(Pronouns: she/her)

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What year did you start the program?

I started the PP-OTD Program in Spring 2020.

What are your prior degrees and at which institutions?

B.S., Exercise and Sports Science, Oregon State University MOT., Occupational Therapy, University of Puget Sound

What was your favorite course in the program?

It really enjoyed the Dissemination Science and Advancing Practice of Health Professions and learned a lot about JEDI in the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Health Professions

What was your Innovation Project title?

Emerg-OT: Occupational Therapy in the Emergency Department. EmergOT: A manual to support development and implementation of occupational therapy presence in the emergency department

Tell us about your Innovation Project.

I discovered a gap in OT practice when searching for a subject for my innovation project: OT in the emergency department (ED). OT in the ED has been practiced in other countries for many years with good success but there were not many US-based OT programs. I found that OT practitioners lack the knowledge and confidence to implement a program of OT in the ED which has led to a decreased presence and lack of collaborative care that could be provided in the ED. A manual (Emerg-OT) was developed as a guideline to help OT practitioners implement a program of OT in the ED at their facility. The manual provided background information on OT in the ED, examples of presentations, checklists and a triage’ guideline to help physicians make appropriate referrals.

What do you think is special about the Post-Professional OTD program here at the MGH Institute?

The way the program is designed helped me apply what I was learning to my current practice as well as towards my innovation project. A small cohort made it feel more intimate and I developed wonderful connections with my classmates, despite being six thousand miles away. With the time difference I was not able to attend many classes live but was able watch the recordings and the instructors and mentors were always available to help. The mentorship in this program is a huge reason, I think, we all felt supported and were willing to step outside of our comfort zone at times.

Why did you choose to come to this program?

A co-worker introduced me to this program and after speaking with Sarah McKinnon, it was an easy choice. I looked at some of the other on-line PP-OTD programs but liked that fact that the program was designed to be able to put what we learn into our current practice. The time frame of 2 years was attainable and the 6 week class sessions broke it down into manageable chunks of time.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?

The MGH IHP PPOTD program increased my confidence to branch out to new clinical avenues and academia. I hope to eventually become more involved in education for future OTs as well as become actively involved in local and national OT endeavors.