On The air
List of Episodes
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Narrative medicine is an approach that used in clinical practice, research, and education to promote growth, learning, and/or healing through the use of story (or narrative). That story may be communicated in a variety of ways, including through the use of theater, and that's what the guest on this episode has done in her work as an occupational therapist and an occupational therapy educator.
Sally Wasmuth, PhD, OTR, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Human Sciences at Indiana University, Indianapolis. She has a background in African-American Studies, Philosophical Studies of Biology, and Occupational Therapy. Her research focuses on translational and implementation science, particularly in the areas of occupation-based intervention for addictive disorders and dual-diagnosis. Sally is involved in several arts-based recovery initiatives, including the use of theatre as both a therapeutic intervention and a means of stimulating community conversations on critical topics including the opioid crisis and healthcare inequities related to race and gender.
Recommendations & resources from this episode:
Tools for OT faculty to help students explore their own bias, as developed by Sally and others:
Contact Sally via email
Ali Isso and Holly Masters are both Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs) who work with the older adult population in nursing homes and hospitals.
Through their work, Ali and Holly have observed depression and loneliness, which are overwhelmingly prevalent with older adults and which have been linked to loss of independence, decreased motivation, and social withdrawal. In fact, according to the CDC, approximately 7 million adults over 65 experience depressive symptoms each year. Additionally, 60% of adults in long term care facilities do not receive visitors often, whether it be because their family is busy or lives out of town.
To address these problems, Ali and Holly co-Founded Purpose Therapy Box, a gift box subscription service that allows for the delivery of useful products that inspire positivity and enhance quality of life through personalized products designed to encourage independence, improve well-being, and overall health.
Both Ali and Holly are graduates of the Pennsylvania State University Occupational Therapy Assistant program as well as the Human Development and Family Studies Program. Ali works with the older adult population in both the hospital and SNF setting. Ali says that she has always had a passion for the older adult population and while doing her clinical rotations in OT school, she realized that so much more could and needs to be done. Holly works as a COTA in a skilled nursing facility in northwestern PA and a rehabilitation hospital in northeast Ohio. Her passion is working with the older adult population as she recognizes that they have the best stories and remind me to cherish the little things in life. Holly is a dog mamma to two beautiful Boston Terriers: Betsy and Eloise, and she loves growing plants/trees!
Ali and Holly started their company, Purpose Therapy Box, in June 2018 as a way to keep families connected and send functional items and with therapy box themes to remind our older loved ones they are not forgotten.
Resources & Recommendations from this episode:
Connect with Ali & Holly: