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NEWS AND EVENTS

Occupational Therapy Students Present Research at State Conference
October 20, 2014

OTAC   
Dominican students Mikaela Conlon and Melanie Shea at OTAC conference with Dominican faculty Jane Dressler and Director of Administration at Therapy West, Bonnie Nakasuji.  

OTAC Conf
Students from left to right Victoria Reyes, Andrienne Angeles, Tiffany Lau, Leslie Hollaway, Vincent O'Brien and Professor Kitsum Li.

OTAC Conf
Students Amy Bennett, Natalie Repin, Professor Kitsum Li and students Julie Bergen and Abigail Lafrenz.

OTAC Conf
Student Tamara Vileshina, Professor Kitsum Li, students Rajvinder Bains and Jaclyn Fok.

OTAC Conf
Students Victoria Reyes, Adrienne Angeles and Leslie Hollaway at poster session.

Students and faculty from the Department of Occupational Therapy presented their original research at the 38th annual conference of the Occupational Therapy Association of California in Pasadena, October 16-19. Of the 30 poster presentations at the conference, 10 were from Dominican faculty and students.

Among the Dominican podium presentations at the Occupational Therapy Association of California were "Psychosocial Fieldwork Students in the Skilled Nursing Environment" by Jane Dressler, assistant professor of OT, and community partner Gina Tucker-Roghi and "Promoting EBP in OT: Sustaining Professional Cultural Change" by adjunct instructor Tracey Airth-Edblom.

The Dominican poster presentations included:
•    "A Matter of Balance Program for Older Adults” by Kitsum Li, assistant professor of OT, and students Adrienne Angeles, Leslie Hollaway, Tiffany Lau & Victoria Reyes.
•    “Assessing Validity of the Preschool Kitchen Task Assessment” by Julia Wilbarger, associate professor of OT, and students Emily Veith Fry, Hayley Gilligan, Liza Henty-Clark and Jennifer Weissensee. 
•    “The Bridge/Adapt Program: A systematic Cognitive Rehabilitation Curriculum” by Kitsum Li, assistant professor of OT, and students Amy Bennet, Julie Bergen, Abigail Lafrenz, Natalie Repin. 
•    “The Fall Risk Evaluation Tool” by Kitsum Li, assistant professor of OT, and student Mikaela Conlon, Irene Leung, Desiree Shaver, Melanie Shea. 
•    “First Generation Peer Mentor Experiences” by Stacy Frauwirth, assistant professor of OT, and students Jessica Taylor, Tiffany Torres, and Cindelle Leyson. 
•    “Interprofessional Collaboration between Occupational Therapists and Registered Nurses” by Eira Klich-Heartt, instructor, and Ruth Ramsey, associate professor of OT and department chair, and students Bethany Loy, Holly Micheff, Kelly Nguyen, and Vince O'Brien.
•    “Participants' Perception of Factors in Preventing Falls” by Kitsum Li, assistant professor of OT, and students Rajvinder Bains, Jaclyn Fok, Nadine Marcelo, and Tamara Vileshina.
•    “PediApp Finder: A Mobile Application Database of Pediatric Apps” by Julia Wilbarger, associate professor of OT, and students Adrianne LeBlanc, Sara Pro, April Wastjutin and Ribert Williams.
•    “Standardized Patients in Occupational Therapy Education” by Eira Klich-Heartt, instructor, and students Andrea Battle, Jessica Borceguin, Joanna Dizon and Lai Zan Saechao.
•    “Therapeutic Listening and Bilateral Coordination in Typically Developing Children” by Julia Wilbarger, associate professor of OT, and students. Shanee Ben-Haim, Cassie DeBonis, Jane Schwartz and Amy Smith-Schwartz.

