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.
Michelle Finet is an occupational therapist who has worked with children and youth for over 20 years specializing in the areas of sensory integration and autism. She has worked with clients with a wide range of diagnoses including but not limited to Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, torticollis, developmentally delays, brachial plexus injuries, cognitive impairment, muscular dystrophy, and attention deficit disorder.
Michelle has experience running a company providing therapy services through a contract with the state of Arizona as well as working as an ergonomics consultant in multiple settings. She currently teaches full-time in the OT program at Touro University in Henderson, Nevada. Her research focuses on how OT can be more involved with working with and providing services to members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and she provides services one day per week in a primary care clinic focused on serving that community.
On this episode, Michelle talks about how she became interested in working with individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community and shares about the role of OT in providing occupational therapy services for people in this context.
Connect with Michelle via email
Connect with the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD)
Meghann Rose has been a pediatric OT for almost 14 years. Her first 12 years were spent working at a Children's Hospital in Rochester, NY, where she helped establish a team-based approach to occupational therapy in the NICU and where she focused on infant feeding, positioning and transition to home.
In 2007, Meg and neurologist Jennifer Kwon established the Brachial Plexus Outpatient Clinic and in 2011 they received a grant to develop a protocol for care of infants with brachial plexus injuries and a referral system.
In 2017, Meg transitioned from the hospital setting to private practice, and she now works in an outpatient clinic as part of a feeding team and with infants with brachial plexus injuries. In addition, she works with children and families as part of the Early Intervention system. She has published an article on feeding and another on brachial plexus injuries. Meg is also a mom to three kids ages 10, 8 and 4 and participates in hobbies that include photography and volunteering with the local ambulance core.
On this episode, Meg shares about her path into OT and as a specialist in BPI, and she discusses the different types of BPI and how each is addressed via the protocol.
Connect with Meg via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
Erin Grujic has been an occupational therapist for 19 years. She had a dream many years ago about having a mobile sensory clinic to rural communities in Southern Alberta. Two years ago, she started working as an OT practitioner in the private sector and then one year ago was able to bring her dream to life through the creation of a mobile sensory integration clinic, which she says aligns well with her passion for working with children and their families by bringing the clinic to them rather than requiring the families to travel long distances to get services. Erin received her SIPT certification in 2009.
On this episode, Erin shares about her quest to build the sensory bus and to bring OT services to the community via this platform. She talks about funding issues, marketing, and the use of the sensory bus as a therapeutic tool in working with her clients and others. To find out how to connect with Erin and to access the resources mentioned on this episode, go to www.ontheair.us
Resources & Recommendations from this Episode:
Connect with Erin:
As third-year OT students preparing to graduate from the Master's level program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN, Chelsea Chandler Holden and Caroline Montague share about a unique experience in the field that both say really helped to shape their learning as future OT practitioners. Both Chelsea and Caroline volunteered at an event called Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) held at Vanderbilt University in Nashville in January 2019. On this episode, we talk about how an experience like TOM can serve as a significant professional learning development opportunity for OT students and practitioners.
To learn more about the TOM initiative, visit https://tomglobal.org/
For more information about the TOM event (past or future) at Vanderbilt, check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tikkunolammakers.vanderbilt/
Occupational therapist Becca McCaskey, MOT, OTR/L, grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, and attended UT-Knoxville to earn an undergrad degree in Therapeutic Recreation. She completed her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy in 2015 at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and then began her career working in outpatient private pediatric therapy. After recognizing some of the signs of overwhelm in attempting to juggle the demands of work and home and even of early burnout in herself, she took time off from work to stay home with her young children.
In 2018, Becca discovered teletherapy and she has been working in that specialty area of OT practice since that time. She has found that as an alternative career format, working in telehealth allows her to stay active as an occupational therapy practitioner while allowing for the flexibility she needs at this point in her life. As an OT, Becca is passionate about working with children of all ages and stages to help them reach their full potential and especially dedicated to helping those children who sometimes "fall through the cracks" due to a "hidden" disability or lack of resources. On this episode, Becca talks about the burnout that seems to be becoming increasingly prevalent amount healthcare providers, the importance finding balance in one's life in order to provide the highest quality of care to clients possible, and the perks of telehealth as an alternative to the traditional format of a career in occupational therapy.
Connect with Becca:
Rebecca Kadowaki is an OT who has developed an evidence-based toolkit connecting contact with nature and executive functioning in pediatrics as part of the work she's doing in the post-professional OTD program in which she is enrolled at Indiana Univ-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI).
Becca has developed a resource called "Nature + Occupational Therapy" which is a toolkit for executive function in children, which she has generously shared as a free, open-market resource. On this episode, Becca talks about her path into the field of OT, her interest in the link between development, health and wellbeing and nature, research on how and why nature benefits children's executive function, and ideas for incorporating contact with nature into practice and into daily life.
Resources & Recommendations from this Episode:
Physical therapist Karen Malone, an expert in stroke and stroke rehab after over 30 years in practice, is the guest on this episode of On The Air. Karen reminisces about her days in PT school and her first job as a PT working at a small Southern California hospital in stroke rehab. She talks about her experiences in stroke rehab Tijuana and China where she worked for 20 years and where she created opportunities to use physical therapy in a province where no one knew about physical therapy. Now residing in St. Paul, MN, with her son who was adopted from China, Karen is a delightful storyteller who highlights the challenges and the triumphs of being a trailblazer in the rehab field in China.
Resources & Recommendations:
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:
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.