On The air
List of Episodes
You can listen to On The air using your preferred podcasting service including iTunes and Stitcher by searching by the title or via this site by clicking on the desired episode below.
Karen Dobyns, OTD, MOT, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist who lives and works in Southern California. She loves pediatrics and mental health and is adjunct faculty in an occupational therapy assistant college program. Karen was interviewed about her path into the field of occupational therapy on Episode 10 in January 2018 and is back to talk about her experiences in writing a children's book centered around the concept of inclusion (and OT!). She talks about how she came up with the idea for her book "The Centipede Who Couldn’t Tie His Shoes" and what she learned during the process of writing and publishing.
Resources & recommendations shared on this episode:
Kami Bible, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist who specializes in school-based OT via teletherapy. Kami graduated from Newman University in Wichita, KS with a B.S. in OT in 1998 and began working in an in-patient rehab facility on the spinal cord injury team. After passing the NBCOT exam in 1998, she continued her education, completing a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) degree in 2001. After several years working in rehab, Kami took a job in HR as the Allied Health Recruiter for a large hospital system in Oklahoma City. In 2009, when her daughter started elementary school, she wanted to stay home with her and so went to work for a contract company serving several rural school districts.
Since then, Kami has worked in schools in Oklahoma, Washington State and now Kansas. She's been a national presenter for the Bureau of Education and Research and now with Learning Without Tears. She currently works full-time for Lawrence Public Schools serving K-8 in brick & mortar schools and K-12 for Lawrence Virtual School. In addition, Kami also does contract work for eLuma, an online therapy company.
Connect with Kami:
Supplemental Resource on Telehealth in OT:
You might have come across a video clip making the rounds on social media that shows an adult daughter using sign language to have a conversation with her mom who has dementia. The two are in a car and the exchange between them is really animated and affectionate. On this episode, the daughter from that video, sign-language interpreter MJ Grant, shares about her experiences growing up as part of the deaf culture in a family as a child of deaf adults (CODA). In addition, she talks about serving as a caregiver in recent years for her mom and her dad who has progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP).
Born and raised in Sanford, Maine, MJ is a 44 year-old mother of four (ages 24, 18, 15 and 5), with a wonderfully supportive husband, Jesse Repolt. Having been raised by two culturally deaf parents in the city of Sanford, Maine, Grant has always had strong connection to the Deaf community and strongly identifies as a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults). Grant is the youngest of two daughters, with an older sister, LouAnn Grant. Having worked in the field of Sign Language Interpreting since 1997 as a freelancer, Grant decided in 2010 to establish her own interpreting referral agency, Mary Jane Grant Sign Language Interpreting Referral Services, in the state of Maine. Grant has been a mentor to student interpreters and adjunct faculty at the University of Southern Maine, teaching American Sign Language/English Interpreting classes intermittently since 2004. In recent years, Grant began caring for her mother, who has dementia, and father who has Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). Currently Grant's mother is living in her home and her father resides in the next town over, requiring support from both daughters and his wife to care for his needs. Grant continues to balance more challenging demands as her parent's needs increasingly become more significant.
Click HERE to access an article and video about MJ and her mom.
Kaitlyn Jones is a recent graduate of the University of Scranton with a Master's Degree in occupational therapy. She is passionate about research and accessible technology, specifically adapted video gaming for veterans with limb loss and the impact that re-engagement in game play has on one's quality of life after traumatic injury. She serves as the Director of Clinical Outreach for Warfighter Engaged, a 501(c) non-profit organization that custom-adapts video game controllers for veterans who have sustained traumatic injuries. Kaitlyn recently accepted a role as a member of Microsoft's hardware research team where she will help to inform and aid in accessibility efforts at the industry level.
On this episode of On the Air, Kaitlyn talks about her path into the profession, her experience with and passion for assistive technology, and her work with Microsoft.
Connect with Kaitlyn:
Episode 53: The Benefits of Boxing and Other Out-of-the-Box Interventions for People with Parkinson's Disease
Stephanie Smith Goodman, COTA/L, is an occupational therapy assistant from Kansas City, MO. She graduated in 2016 as a non-traditional student with an OTA degree from Metropolitan Community College. Stephanie currently works as a coach at The Parkinson's Exercise and Wellness Center in Overland Park, Ks. As a life-long learner, she brings a multi-faceted approach to the battle against Parkinson's Disease. Stephanie is a Rock Steady Boxing Certified Trainer, a yoga instructor of 20+ years (including training in adaptive yoga for persons living with disabilities) and a professionally-trained theatre actor, director/educator, and a recently trained instructor in Tai Chi for Rehabilitation. In addition to her OTA degree, she has a BFA from the University of Florida, and a MFA from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.
