On The air
List of Episodes
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Amanda Warren, OTD, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist with a specialty practice in hippotherapy. Amanda is from Memphis, TN. After earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Exercise Science from The University of Mississippi, she began working as an assistant horseback riding trainer and rider, travelling the country with horses and customers on the Hunter/Jumper show circuit. She returned to school in 2007 to obtain a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Belmont University, after which she worked in a variety of clinical settings while she received specialty training and certification in hippotherapy. Today, Amanda works for Southern Reigns Southern Reigns Center for Equine Therapy in the Memphis area.
"We all bring something different to the table, and [we] can just learn so much from everybody [working together]." ~Amanda Warren
[Advice to OT students and fellow OT practitioners:] Always look... to learn something new, always ask... questions, always tak[e]... opportunities and taking that initiative. If you don't know something and you want to know something, take that initiative to learn. " ~Amanda Warren
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Today’s guest, Danielle Lancelot Watson, MS, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist specializing in hand therapy. Danielle grew up on Long Island and after graduating from NYU with a degree in Art History and Philosophy lived and worked in NYC. She was extremely active, participating in activities like snowboarding, endurance cycling and rock climbing and often travelled to other places including in foreign countries to engage in these things. In the summer of 2011, while rock climbing in Colorado, Danielle fell and sustained a T6-level SCI. She went through several surgeries and an extensive rehab process as a result and later went back to school to earn a Master’s degree in OT at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. Danielle competes regularly in a variety of wheelchair and adaptive sports and involved with multiple adaptive sports organizations. With a passion for advocating for disability justice, she currently works as an OT in Yelm, WA, with a specialty in hands.
"We are pathfinders. We enable occupations that heal. We cocreate daily lives. We reach for hearts as well as hands. We are artists and sci- entists at once. If we discern this in ourselves, if we act on this understanding every day, we will advance into the future embracing our ethos of engagement. And we will have reclaimed a magnificent heart. " ~Suzanne M. Peloquin
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Barb Heilman, MOT, OTR/L, is a registered and licensed occupational therapist with experience in physical dysfunction and upper-extremity rehab and hand therapy. She earned an MOT degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan and then began her career in general physical disabilities at the Mayo Clinic for in Rochester, Minnesota, where she worked for seven years. Moving into the specialty practice area of spinal cord injuries during that time, Barb says that she really started to appreciate the creative aspect of occupational therapy and how small adaptations can help people continue to do the things that were important to them before their injuries. She then completed a training program in the field of hand rehab at Mayo Clinic, and hand therapy became her area of clinical focus.
Barb moved to Houston, Texas, and started a hand and upper extremity clinic for a group of orthopedic surgeons. After having two children, she worked part-time hand therapy and also went on several medical mission trip to Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala, with a group of surgeons from Houston. After the birth of her first grandchild, Barb offered to babysit one day a week and because of thumb arthritis was unable to open the baby car seat buckle. Because she had splint material in my garage, she went to work devising a prototype for a tool to help her open the car seat buckle. This is how UnbuckleMe, a product marketed in partnership with her daughter Becca, was born.
Becca Davidson is the Co-Founder and Co-Inventor of UnbuckleMe. Barb grew up in Houston and after graduating from Vanderbilt University moved to New York City, where she worked in Financial Services and Consulting and earned an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business. After 8 years in NYC, Becca and her husband moved back to Houston to be closer to family. She now has two daughters, 2 years and 4 months old. She works full-time as a consultant for IBM, while also working on UnbuckleMe on evenings and weekends with her mom. Becca says that she looks forward to continuing to grow their company company and hopes to be able to work on UnbuckleMe full-time in the near future.
Resources and recommendations from this episode: