.
  6.  Being asked to publish about MEM resulting in 6 chapters, Including 2 editions of Rehabilitation of the Hand and Upper Extremity and also Fundamentals of Hand Therapy, five articles, two online courses related to MEM, and MEM and Lymphedema Patient Self Management Cards from VHI Kits.
  7.  Part of a team in 1974 that set up the first Hand Clinic in Wisconsin. Set up the first lymphedema clinic in Wisconsin in 1995 with two other therapists.

Sandra also received a Lifetime Achievement Award by the IFSHT

12th IFSHT Congress 2022 London