Stephanie loves sharing OT-based activities with her "Parkinson's fighters," and her classes reflect an atmosphere of hard work, camaraderie, creativity, fun and function. Her eclectic approach reflects her diverse skill-set and includes functional fitness, kinesthetic awareness, mind-body connection, vocal production, acting exercises, mental agility, fine and gross motor coordination, yoga, Tai Chi and ADLs.
Resources shared in this episode:
Allyson Chrystal is an occupational therapist and clinical instructor specializing in pediatrics. Allyson has a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Georgia, a master's degree in occupational therapy from Midwestern University, and a master's degree in functional medicine and clinical nutrition from the University of Western States. She serves as the clinical director at Westside Children's Therapy, a pediatric rehabilitation company with outpatient clinics in the Chicago suburbs. In her clinical work and research, Allyson has focused on sensory integration and self-regulation in children with behavioral and developmental disorders. More recently, she has expanded her work with self-regulation to typically developing children and adolescents as well as using her knowledge in the area of functional medicine as a tool in her practice as an OT practitioner.
Resources & Recommendations:
Connect with Allyson via email at email@example.com
Andrea Ball, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist who owns and runs a pediatric therapy clinic called Play Ball Children's Therapy. Andrea is a 2005 graduate of the OT program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis, TN, and has experience working in home health, schools, and outpatient settings. One of the areas of expertise she has developed in her role as an OT practitioner centers on the use of mindfulness and meditation as a therapeutic tool. She serves as co-facilitator for the Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association's pediatric community of practice. She has hosted workshops in the community on the topics of mindfulness and meditation and is currently participating in research on these topics. Andrea is passionate about the role of OT in facilitating emotional mental health and wants to help physicians and others understand more about the role of OT practitioners in pediatric mental health.
Andrea began college at Tennessee Tech University to pursue a degree in music therapy. After 2.5 years, she realized that degree wasn't a good fit for her and shortly thereafter found out about OT from her mother who worked as a nurse at the time. She graduated with a bachelor's of science degree from UTHSC in December of 2005 and immediately began working in home health geriatrics. When a position opened up in the Nashville Metro Public Schools in July 2006, Andrea moved into that setting which was where she had completed her Level II Fieldwork in OT school. She worked there for 7 years, at which point she became a mother and took a part time position working in the area of early intervention in the home, later starting a private practice called Play Ball Children's Therapy in January 2011. Andrea and her husband now have three sons and since 2011 have opened a small clinic in Knoxville with 6 part time therapists in addition to the original location in Hendersonville, TN.
In January 2016 Andrea began learning about mindfulness & meditation and then began implementing these techniques with children in OT. More recently, she has begun hosting workshops for the community and participating in two OT research studies on the effects of interoception for children. As a result, supporting emotional mental health in children as an OT practitioner, and she strives to educate and support others on the topic as part of her career aspirations.
Resources & Recommendations from this Episode:
Andrea's two favorite books with authors who are OTs:
*Note: Kelly Mahler also just released a whole new curriculum and Andrea is participating in the research study to study the effects of the curriculum on students. Kelly's Facebook page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/groups/407492119460898/
PESI (AOTA approved continuing education provider) courses Andrea completed on mindfulness:
Other Resources on Basic Mindfulness (not directly related to OT but still recommended by Andrea):
Articles to Read:
Newsletter and/or Facebook page - Mindful.org.
Closed Facebook group for parents new to what I teach in OT with their child and for friends and colleagues - led by Andrea who says that it's open to "anyone wanting to travel along my journey and learn ideas": https://www.facebook.com/groups/1643184139312908/
Connect with Andrea:
Quinn Tyminski, OTD, OTR/L is an instructor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Washington University in St. Louis in 2012 and a post-professional occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) from Saint Louis University in 2017. Quinn’s scholarly work focuses on clinical research and assessment development in community-based mental health practice. Prior to joining the program at Wash U as an instructor in fall of 2017, she gained clinical experience practicing with individuals living with mental illness in both inpatient and community-based settings, as well as individuals experiencing homelessness and incarcerated individuals. Her current research interests focus on occupational therapy program development and assessment within a local homeless shelter, and as part of that effort she is working to more clearly define the role of occupational therapy within the homeless population through the use of a student-run clinic as a means to provide services and the importance dark/non-sanctioned occupations in occupational therapy practice within community-based populations.
Connect with Quinn:
Two topics in the healthcare field that are rarely discussed are fraud and reporting fraud. In 2015, the guests on this episode, OT practitioners LeeAnn Holt and Kristi Emerson, were faced with a situation in their jobs that resulted in their making a report of fraud leading to a federal lawsuit being file against the company they worked for. Following that, both were terminated from their positions, which pushed them into the role of whistleblowers. On this episode of On The air, LeeAnn and Kristi share about that experience and talk about what has happened in their careers and in their lives since that time.
Occupational therapist LeeAnn Holt, OTR/L, OTD, graduated in 1989 with a BS in OT from Western Michigan University and also holds a post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy. She has worked in acute care, residential inpatient, adult and pediatric outpatient, community reentry, LTC and SNF settings, with the bulk of her career in geriatrics. LeeAnn has in some form of management or in the role of lead clinician since 1994, including four years as Regional Director of Rehab for a LTC/SNF company.
Kristi Emerson, COTA/L, is an occupational therapy assistant who graduated from Wallace State in 1998 with most of her OT career spent working in geriatrics. Since the time the report of fraud was made, both LeeAnn and Kristi have not worked regularly as OT practitioners. Kristi has done a little prn or "as needed" work for a contract company and has served as the administrator of a Facebook page called OT, PT, SLP therapists speak out against fraud.
Because of the actions of LeeAnn and Kristi, a legal case was brought and subsequently settled against a nursing home chain with more than two dozen facilities in the state of Tennessee settled a $230 million Medicare fraud. In the process of serving as whistleblowers, LeeAnn Kristi Emerson collected and submitted stories of patients, and that information was used as primary evidence in the lawsuit between the federal government and Louisville, Kentucky-based Signature Healthcare, which operates more than 100 facilities in 17 states.
Following is an excerpt from an article about the case posted on the Nashville Public Radio website (Farmer, 2018):
The complaint against Signature Healthcare (download here) accuses the company of systematically administering occupational, physical and speech therapy when it wasn't warranted and withholding care when government reimbursements were already maxed out. According to the suit, the unnecessary therapy pushed patients into a category where the facility was reimbursed more per day for those patients, often hitting precisely the 720-minute per week threshold for maximum payment.
As part of the $30 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the company has admitted no liability and denied the allegations. But in a statement, CEO Joe Steier says the payout "allows us to move forward in serving our residents."
Emerson says she hopes the case will still inspire other health care workers to push back when they feel pressured to do procedures they deem medically unnecessary.
We can't just blame these corporations for all of this," she says. "We have to shoulder as therapists some of the responsibility because we've allowed this to get this bad." ~Kristi Emerson, COTA/L
Connect with Kristi and LeeAnn:
As therapists, whether we are actively practicing or in a nonclinical role such as a manager or director, we literally make hundreds and sometimes thousands of decisions a day. We are presented with patient treatments and have to adjust what we are doing moment by moment based on the patient's response. Which task will prepare for my patient's session today? Which goal will I focus on today? If my patient moves in this manner, how do I adjust my treatment task? If my patient responds in that manner, how do I adjust my task?
On this episode of On The air, occupational therapists Kim Solondz and Lily Gullion talk about the ins and outs fellowship opportunities in the field of occupational therapy. Kim is the discipline director and pediatric fellowship director of occupational therapy at the Institute on Development & Disability at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, OR, and Lily is a new grad OT and the current pediatric occupational therapy fellow at OHSU. Accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in 2016, the pediatric OT fellowship at OHSU is designed to provide mentorship in advanced clinical skills in inter-professional practice, leadership enhancement, and research development. More information about the fellowship including how to apply can be found at https://goo.gl/rsdSUj
For More Information:
Connect with our guests:
Reach Kim via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Lily via email at email@example.com
The host of the On The Air podcast, I have practiced as an occupational therapist for over 25 years and am an OT educator specializing in ed tech and instructional design.