OT Students Partner With First Responders For Research Study
February 26, 2014
Occupational Therapy students (far right) Chelsea Prado, Monica Fernandez and Anita Hin
A master’s thesis research study by three Dominican occupational therapy students in partnership with first responders could potentially reduce falls and fall risks in older adults and has led to development of a community program with the Novato Fire Department to enhance fall prevention services for older adults living in the community. Read about their study at http://www.dominican.edu/dominicannews/ot-students-partner-with-first-responders-for-research-study.
OT Faculty Member Awarded Leadership Service Commendation
January 16, 2014
Kim Schoessow, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, has been selected by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation to receive the 2014 Leadership Service Commendation. The award will be presented at the American Occupational Therapy Association Conference in Baltimore in April.
OT Faculty Member Receives Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award
January 16, 2014
Susan Schwartz, adjunct faculty in the Department of Occupational Therapy, received a community service award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Marin for her work with the Latina adolescent outreach project at Marin-based Zero Breast Cancer.
Dominican Fieldwork Educator Honored at "Heart of Marin" Awards Event
January 13, 2014
The Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership held its 21st annual Heart of Marin Awards event on January 9, 2014 to recognize outstanding Marin Nonprofits and the committed individuals who serve them. Patricia Gill, Executive Director of the Brain Injury Network of the Bay Area (BINBA), was honored at this event with the "Excellence in Leadership" award, and $5,000 for her nonprofit, for her demonstrated excellence in leadership and vision that has inspired meaningful and lasting change benefiting the organization and community.
The mission of the Brain Injury Network is to provide services that improve the quality of life for adults and families impacted by Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). They provide support, training, advocacy, and education for survivors, caregivers, healthcare providers and the greater community. They also provide Dominican occupational therapy students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with brain injury survivors, which Ms. Gill addresses in her comments during her acceptance speech. An excerpt from this speech is noted below.
"BINBA is a fieldwork placement site for Dominican University occupational therapy interns, College of Marin students, and other college level students. In 2011-2012, BINBA increased the number of interns, providing training and hands-on experience for 20 students this year. This has allowed for more training of occupational therapists in the field of brain injury and offers a year-round service to our program participants. We have implemented two new OT research projects with students from Dominican University this year to gain greater insight into the need for and benefits of occupational therapy with brain injury survivors. Results from the first studies last year were presented at a local brain injury conference in February 2013."
Gary Karp To Be Guest Speaker At Dominican
January 13, 2014
Gary Karp, an internationally recognized public speaker, corporate trainer, author and editor who in 1973 was paralyzed after falling from a tree at the age of 18, will present "Thriving Through And Beyond Trauma" in the Creekside Room on Monday February 24, beginning at 5 p.m.
Karp, who in 2007 was inducted into the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame and is sponsored by the Christopher Reeves Foundation, offers an entirely unique perspective on the disability experience. His Dominican presentation, although directed to those who will work in a clinical therapeutic setting or with people who are dealing with traumatic illness or injury, should be enlightening for professionals as well as nonprofessionals.
The Dominican Student Occupational Therapy Association (DSOTA) is hosting this free event, which is open to the public.
OT Students Apply Assessment and Intervention Techniques
November 25, 2013
Archery is a family hobby, but due to a congenital joint defect this student's client has been unable to participate in the family games and competitions. An adaptive cuff that attaches to the client's upper arm allows the client to hold and "grip" the bow so that he can now join in the family fun and games.
OT Students Complete Hand Therapy Splinting Class
November 23, 2013
Students enrolled in this semester's Introduction to Hand Therapy and Splinting class got some fun hands-on lab experience in splint design and fabrication.
OT Students Present Brain Injury Retraining Study
October 26, 2013
In the October issue of the Occupational Therapy in Health Care, a study authored by Dominican Assistant Professor Kitsum Li reveals significant improvement in memory and attention in adults with chronic acquired brain injury (ABI) using computer-based cognitive retraining (CBCR).
With the guidance of Li in the Dominican's Department of Occupational Therapy, OT graduate students Jonathan Alonso, Nisha Chadha and Jennifer Pulido have taken that study one step further. Read about their study at http://www.dominican.edu/dominicannews/grad-students-present-brain-injury-retraining-study-at-ot-convention.
Running for a Cause
October 20, 2013
This month thirty thousand women joined together to take on San Francisco's vistas and hills for the 10th-anniversary of the Nike Women's Marathon (NWM). The runners included eight third-year occupational therapy graduate students from Dominican University. Pictured left to right are: Annette Yuson, Tanya Orgill, Kisa Geiger, Jessica Taylor, Brittany Phipps, Julia Wong, and Anita Hin. Liz Szoboszlay, not pictured, also participated in the run. Each student completed the half marathon (13.1 miles) with the exception of Tanya, who completed the full marathon (26.2 miles). The Nike Women's Marathon is the largest women's race in the world, and benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to finding cures for blood cancers. The Dominican OT Department is proud of our student's contribution and teamwork!
Dominican OT Video Goes Viral!
May 7, 2013
Dominican students Reynaldo Ballestreros and Joshua Ramos, class of 2013, had some serious fun promoting OT Awareness Month. Rey and Josh created a rap video, “OT Problems,” describing the important role of occupational therapists. “OT Problems” was posted to YouTube on April 1, 2013, and has been seen by over 47,000 viewers. The response has been overwhelming; personal comments from viewers around the world have been touching, and have included invitations for media submission, and even job offers. Congratulations to Rey and Josh, and the multi-talented class of 2013!
Student Organization Promotes Occupational Therapy Awareness Month
April 18, 2013
Dominican students (L-R) Amy Sequeria, Vanessa Carzon, Kisa Geiger, Bethany Loy, and Liz Brown
The Dominican Student Occupational Therapy Association (DSOTA) hosted several events in April 2013 to promote Occupational Therapy Awareness Month.
Dominican students interested in joining DSOTA or participating in future fundraisers and social events may send an email to Liz Brown (Co-President), Amy Sequeria (Co-President), Bethany Loy (Vice President), Vanessa Carzon (Treasurer), and Kisa Geiger (Secretary) at the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students Helped Launch New Service Learning Program
March 18, 2013
Dominican students Jocelle Flores and Daniela Levya have been selected to help launch a statewide program designed to support student leaders advancing service-learning and community engagement at California colleges and universities.
Flores, a sophomore occupational therapy major, and Levya, a junior political science major, were selected to join the first cohort of 20 students from 10 campuses to participate in California Campus Compact’s Community Engagement Student Fellowship (CESF) program. California Campus Compact works with colleges, universities, and communities throughout California to advance civic and community engagement.
Student Research Contributes to Evidence-Based Practice
March 18, 2013
Several students in the occupational therapy department at Dominican submitted their research as Critically Appraised Topic Papers (CAT’s) to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) for peer review. These papers are reviews of research literature in an attempt to answer a critical clinical question. CAT’s are posted on the National AOTA website and accessed by over 6,000 members nationally and internationally. AOTA accepted 11 papers out of 162 submissions for unconditional acceptance; two of these selected papers were submitted by Dominican students.
Congratulations to Vanessa Carzon, Mallory Engelhardt, and Amanda Woods for the acceptance of their paper, "Do low vision interventions, including prescription and training in the use of low vision devices, such as magnifiers, telescopes, selective transmission lenses, electronic devices and computers enhance older adults' vision in reading standard labels on medication bottles?"
Congratulations are due as well to Jonathan Alonso, Brittnee Witham and Cortney McIntosh for the acceptance of their paper, "Does fall risk education tailored by motivation increase fall risk identification and fall prevention behaviors in community-dwelling older adults when compared to fall risk education tailored by authenticity?"
Dominican Graduates to Present at National Conference
February 27, 2013
Dominican occupational therapy graduates Kim Woodland, Laura Pehle, and Rita Caskey, class of 2011, will be presenting at the 2013 American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference and Expo in San Diego, CA. Their thesis research project, Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism: A Resource Guide for Individuals and Their Families in Marin County, California, will be featured as part of the conference poster sessions. The AOTA conference will be held from Wednesday, April 24, until Sunday, April 28 at the San Diego Convention Center.
Faculty Present at Academy of Management Africa Conference
February 15, 2013
Janis Davis, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy and her colleagues, Dr. Jayati Ghosh from the Dominican University School of Business and Leadership and Dr. Rande Webster from the School of Education and Counseling Psychology presented their paper, “Skills Gap in South Africa: An Integrated Approach to Transformation of Economy and Society” at the Academy of Management Africa Conference in January 2013. The Academy of Management is an international organization dedicated to inspiring and enabling a better world through scholarship and teaching about management. The occupational therapy perspective was central to the project’s focus on South African township high schools and career development for ninth graders.
Sensory Integration Research Presentation
November 29, 2012
Congratulations to Laura Boyd and Shannon Soberiaj, class of 2013, who have been accepted to present on "Sensory Integration: Adapting the Preschool and Kindergarten Classroom" at the California Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference in San Jose, CA, in March 2013. Laura and Shannon were advised by Stacy Frauwirth, MS, OTR/L. The presentation is based on their thesis research examining the rates of sensory information dysfunction and behavioral challenges in the classroom. They were accepted from more than 300 submissions!
Students and Faculty Travel to Sweden
November 29, 2012
Dominican occupational therapy and nursing students and faculty traveled to Sweden in May 2012 to explore the Swedish health care system and learn more about Swedish culture. Students and faculty toured hospitals and outpatient clinics in Stockholm and Gothenburg, and met with Swedish occupational therapists, professors, researchers, and students. Suzanne Schwind, an occupational therapy student in the class of 2014, shared the personal impact of her trip to Sweden and created a blog to document her experiences.
Students Win First Place at Marin County Senior Information Fair
November 19, 2012
Students Pictured: Steven DeVilbiss, Brian Dinozo, Matt Patjawee, Dona Anderson, Marion Ian Sarte, Chanita Panchasarp
Dominican students in Susan Schwartz’s Occupational Therapy Program Development class won a first place blue ribbon for best presentation of information at the 2012 Marin Senior Information Fair. Visitors received information regarding adaptation of the environment and restoration through strengthening exercises. Various adaptive tools were demonstrated in order to display available modifications that support independent living and quality of life. Seniors enjoyed trying out such tools as: a reacher, sock aid, long-handled shoe horn, jar and can openers, adaptive cutlery, and an adaptive cutting board.
The Senior Information Fair, held on October 24, 2012 at the Marin Center Exhibit Hall, was attended by over 5,000 seniors and provided resources, hands-on activities, and lifestyle information for older adults and families, caregivers, and individuals hoping to gain information for future lifestyle planning. The 2012 Senior Fair’s theme “Flights of Fancy” incorporated a sense of whimsy, hope, creativity, and wit; previous themes have included older driver safety, fall prevention, and adaptive gardening.
Student Research in South Africa
November 19, 2012
Occupational therapy students Emily Dodge and Martha Welderufael, class of 2014, spent four weeks in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in summer 2012 with Dr. Janis Davis, studying career choice among 530 high school students. Their experience will be prominently featured in their thesis project on career development in South African students. Martha and Emily were pleased to discuss their research at an intercultural colloquium at Nelson Mandela University. Their research will assess career development, barriers to career choice, and students' views on the benefits of the assessment.
This enriching trip allowed both students to tour impoverished areas within Port Elizabeth and gain more understanding of the South African culture. Martha and Emily feel their experience will shape the outcome of their thesis as well as their future work as occupational therapists. Their interactions with the high school students allowed them to observe a different culture and gain an understanding of students' interest in America. Emily and Martha appreciate the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Janis Davis and the experience they gained from conducting cross-cultural research.
Student Project Helps Reach Children with Autism
November 8, 2012
Tiffany Chi, Isaac Stahlhut and Monica Guzman have created a 14-page fotonovela, a culturally-relevant, photo based health education research guide, for the Marin Autism Collaborative (MAC).
Brain Injury Research Presentation
November 5, 2012
The occupational therapy thesis study entitled, "Computer-Based Cognitive Retraining for Individuals with Chronic Acquired Brain Injury: A Pilot Study" has been accepted for a poster presentation at the 2013 Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference on March 1, 2013. Students were advised by Kitsum Li, OTD, OTR/L.
Congratulations to Stephanie Galla, Julie Robertson, Joshua Ramos and Lucia Ulloa, class of 2013!
Positive Aging Research Presentation
November 5, 2012
The occupational therapy thesis study entitled "Increasing Falls Self-Efficacy and Awareness of Fall Risks Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults" has been accepted for a poster presentation at the 6th Annual International Conference on Positive Aging in Los Angeles, on February 10, 2013.
Students were advised by Dr. Ruth Ramsey, Ed. D., OTR/L.
Congratulations to Dona Anderson, Brian Dinozo, Heather Enrile and Brittany Hutchison, class of 2013!
Dominican Launches Center for Healthy Aging
October 15, 2012
Story for Great Age Newsletter: Author, Ruth Ramsey, Ed.D. OTR/L
Dominican is establishing a Center for Healthy Aging to highlight important work being done by Dominican faculty and students to promote healthy aging and to prepare graduates of Dominican, especially health professions majors, to work more effectively with older adults. Dr. Ruth Ramsey, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy, is leading the establishment of the center.
Dominican is a leader in educating health professionals in Marin County, with over 700 students majoring in nursing, occupational therapy, pre-medicine, and public health,. Students in these programs study the normal physical and psychological processes of aging, and also learn how to promote healthy aging through the development and delivery of community-based wellness programs. Dominican students and faculty participate annually in the Marin County Senior Information Fair, host older driver safety events (CarFit), visit senior housing facilities to promote wellness, conduct fall prevention programs county-wide, and conduct research on issues of healthy aging.
The occupational therapy department at Dominican hosts an eight-week “Healthy Seniors” program twice a year, once in the fall, and once in the spring. This free program is open to any older adult (60+) wishing assistance to remain healthy and active while living in the community. Participants are paired with an occupational therapy student under faculty supervision, are evaluated for health and wellness issues and needs, and develop an individualized plan of intervention, which could include managing daily life with a chronic condition, fall prevention education, home safety, nutrition, and exercise. Other existing programs at Dominican open to older adults include the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), the Leadership Institute Lecture Series, and membership in the Conlan Recreation Center (limited to local residents).
A Dominican Strategic Initiative Grant to complete an initial needs assessment and strategic plan for the center was awarded by President Mary Marcy in fall 2011. Since then, the Abinader Group has worked with the University to survey existing Dominican programs and courses focused on issues of aging, complete a web review of similar centers around the country, convene focus groups of community stakeholders, and identify next steps. Currently, a Center for Healthy Aging website of useful information for older adult residents of Marin County is being developed. Other plans include hosting a lecture series on topics of interest to older adults and developing new community service and research partnerships to promote healthy aging.
For more information about the center, contact Dr. Ruth Ramsey, at email@example.com.
Author Information: Dr. Ruth Ramsey, OTR/L, is an associate professor of occupational therapy, chair of the department, and a member of the Fall Prevention Coalition of the Marin County Commission on Aging.
Dominican Occupational Therapy Major Kevin O’Neil with Commission on Aging Volunteer and CarFit participant
Dominican Occupational Therapy Major LaShelle Rullan with Healthy Seniors participant
Students and Faculty Present at OTAC Conference
October 15, 2012
Dominican students Julie Robertson, Stephanie Gella, Lucia Ulloa, and Joshua Ramos
Several Dominican students and faculty in the occupational therapy department presented their research on October 5 & 6, 2012 at the 2012 Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) 36th Annual Conference in San Diego, CA. The conference theme, “In Pursuit of the Vision: Evidence and Action” sheds light on issues such as health care reform, budget reduction, and economic and political changes that may affect the occupational therapy profession.
Dominican student and faculty oral presentations included Janis Davis: “Learning and the Brain: Facilitate or Educate?” Ruth Ramsey: “Healthy Seniors, Phase 2: Program Evaluation and Recommendations,” Victoria Rivera, Marion Sarte & Alison Wiggam, presenting with faculty advisor Stacy Frauwirth: “Bridging the Gap for First-Generation College Students: A Peer Mentoring Program" and Heidi Mertle, Kiley Richter & Louis Scirica, presenting with faculty advisor Kitsum Li: "FRETT: Fall Risk Evaluation Tool for Traumatic Brain Injuries."
Dominican students and faculty poster presentations included Simon Chi & Naoko Murai, presenting with Kitsum Li: "Clinical Reasoning in the Sling Use for Post-Stroke Shoulder Subluxation," Stephanie Gella, Joshua Ramos, Julie Robertson & Lucia Ulloa, presenting with Kitsum Li: " Computer Cognitive Retraining for Acquired Brain Injury," Andrea Maffei, Mathew Patjawee & Jamie Thompson, presenting with Ruth Ramsey: "Healthy Seniors: A Program Evaluation" and Julianna Bratsberg, Aundrea Roberts & Susan Untiedt, presenting with Janis Davis: "Finding Social Connectedness and Meaning within Group Process."
Congratulations to all, for these important contributions to occupational therapy scholarship.
OT Student's Insight on Trip to Uganda
Brittany Hutchison, class of 2013, joined faculty and students for the Engaged Learning Uganda Service trip in May 2012. Students and faculty provided health and sanitation resources to the community and interacted with local community members. Please see the link below to read Brittany's personal impact story.
OT Student Kellie Hislop Named Student Athlete of the Year
Kellie Hislop, class of 2013, received the Dominican Co-Female Athlete of the Year Award and was the Coach's Award winner for Dominican softball at the all-sports awards ceremony in April 2012. After receiving the award, Kellie stated, “I have really enjoyed my time here at Dominican as a student and an athlete. Balancing being an athlete with my studies was hard at times but it was worth it. I was able to use softball as an outlet from the stress of class work. I was so fortunate to go to a school where I could be an occupational therapy major as well as play the game I love.” Congratulations Kellie!
OT Students Featured at Brain Injury Network of Bay Area
Dominican occupational therapy students Julie Robertson, Kiley Richter, and Jane Malone were featured in the Fall 2012 issue of the Brain Injury Network of the Bay Area (BINBA) newsletter, which highlighted their fieldwork at the agency. The trio was hand-selected for the coveted spots at BINBA, a non-profit organization that treats clients who have experienced a traumatic brain injury. Their work focused on developing life skills necessary to improve clients' self-esteem, social connections, and community independence. The students also learned about the importance of communicating with family members and caregivers central to the individual in treatment.
Dominican University occupational therapy students were also recognized in the 2012 Spring issue of the BINBA newsletter for their research work with agency staff on computerized cognitive rehabilitation software. This unique, collaborative partnership provides training opportunities for Dominican students and allows BINBA to provide enhanced services to the community.
OT Students Present at Graduate Poster Session
On May 9, 2012, Dominican students Gina Stires and Mitch Riker presented their research, An Evidence-Based Review of Computer-Assisted Cognitive Remediation Programs for People with Traumatic Brain Injury, at the 2012 Graduate Poster Session for the School of Mental Health and natural Science. They were advised by Dr. Ruth Ramsey.
OT Students Awarded at Honors Ceremony
The following students were awarded for academic achievement on Monday, April 30, 2012, at Angelico Hall.
Sarah Calub, Jaclyn Fok, Brittany Hutchison. LaShelle Rullan
Jonathan Alonso, Sarah Calub, Tiffany Chi, Adriana Garcia, Nicole Hofeditz, Brittany Hutchison, Amy Lee, Andrea Maffei, Louis Scirica, Shannon Sobieraj
SUMMA CUM LAUDE
Brittany Hutchison, Andrea Maffei, Naoko Murai, Marion Sarte, Louis Scirica
Pedro Guevara, Kellie Hislop
DOMINICAN ACADEMIC SCHOLARS
Adriana Garcia, Dagmara Marciniak, Lauren McCune, Erica Smith
Tiffany Chi, Kellie Hislop, Nicole Hofeditz, Brittany Hutchison, Andrea Maffei, Louis Scirica, Amanda Woods
Eight Dominican students, class of 2012, were recipients of the California Foundation for Occupational Therapy 2011 Student Research Award. Adriana Garcia, Dagmara Marciniak, Lauren McCune, and Erica Smith, received the award for their Master’s Thesis: “Promoting Healthy Occupations and Self-Efficacy in Older Adults: The ‘Stepping On’ Program.” Amy Lee, Brooke Cappa, Miranda Dabbs, and Elizabeth Murray were recognized for their Master’s Thesis: “Exploration of the Impact of Weight Status on Social and Leisure Participation in Middle School Children.”
Three Dominican students, class of 2014, were awarded a California Foundation for Occupational Therapy 2012 Student Scholarship: Jonathan Alonso, Nisha Chadha, and Jovita Vazquez. Congratulations, all!
Dr. Kitsum Li Is conducting a study titled: A randomized clinical controlled study comparing the effects of contrast baths to cryotherapy in patients with a wrist fracture, working with graduate OT students Elizabeth Brown, and Brittany Phipps. The study is designed to examine the effectiveness of two commonly used therapeutic interventions for wrist fracture, specifically comparing the effectiveness of cryotherapy and contrast baths in reducing edema, pain and increasing range of motion in the fingers and wrist of the affected hand. Data are being collected at Mills-Peninsula Health Services Outpatient Occupational Therapy Department, and the study is ongoing for the next three months.
Dr. Janis Davis and occupational therapy graduate students Martha Welderufael and Emily Dodge spent four weeks in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in summer 2012 working in township high schools to study career choice in high school students. Over 530 ninth graders were assessed, and the results of the assessments will be used by the teachers in SA to help students choose academic courses for their 10th, 11th and 12th grade years. Data were collected using a variety of standardized career assessment instruments, and final results will be presented at the 2013 Graduate HNS Academic Showcase.
PHOTOS BELOW: Martha works with Township High School 9th Graders;
Emily speaks at intercultural colloquium at Nelson Mandela University
Dr. Ruth Ramsey is conducting research on student perceptions of peer mentoring between first and third year students in health professions programs. The program was developed and implemented in the occupational therapy department at Dominican University of California in the fall of 2011, and is being offered again in fall 2012. Preliminary results show that both mentors and mentees appreciate the mentorship process and benefit through an increased sense of professional identity, increased confidence in their knowledge and skills, and improved interpersonal communication skills.
Prof. Stacy Frauwirth: Despite ongoing efforts to increase awareness of autism and the need for services, many children still experience delays in diagnosis and receipt of services. Families may be "underserved" due to factors related to SES, geography, culture, and language. The Marin Autism Collaborative is interested in better meeting the needs of underserved Hispanic families in Marin County. To help support this goal, DUC occupational therapy students Tiffany Chi, Monica Guzman, and Issac Stahlhut, under the supervision of faculty member Stacy Frauwirth have created a "fotonovela", a culturally-relevant, photo-based health education resource guide on autism. The fotonovela tells the story of “Pablo” and his family, and their process of recognizing Pablo's challenges and receiving a diagnosis of autism. MAC will be distributing the fotonovela this fall to families and providers.
OT Adjunct Instructor Susan Schwartz is also active in the community, working on breast cancer prevention. As Education Director for Zero Breast Cancer, she presented the Breast Biologues educational toolkit, a biology dialogue about discovery research on breast cancer and the environment, at the July 23-24, 2012 National Latino Cancer Summit at UCSF Mission Bay in San Francisco.
Emmy Alexander, class of 2011, enlisted as an officer in the U.S. Navy and is serving in Japan, at the US Naval Hospital in Yokosuka. Emmy works as an occupational therapist in the Educational and Developmental Intervention Service.
Beth Doerring, class of 2010, and Margaret Kuffel, class of 2011, are working as occupational therapists at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, in the inpatient acute area.
Maya Fok, class of 2009, has opened a pediatric occupational therapy clinic in San Francisco, along with an OT colleague. “Connected Kidz” employs three additional occupational therapists and one speech therapist.
Rachel Louro, class of 2007, works as an occupational therapist at the Kaiser Neurorehabilitation Center in Vallejo. This spring she was pleased to supervise Dominican student Jacklyn Torvestad, who was at the Center completing her level II fieldwork.
Elizabeth Murray, class of 2012, is living in Lake Tahoe and working as an occupational therapist for the public schools in Douglas County, Nevada.
Marci Pickell, class of 2004, is serving as the Senior Occupational Therapist at Kaiser In-Patient Hospital in San Rafael.
Max Zweig, class of 2012, has been hired as a full-time occupational therapist at Parkview Gardens in Santa Rosa, the site of his level II fieldwork.
OT Department Launches Chapter of National Honor Society
The OT Department is launching a new chapter of the national occupational therapy honor society, Pi Theta Epsilon. The Dominican chapter will have 16 charter members and will be the Delta Alpha chapter. Dr. Ruth Ramsey will be the faculty sponsor. Students who were admitted to the honor society must have a GPA of 3.5 or above and be in the top 35% of their class.
Health Professions Students and Faculty Travel to Sweden
In May and June, 2012, 21 Occupational Therapy and Nursing students and faculty traveled to Sweden to study the Swedish healthcare system and visit clinical sites. The trip was led by Dr. Ruth Ramsey, accompanied by Dr Janis Davis (OT), Dr. Eira Klich-Heartt(NSG), Dr. June Wilson (NSG), and OT administrative coordinator Diane Griffeath. We were hosted by the occupational therapy and nursing departments of the Sahlgrenska Institute at the University of Gothenburg. Students visited hospitals, clinics, an alternative health clinic outside of Stockholm, and also heard lectures at the institute. Plans are under development to continue with faculty and student research and educational exchanges.
Spotlight Shines on OT Student
Student Charissa Kelly, class of 2014 featured on the Ellen Degeneres Show
Kelly’s life experiences landed her as a surprised guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in May. A friend wrote to the show’s producers and suggested Kelly, a longtime Ellen show fan, would make an ideal subject to highlight for overcoming adversity. Following is a link to her inspiring appearance:
Dominican Publicist Dave Albee wrote a feature article on Charissa, which may be found in the next edition of the TORCH Newsletter.
Outstanding Occupational Therapy Student Award
April 19, 2012
Each year, the Department of Occupational Therapy faculty, staff and students select one graduating student for the Outstanding Occupational Therapy Student Award. Criteria include academic excellence, a commitment to the ideals and values of the occupational therapy profession, demonstrated leadership while in the program, and a potential to make a difference in the lives of others as a professional occupational therapist.
The 2012 Outstanding Occupational Therapy Student Award goes to Gina Stires. Congratulations, Gina!
Previous Award Winners:
2000 Mary Ann Martinez
2001 Amy Rogers
2002 Elizabeth Clerk
2003 Teresa Lin Fry
2004 Susan Reider
2005 Zelda Hood
2006 Kimberly Imsdahl
2007 Rachel Louro
2008 Katrina Carleton
2009 Maya Fok
2010 Ann Ruderman
2011 Emmy Alexander
South Africa Trip
April 19, 2012
Occupational therapy students and faculty will travel to Port Elizabeth on the Eastern Cape of South Africa for four weeks in July and August this year. First year graduate students Emily Dodge and Martha Welderufael will join Dr. Janis Davis for the course: "Occupational Enrichment: Experiences of South African Youth in an Orientation." The trip will focus on working with high school students in townships schools to identify occupational and academic life choices, and research at-risk behaviors among South African high school students. This project is a collaboration between DUOC and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University students and faculty.
April 16, 2012
Congratulations to Occupational Therapy graduate students Adriana Garcia, Dagmara Marciniak, Lauren McCune, Erica Smith, and faculty mentor, Dr. Ruth Ramsey, on the publication of their research article, "Promoting Fall Self-Efficacy and Fall Risk Awareness in Older Adults." The research for the article was completed as part of the students' master's thesis. The article will appear in the upcoming issue of the journal "Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics."
OTAC Spring Symposium Research Presentations
March 31 - April 1, 2012
Dominican occupational therapy graduate students and faculty presented their research at the OTAC Spring Symposium in Anaheim, California, which drew record high participation of 500 OT practitioners and 150 students. Second year graduate students Simon Chi and Naoko Murai presented their thesis, "Clinical Reasoning in the Use of Slings for Stroke Patients with Shoulder Subluxation;" Kitsum Li, Advisor. Third year graduate students Dagmara Marciniak, Lauren McCune, and Erica Smith presented their thesis, "Promoting Fall Self0Efficacy and Fall Risk Awareness in Older Adults;" Ruth Ramsey, Advisor. Associate Professor Kitsum Li presented her research paper entitled, "The Integration of Evidences and the Practice Framework in a Home-based Fall Prevention Program." Congratulations to all!
International Listening Conference Research Presentation
March 23, 2012
Third year occupational therapy graduate students Michelle Asuncion and Jennifer Rabello were awarded a grant from the Dean of the School of Health & Natural Sciences to attend the 33rd Annual International Listening Association Convention in Bremerton, Washington, with Dr. Janis Davis, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy. At the convention, the occupational therapy graduate students presented their thesis research on “listening” in health care, entitled “A Qualitative Review of Occupational Therapists’ Listening Behaviors and Experiences when Caring for Patients in Palliative or Hospice Care.” The presentation was very well received. Michelle and Jennifer met other students and researchers from around the world, and attended several presentations on listening behaviors.
In photo (left to right):
Trevor Hannum, student member, International Listening Association, North Western State University;
Lori Joubert, member, International Listening Association
Jennifer Rabello, student member, International Listening Association, Dominican University of California
Michelle Asuncion, student member, International Listening Association, Dominican University of California
Letter from an OT Alumnus: Ariel Richards
One of the rewards that our faculty members enjoy from their careers at Dominican is receiving letters and calls from former students. With permission, we’ll share here a recent email from Ariel Richards, Occupational Therapy Class of 2010.
“I have good news. I was accepted into the Baylor University Doctoral of Science in Occupational Therapy program as an active duty officer with the U.S. Army. My starting rank is 1st Lieutenant. I will be reporting to San Antonio, Texas, in less than a month, and will begin with training in OBLC (Officers Basic Leadership course) for 9 weeks. OBLS is designed to train me and other new Army Medical Officers in basic military skills, including classroom instruction, field training exercises, and leadership training.
Following completion of OBLC, I will be sworn into the Army as an officer, and will begin course work toward my Doctorate. This will include research and training in specialized occupational therapy practice areas (splints, hand therapy, wound care and burns). During my schooling I will also be treating a few patients. The Baylor Doctor of Science Program is a total of 18 months long.
After completion of all course work, I will receive orders for placement in a medical facility as an Occupational Therapist, under the guidance of mentors. This will serve as my final internship experience.
I am anticipating my experience in the program to be the start of a challenging and exciting adventure! I will be sure to let you know about the transition and my experiences in the program.”
We look forward to hearing from Ariel again, and will be sure to share the news!
Alumni Profile: Mohammed Khalifa, Class of 2002
February 28, 2012
Mohammed Khalifa, Regional Vice President for CareMeridian in charge of Operations for Northern and Central California and Nevada, earned his bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Dominican University of California in 2002, and later his OTD from Rocky Mountain University. He is a board certified and licensed Occupational Therapist who serves as a clinical instructor to OT students at Dominican. Mohammed’s academic and professional experience make him a valuable mentor as he supports students working on graduate thesis projects and research.
Though accepted as an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, Mohammad committed to Dominican because of the OT program, and the small class size and individual attention it offered. He helped himself through Dominican by working full-time as a waiter six nights a week, and began his OT career with an internship at Kentfield Rehabilitation and Specialty Hospital. He was eventually hired full-time on staff there before starting his own business, Progressive Steps. He began working with CareMeridian as a consultant in 2002, working his way up to Vice-President.
With CareMeridian, Mohammed is responsible for the overall direction and leadership of the company’s northern and central California facilities. As senior leader, Mohammed promotes a culture of teamwork, problem solving, creativity and commitment, resulting in continuous delivery of excellent quality health care to patients and compassion to their families.
Dominican OT Faculty & Students Present at OTAC Conference
October 25, 2011
Dominican's Department of Occupational Therapy was well represented at the annual state conference of the Occupational Therapy Association of California, recently held in Sacramento, CA, on October 13-16, 2011. Dr. Ruth Ramsey gave a poster and presentation on "Healthy Seniors, Phase One: Development and Implementation”. Dr. Janis Davis and adjunct faculty Thais Mazur presented on “Mindfulness in Therapy”. Students also presented academic eight posters, the most from any OT program in California. Congratulations all, on your hard work!
Student posters presented were: “Impact of Weight Status on Leisure in Children”, by Cappa, Dabbs, Lee and Murray, Stacy Frauwirth, thesis advisor;” Facilitating Occupations of Readiness for Transitioning to Kindergarten”, by Freitas, Nguyen, and Tomsky, Janis Davis, thesis advisor; “Sensory Processing Disorders and Occupational Participation in School”, Stacy Frauwirth, thesis advisor; “ Transition to College and Occupational Balance”, by Chen, Santana, Steinhauer, and Tracy, Stacy Frauwirth, thesis advisor;“ The Well-Being Project for Older Adults with Memory Loss”, by Bodestyne, Escueta, and Nguyen, Janis Davis, thesis advisor; “Body Positions and Movements of Pediatric Occupational Therapists, by Conroy, Gates, and Jantz, Stacy Frauwirth, thesis advisor; "Increasing Fall Self-Efficacy in Older Adults," by Alexander and Kjelstrom, Ruth Ramsey, thesis advisor; and “Walker Use in Older Adults: Impact on Occupations”, by Navasca, Pillon, and Talcot-Fuller, Ruth Ramsey, thesis advisor.
Students Win Thesis Grant
October 5, 2011
Occupational Therapy students, Adriana Garcia, Dagmara Marciniak, Lauren McCune and Erica Smith, won a $250 scholarship from the California Foundation of Occupational Therapy to support their master's thesis "Promoting Healthy Occupations and Self-Efficacy in Older Adults: The 'Stepping On Program.'"
Congratulations on your hard work!
Successful Continuing Education Series
April 5, 2011
The occupational therapy department at Dominican concluded its spring continuing education series on Saturday, March 26, 2011, with a presentation by Dr. Peggy Swarbrick on wellness and recovery in mental health practice. Dr. Swarbrick is an occupational therapist and the Director of the Institute for Wellness and Recovery Initiatives, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey. Dr, Swarbrick also presented to the Occupational Therapy Department at the University of Southern California and to the Psychiatric Service Department at the San Francisco Veterans’ Hospital.
Student Jennifer Rabello awarded an Aspelund Scholarship
May 28, 2011
In May, 2011 occupational therapy student Jennifer Rabello was awarded an Aspelund Scholarship for students completing a Level II Fieldwork in community mental health. The scholarship is in honor of Kim Aspelund, deceased occupational therapist who was dedicated to working with persons with mental illness and a committed member of the Psychiatric Occupational Therapy Action Coalition of California (POTAC). Jennifer had to complete an application and write an essay describing her desire to work in community mental health and is completing her Level II fieldwork this summer at Marin Brain Injury training clients in Mindfulness, Social and Communication Skills as well as Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.
The Thesis Honor is given to completed master's theses which demonstrate excellence through originality and scholarship, and the importance of the thesis topic to the profession.
2012 Thesis Honors Recipients: Adriana Garcia, Dagmara Marciniak, Lauren McCune and Erica Smith, for their master's thesis entitled, Promoting Fall Self-Efficacy and Fall Risk Awareness in Older Adults, to be published this spring in the journal "Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics." Thesis advisor: Ruth Ramsey.
Healthy Seniors Program Meets Critical Need
Keeping senior citizens healthy and active in their own communities is the goal of a new outreach program offered by the Department of Occupational Therapy. The Healthy Seniors Program is a weekly clinic offered on campus in which occupational therapy faculty and students work with seniors on skills designed to maintain independent community living.
"We launched the program after hearing from the Marin County Division of Aging that there is a need for a program of this kind," said Ruth Ramsey, department chair. "The program helps to fill a gap, as many older adults in our community have chronic health conditions, but they may not qualify for hospital-based rehabilitation services or home health care."
Issues and topics addressed included: improving range of motion and muscle strength; recovering from cumulative trauma or upper extremity injury; coping with chronic physical conditions; fall prevention and home safety; and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance.
Meanwhile, Dominican's OT program is experiencing growth due to a nationwide shortage of OT practitioners combined with a rapidly aging population. The program started in 1996 with 40 students and today has more than 170 students. The Program saw a 75% percent increase in the number of graduate applicants this year over last year. And, a recent survey of OT alumni shows that 100 percent of Dominican's OT graduates get jobs within three to six months of graduating.