What I bring as an occupational therapy researcher/scholar to and candidate for AOTA Vice-President.
In this post I would like present my experience as an occupational therapy researcher/scholar and describe how I can promote and support research and scholarship as the Vice-President of AOTA.
I have 33 years of experience as an occupational therapist and have knowledge, skills and experience that prepare me to advocate for the roles of researcher and scholar on the AOTA Board of Directors. I received my PhD in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2002. I received my first research funding as a doctoral student to develop and pilot a return to work program for people living with HIV/AIDS at the Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago. As part of the project I followed 16 men who completed the program for one year and used the data to complete my doctoral dissertation on a “Qualitative Study of the Subscales of the Occupational Performance History Interview.”
In follow-up, my mentor and research partner Gary Kielhofner and I received funding for two federal research grants totaling $1.2 million dollars and carried out two more studies including the only two-group control study investigating the effectiveness of occupational therapy in return to work for this population to date. Our work influenced the delivery of work related services to persons living with HIV/AIDS nationwide and resulted in testimony before the National Institute of Medicine Committee on Social Security HIV Disability Criteria in 2010.
In addition to my own research, I sat on NIH review panels 9 times including the Small Business Technology Transfer Program and a panel on Stigma and Global Health. I have participated as an invited subject matter expert on the “National Cancer Institute Evidence-Based Approaches for Optimizing Employment Outcomes among Cancer Survivors” in 2016 and the “National Institutes of Health Subject Matter Expert Panel on Cancer Rehabilitation" in 2015. In March of 2018 I will serve as an invited participant to the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) Grant Planning Workshop focused on aiding cancer survivors to engage in work and daily life roles.”
During my 19 years at UIC I served as the Program Director for the entry-level educational program and collaborated with our tenure-track faculty closely. I gained much experience and familiarity with the challenges of pursuing all levels of funding while balancing research with teaching and other academic duties. As a scholar who has authored two text books, 22 peer reviewed journal articles and 15 book chapters I have an appreciation for the hard work and contributions of the researcher/scholars in our profession.
As Vice-President of AOTA, I will bring my knowledge and experience of the research process, along with my passion for occupational therapy and represent researchers on the Board of Directors, to the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, and to funding agencies that support the development of evidence for the value of occupational therapy interventions. I will be a strong voice for the need to promote the development of new researchers, post-doctoral experiences and mentoring of students to pursue a career in science in the field of occupational therapy. I will work to develop new opportunities to support academic-practice collaborations to promote a scholarship of practice.
I hope that you will consider casting your vote for me. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions, concerns or feedback you would like to provide through this website or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The opinions expressed in my blog are personal and neither represent the views of my employer nor any organization.