Occupational Therapy Students Participate in Bi-National Health Fair Events
October 4, 2014

Backpack Awareness

As a part of Susan Schwartz’ Occupational Therapy Program Development class, Dominican occupational therapy students (pictured left to right) Jaclyn FokVictoria ReyesApril WasjutinJessica Borceguin, and Melanie Shea promoted AOTA’s Backpack Awareness and provided classroom strategies to increase students’ attention at the Bi-National Health Fair hosted by Bahia Vista Elementary School. A few hundred students and their families living in the Canal area of San Rafael attended this fair. The Dominican students educated and demonstrated how to wear and pack backpacks correctly to minimize back pain.They also created and provided examples of various homemade fidgets as potential resources to help students maintain attention in the classroom. Numerous fair attendees reported positive benefit from the presented information.

Occupational Therapy Students Attend Summer Immersion Program in Mexico
August 2014

OT Students in Merida    OT Students in Merida

Angela Sosa and Joey Bava participated in the Health and Health Care Immersion course at Anahuac MAYAB University, Merida, Mexico this summer and share with us their reflections on this experience.

Andrea Sosa

I had an amazing experience on the Merida, Mexico trip and experienced both personal and professional growth. Personally, I was given the opportunity to immerse myself in the Mexican culture by learning Spanish, attend one of Mexico's prestigious medical universities, and explore beautiful parts of the Mexican culture including the Ancient Mayan ruins.

Professionally, I was given the opportunity to observe a healthcare system from another country's point of view. I observed many hours of Occupational Therapy both in pediatric and adult rehabilitation settings. We learned medical Spanish vocabulary and phrases that will be very useful in my career as an O.T. Another highlight was the opportunity to work and study alongside nursing students and learn more about their profession. In addition, the overall immersion of being in another country for 4 weeks, improved my strategies for adapting and being flexible - key characteristics for being a competent O.T.! I highly recommend the program to O.T. students. 

Joey Bava

This trip provided me with a strong balance between classroom and clinical experience. I feel that I gained important skills in communicating with clients and fellow therapists. The trip was challenging and demanding but a great step for OT students, especially between years one and two in the program. I was exposed to some therapeutic techniques which were new to me and expanded my knowledge base. The experience was invaluable and I am so thankful to have had it.

Congratulations BSOT Graduates 
May 14, 2014

BSOT Graduates 2014

Top row left to right: Kelly Calton, Liberty Bellah, Mikaela Conlon, Andrea Battle, Victoria Reyes, Amy Bennett, Jane Schwartz, Shannon Landau, Molly Hyland, Cassandra DeBonis 
Bottom row left to right: Melanie Shea, April Wasjutin, Jessica Borcequin, Jaclyn Fok, Laizan Saechao, Adriana Solano

Jaclyn Fok Nominated for Outstanding Student Award
May 14, 2014

 Jaclyn Fok 
Each year at Commencement, a graduating senior receives the Outstanding Student Award. Graduating seniors, faculty, or staff nominate one student for this award and OT senior Jaclyn Fok was enthusiastically nominated by the OT Department for her leadership, scholarship and contribution to the Dominican community.  

Jaclyn is a member of Pi Theta Epsilon, the national occupational therapy honor society, Psi Chi, the psychology honors society, Alpha Chi, top 10% of juniors, seniors, and graduate students at Dominican and Alpha Lambda Delta, freshmen who earned a 3.5+ GPA their first semester at Dominican. She has earned the merit based Presidential Scholarship since she began at Dominican, and has kept that scholarship all four years by maintaining a GPA greater than 3.0. She has also been on the Dean's List every semester since fall 2010.

In addition to the above mentioned academic achievements, Jaclyn has also earned a Service Learning scholarship by serving as a Dominican Service Learning Student Leader for 2.5 years for the Ethics in Healthcare class, which involved serving as a liaison between the professor-to-students and students-to-community-partners, giving small presentations to the class during the semester about big assignments and her service learning experience, and co-leading new student orientations twice a semester.

