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.
Allison Chrestensen, MPH, OTR, is a licensed occupational therapist with over 10 years of experience specializing in cancer rehabilitation. After earning her Masters of Public Health degree, Allison worked in healthcare quality improvement, leading large-scale projects for Medicaid waiver programs and conducting training programs for providers. Inspired by her own patient experience after a catastrophic cardiac event, she co-created a Patient/Family Engagement-focused workshop series that has empowered healthcare organizations around the country to build models for partnership with patients and families. She has served as an advisory board member for the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care and is currently faculty for The Beryl Institute for Patient Experience. Allison has a special interest in medical humanities and has trained internationally in mindfulness and narrative medicine practices through the University of Rochester’s Mindful Practice Program. She serves as a faculty member for Duke University’s Reimagine Medicine program, which aims to improve provider wellbeing and patient-provider relationships through the exploration of arts & humanities in medical training. Allison’s consulting company, Tandem Healthcare Solutions, offers “Replenishing the Well” workshops and talks, which teach creative and contemplative practices to help healthcare practitioners cultivate joy in work and reduce emotional distress.
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Niccole Rowe, BA, COTA/L has 7 years of experience as an occupational therapy assistant with clinical experience working in various settings such as acute care, long term acute care, skilled nursing, and outpatient chronic pain treatment. She currently works as an adjunct faculty member at Roane State Community College in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 2019, Niccole ventured forth into entrepreneurship as a founding partner of Aspire OT which is a continuing education company that seeks to serve only the OT profession. Throughout her career, Niccole has exemplified leadership capacity through her impact on the OT profession in the development of future OTA leaders and advocating for OT’s role in the treatment of chronic pain. While serving on two leadership committees within AOTA along with her work on the student involvement committee for the Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association, she has advocated for OTAs and their roles in leadership. Her work to promote OT’s role in the treatment of chronic pain includes educating OT practitioners nationwide through presentations and 2 OT Practice Continuing Education articles. She has also presented nationally on the subjects of burnout and OT/OTA collaboration. Niccole was recognized in 2016 as the co-recipient of the AOTA Terry Brittell OTA/OT Partnership award and will be receiving the 2020 AOTA Gary Kielhofner Emerging Leader Award in Boston. She holds a BA in Communication from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with previous work experience in television news producing, marketing, and as a radio personality.
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Rachel Russell, PhD, OT, is an occupational therapist, lecturer and researcher based at the University of Salford in the UK. With 18 years of experience of working in adult health and social care, she has been directly involved in the assessment and delivery of home modifications. Since 2011, her research has focused on the home modification process, particularly the role of occupational therapists in this process. During that time, Rachel developed the Home Modification Process Protocol, which helps occupational therapists to explains their role in this field of practice as a design and construction process.
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Robin Akselrud, OTD, OTR/L, has fifteen years of experience in a variety of clinical practice areas. Robin is a certified early intervention provider and has worked in several treatment settings, including schools, home care for medically fragile infants and children, and hand therapy and splinting for infants and toddlers. In addition to her clinical work, Robin was an Assistant Professor/AFWC in the MSOT program at Hofstra University from 2017-2019 and recently joined the BS/MS program at LIU-Brooklyn as an Assistant Professor. Robin has also served as an adjunct professor at LIU, York-CUNY and at Touro College for the past seven years. In 2011, Robin founded an OT outpatient facility, Forward OT PLLC, for both children and adults in Brooklyn.
In 2018, Robin also established the OT program at a primary care facility for an underserved community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn- ParCare Community Network. She is also a consultant for The Lighthouse Guild and recently co-authored an AOTA online CEU course focusing on treatment of vision deficits in children. Robin is currently the Leadership and Management Coordinator for the AOTA Home and Community Health Special Interest Section. Robin has presented her research at the 2018 AOTA conference in Salt Lake City and at the 2018 AOTA Education Summit in Louisville. Her publications include “Advocating for Occupational Therapy in Preparation for the Patient Driven Groupings Model”, SIS Quarterly Practice Connections, 2019, 4(2), 14-17 and “The value of home health occupational therapy practitioners in home modifications”, SIS Quarterly Practice Connections,2019, 4(1), 17–19. Dr. Akselrud holds a Master of Science from Touro College in Bay Shore, NY and a Doctor of Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT.
Robin recently started the Ask the Therapists program and a student-run podcast called My OT Journey podcast. She is currently writing two books geared towards OT students and new grads to be published in 2020.
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Diane Knoll, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist who works as the founder and director of Vibrant Palette Arts Center, a non-profit visual arts day program for adults with disabilities in the city of Seattle. With 15 years of experience working in both school settings and pediatric therapy clinics, delivering quality care to clients ages three through adulthood, Diane enjoys working with clients who have self-regulation challenges, sensory processing differences, fine motor delays, and dysgraphia. She specializes in the use of creative approaches to encourage engagement and increased independence with clients.
Diane is currently the only therapist with a specialty certification in the Size Matters Handwriting Program in Washington State. She recently started a consulting company that specializes in providing sensory support for all ages in clients' natural environments, Cascadia Therapy Services.
There's nothing more rewarding than watching someone make progress and become more confident in interacting with their world."
If something seems really hard or really challenging and you don't think you're capable of it, add the word "yet" to the end of that self-defeating sentence because it really helps reframe how you're thinking about it." ~Diane Knoll
Kokeb Girma McDonald, OTR/L, is a pediatric occupational therapist, the founder of Polaris Therapy, an online parent and service provider coach, and a best-seller author to Integrating Primitive Reflexes Through Play and Exercise: An Interactive Guide to the Moro Reflex for Parents, Teachers, and Service Providers. She has 15+ years hands-on experience working with children from diverse background and with various diagnoses. Kokeb recently created an online course and wrote a book to teach parents and service providers a step-by-step home and classroom playful exercises, which can be implemented in less than 10 minutes a day to help improve a child's development. The book is available on Amazon.com and also through Kokeb's website; it includes 30 exercises that can be done to facilitate the integration of the Moro reflex. Kokeb's plan is to make this book be the first in a series of books all centered on primitive reflexes.
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Research tells us that many older adults wish they could spend more time with people other than those their own age, and it also indicates that there are benefits to both younger people and older adults when those in the two groups interact and form relationships. On this episode of On The Air, two occupational therapy students from Quinnipiac University, Michelle Zubko and Julia Kowal, share about their experience residing at the Pond Ridge Assisted Living community through the Student in Residence program at Masonicare at Ashlar Village in Wallingford, Connecticut.
Resources to Share:
A story about the program in which Michelle and Julia are participating - https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-newsct-uconn-moving-20190822-ykmksd4fjzdvnpuh274zslorkm-story.html
Connect with Michelle and Julia:
Via email - firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Instagram - @michellezubs and @juliagkowal
Kathryn Ellis, OTR, OTD, is the CEO and founder of the Institute for Sex, Intimacy and Occupational Therapy, which offers continuing education services for occupational therapy professionals and client services for sexuality counseling. Kathryn is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy and an AASECT certified sexuality counselor. Her mission is to dismantle restrictive norms related to sexuality and intimacy which limit occupational therapists and clients so that all individuals can thrive as sexual beings. On this episode, we talk about the role of occupational therapy in addressing sex and intimacy.
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Promo code for recorded trainings for On The Air listeners
Helen Valencia is an occupational therapist who was born in Colombia and migrated to the U.S. at age 7. Helen grew up in Queens, NY, and earned an undergraduate degree from Queens College. She worked in advertisement sales for A&E TV and then worked for the United Nations as a staff assistant in two different offices, the last one being the office of the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
Dissatisfied with what she calls "the office life," Helen began a journey of self-discovery to help her figure out what was next in her career path. After a year of self-reflection, she learned about OT and, as she says, the rest is history.
Helen graduated from OT school at Stony Brook University. She co-founded a non-profit called Project InReach which funded self-development/leadership workshops given to adults in Colombia. She also worked as a translator in Suffolk county at IEP meetings during OT school. Helen recently moved with her husband to New Hampshire and is here in the studio today to talk about leading as an introvert, making a career switch as an adult, mindfulness and motivation.
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Kripa Sundar, PhD, is an independent researcher and a learning detective. As a cognitive scientist and leader in the field of education and educational research, Kripa earned her doctorate in educational psychology with an emphasis on instructional strategies, with and without multimedia. She managed the Course of Mind project from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) as their Learning Science Specialist, following which she did a stint as an adjunct professor at Washington State University. Currently, her focus is geared towards getting her own initiative - Learning Incognito - up and going.
On this episode, Kripa discusses the research she and her colleagues have conducted as well as research done in the field of cognitive science over the past 30+ years. We talk about how the strategies uncovered in her work can be used by OT students, practitioners, and educators to aid in the teaching and learning process.