In Memory of Anne MacRae

Profile photo of Anne MacRae

Anne MacRae passed away Sunday, May 23rd in her home in San Francisco. She was an essential member of POTAC and she will be dearly missed. She was a fearless activist and tireless advocate for psychosocial occupational therapy. Anne was passionate about creating opportunities for occupational therapy in marginalized and under-resourced communities. She traveled the world and received the Fulbright Scholarship in 1997, teaching and consulting on the mental health curriculum at the University of Malta. She was SJSU faculty for over 30 years and adjunct faculty at Dominican University of California. Anne has co-edited 4 editions of the OT textbook: Psychosocial Occupational Therapy: An Evolving Practice, with the 5th edition currently in press. She has led or participated in many Friday Forums and Symposia for POTAC, including:

1997: International Occupational Therapy: Anne MacRae’s Experience in Malta

1999: An International Perspective on Occupational Therapy

2000: Increasing Your Cultural Awareness

2002: A Facilitated Discussion: The Controversy of Crafts

2003: The Occupational Therapy Practice Framework:  Domain and Process

2005: Psychosocial Issues of the Older Adult

2017: The OT Role in Work Readiness Program Development and Delivery

Long term members of the POTAC steering committee will remember having spirited discussions in her living room over homemade bread.  She opened up her mind, heart and home to POTAC. SJSU created a video montage you can access. Below are a few words about Anne but words can never say enough about what she meant to POTAC and the profession of OT.

Pictured L to R: Colleen Devine, Kevin Stamps, Steve Dorado, Eileen Auerbach, Susan Edelsberg, Anne MacRae, Ruth Ramsey, Lynna Kaplan, M. Terry Bowman
San Francisco, CA
January 7, 2006

Anne was my professor at SJSU and inspired me to dedicate my career to mental health.  Her words of wisdom often still resonate…25 years later.  I had the pleasure of being at several POTAC meetings with her in the last several years and she continued to be a driving force in her passion for psychosocial OT.  She will certainly be missed.  (Susan Fisher)

During my first week as an OT student at SJSU, I vividly remember meeting Dr. MacRae. Her energy, love of mental health, and warmth was palpable and I knew after listening to her lecture that I wanted to go into mental health. I chose her Psychosocial Clinic in my last sequence, joined the POTAC Steering Committee in 1996 just after graduation, and was fortunate to witness that same aura and drive from her whenever she was present in our meetings. When I shared the news with my cohort, the most common word to describe her was inspired/inspirational. She certainly was mine. (Terry Bowman)

I really owe the fact of my academic career to her, in that she encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone, share what I had done with other OT’s, and teach my first class at SJSU.  She was also, of course, very active in POTAC, and also taught here for a while. I co-authored a chapter in the first edition of her book on mental health OT. I knew her as a caring and committed OT, dedicated to the service of those with mental illness, especially serious and persistent mental illness. (Ruth Ramsey)

She was one of the original members of POTAC (the Psych. OT Action Coalition) in its early years, and over the years she has been an inspiration and strong contributor to our members and the whole field of mental health occupational therapy. (Eileen Auerbach)

Anne was such a wonderful community based mental health advocate (Patrice Svoyak)

Anne inspired me and made me feel proud to be an OT. She was a role model, a cheerleader, and a wonderful advocate for OT in mental health, encouraging OTs to develop new roles in previously unfilled ones. She said that there are jobs for OTs, but you may have to be the one to create it. She was warm and nurturing, never talked down; she was filled with ideas for us.
(Lynna Kaplan)