What year did you start the program?
What are your prior degrees and at which institutions?
BS in Occupational Therapy, Boston University
MPH, University of California Los Angeles
MBA, University of California Los Angeles
What was your favorite course in the program?
Tough question – each one added a different lens – all pulled together in OT/CS889 Dissemination and Implementation Science
What was your Innovation Project title?
Integrating Rehabilitation into Palliative Care: An Evidence Based Toolkit to Promote Interprofessional Collaborative Practice
Tell us about your Innovation Project.
Seriously ill people and their families are vulnerable and present with complex medical and social concerns. They are frequently admitted and re-admitted to the hospital as they decline and this causes distress and care disruption. It is imperative that providers collaborate to provide coordinated, high-quality care to seriously ill people and their families. However, providers face barriers to collaborative practice such as resource constraints, ineffective communication systems and role misunderstanding. I developed the PalRehab Toolkit make it easier for rehabilitation team members (OT/PT/SLP) and palliative care providers to collaborate. The toolkit provides strategies to facilitate interprofessional collaborative practice and enhance care coordination.
What do you think is special about the Post-Professional OTD program here at the MGH Institute?
Definitely, the people! The faculty are truly invested in students and want each one of us to succeed – they guide us along our unique path – encouraging and pushing and celebrating each of our successes. This sets up a collaborative culture where we feel empowered to take risks, fall and get back up – and support one another throughout the process.
Additionally, the interprofessional lens adds incredible value – taking classes alongside our SLP colleagues and learning together prepares us for interprofessional practice – strong communication and teamwork skills are facilitated!
What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I have so many!
- To grow the newly founded American Palliative Rehabilitation Alliance (www.palrehaballiance.com) into a vibrant organization that can be a repository for evidence-based tools, resources, and education for palliative rehabilitation providers.
- To build a Rehabilitation Toolkit as part of the Center for Palliative Care (CAPC) online resources.
- To develop a Community of Practice as part of the Rehabilitation and Disability Special Interest Section of AOTA
- To continue to implement the strategies in the PalRehab Toolkit at my institution, pilot test and modify and disseminate to other hospitals within my system and beyond.
- To present my findings and share my toolkit at conferences and in publications.
- To continue to share my passion with the next generation of occupational therapy students through invited lectures and ultimately as faculty.