Throughout her academic career Jaclyn has found time to volunteer at Lourdes Convent and San Pedro Elementary School, and to work for a children and adult specialized recreation program, and as a tutor for anatomy, physiology, and all of the OT classes that she’s completed.

The winner of the Outstanding Student Award will be announced at the conclusion of the Commencement ceremony. 

To read more about Jaclyn Fok go to http://www.dominican.edu/alumni-parents/forparents/commencement/profiles/jaclyn-fok.

2014 PTE Induction Ceremony 

March 4, 2014

2014 PTE Induction
Congratulations to 1st year entry level master (ELM) students Hillary Colby,Valerie DeRoos, Anna Lee, Janice Li, Diana Lopez, Rachel Malmquist, Maria Mandrussow, Kirsten Rogers, Erin Sheehy, 1st year BS/MS students Krystin Beeman, Isabel Cabezas, Eugene Cheung, Carl Fitzgerald, Lauren Kufer, Jessica Lim, Nicole Mathews, Skyler Moon, Taylor Wong, Salwa Yaser and 2nd year ELM student Rosemarie Lion who were inducted into the Pi Theta Epsilon Honor Society on March 5th.

Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE) is a specialized honor society that recognizes and encourages scholastic excellence of occupational therapy students enrolled in OT programs at accredited educational institutions across the United States. In addition to recognizing and encouraging scholastic excellence, the society aims to contribute to the advancement of occupational therapy through scholarly activities, such as research development, continuing education, and information exchange between student and alumni members; and to provide a vehicle for students enrolled in accredited programs in occupational therapy to exchange information and to collaborate regarding scholarly activities.

Membership in Pi Theta Epsilon is extended to students in the top 35% (GPA) of their class with a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA.

OT Students Partner With First Responders For Research Study

February 26, 2014

Novato Fire Dept
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 1-24-13

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 S Hispanic Awards Event.jpg

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

Patricia Gill

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 JPG

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

Adapted Bow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

OT Hand Splinting Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

OT Students Brain Injury Study

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!

Marathon Participants 10.2013

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

DSOTA 4-3-2013

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: dsota@students.dominican.edu

Students Helped Launch New Service Learning Program

March 18, 2013

Students Help Launch New Service 3-18-13

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.

Click Here to View Full Article

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.

View the 2013 American Occupational Therapy Association Conference site

Faculty Present at Academy of Management Africa Conference

February 15, 2013

Janis Davis & Faculty Conference 2-19-13

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

Students in Sweden 12-5-12              Sweden 12-5-12              Student Group Sweden 12-5

Sweden Green Room 12-5-12              Sweden Walkers 12-5              Work Room Sweden 12-5

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.

View Suzanne's blog on the 2012 Sweden Trip

View Suzanne's Personal Impact Story

Students Win First Place at Marin County Senior Information Fair

November 19, 2012

Marin Senior Information Fair Oct 2012 020.jpg        Senior Info Fair Oct 2012 Photo 1.JPG        Senior Info Fair Oct 2012 photo 3 ribbon.JPG

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

Africa 3.jpg        Africa 6.jpg        Africa 9.jpg

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

Dominican students.jpg

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).

Click Here to View Full Story

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 ruth.ramsey@dominican.edu.

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.

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Dominican Occupational Therapy Major Kevin O’Neil with Commission on Aging Volunteer and CarFit participant

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Dominican Occupational Therapy Major LaShelle Rullan with Healthy Seniors participant

Students and Faculty Present at OTAC Conference

October 15, 2012

OTAC Conference 2012 3-27-13

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 BratsbergAundrea 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

October 2012

South Africa 3 October 2012

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.

Brittany's Personal Impact Story

OT Student Kellie Hislop Named Student Athlete of the Year

October 2012

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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

October 2012

MBIN October 2012                                                               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.

Alumni Updates

September 2012

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.

U.S. Navy Officer Emmy Alexander

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.

Maya Fok at her clinic Connected Kidz

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

September 2012

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.


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