Dr. Thomas Fisher is dean and professor of health sciences at the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences at Indiana University South Bend. In 2017, Fisher was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of Occupational Therapy during the first 100 years of the practice at the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference in Philadelphia. He is one of only 67 living honorees who were recognized at the conference’s centennial celebration of occupational therapy.
Prior to his position at IU South Bend, Fisher worked at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, where he led the development of three degree programs: the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and two Doctor of Occupational Therapy programs, one entry level and one post-professional. He also served as the OT faculty member for the Ph.D. in Health & Rehabilitation Science. Before that role, he was faculty at Eastern Kentucky University and University of Kentucky for the previous eight years. Prior to this, he practiced for 18 years as an occupational therapist, a director of rehabilitation services, case manager, consultant and injury prevention specialist.
Dr. Fisher received his Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy from Indiana University School of Medicine at IUPUI, his Master of Science in education from Purdue University, and a post-masters Education Specialist degree in educational and counseling psychology and his Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Kentucky.
He leads workshops for TherapyEd International, a leader in preparing physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants for their national licensure and certification exams. He has multiple peer-reviewed publications and presentations, and his areas of research include professional education issues, health policy and applied research with neurological, musculoskeletal, occupational health and safety for the adult population.
Dr. Kristine Haertl is a professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has been active in research related to peer-supported mental health housing models, the role of writing in the development of the self, the lived experience of autism spectrum disorder and the exploration of the nature and efficacy of services at a free-standing psychiatric occupational therapy clinic. Haertl’s research has led to legislative changes regarding evidenced-based mental health practice in Minnesota and has helped secure funding for the development of Fairweather housing units in Pennsylvania. In addition to full-time faculty work, she has served as the chair of a large mental health board in Minnesota, is the co-founder and co-chair of Occupational Therapy for the Advancement of Minnesota Mental Health Services and maintains a private practice serving people with psychiatric disorders and developmental disabilities.
Dr. Glen Gillen is a professor at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is best known for his textbooks Stroke Rehabilitation: A Function-Based Approach, now in its fourth edition, and Cognitive and Perceptual Rehabilitation: Optimizing Function. He recently co-edited the 12th edition of Willard & Spackman’s Occupational Therapy. Gillen has published more than 100 works, including chapters, books and peer-reviewed pieces.
A past recipient of AOTF’s Award for Clinical Excellence in Rehabilitation and AOTA’s Recognition of Achievement Award, Dr. Gillen lectures extensively on the local, state, national and university level regarding multiple topics related to neurorehabilitation.
His presentation, Integrating Performance Based Cognitive and Perceptual Assessments to Promote Occupation Based Practice, is the 10th Annual Occupational Science Scholar Series.
Dr. Joan Toglia is dean of the School of Health & Natural Sciences at Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York, and a professional associate at New York Presbyterian-Cornell Weill Medical Center's Rehabilitation Medicine Department. Dr. Toglia has more than 30 years of experience in occupational therapy with specialization in neurorehabilitation, acquired brain injuries, cognition, learning, measurement, and evaluation.
Toglia has contributed extensively to the field of cognitive perceptual rehabilitation as a clinician, educator, and researcher. She has presented more than 250 workshops nationally and internationally on topics involving cognitive rehabilitation for individuals with an acquired brain injury. Her publications include several book chapters, assessment tools, and journal articles in the area of cognitive rehabilitation, including work on self-awareness following brain injuries and cognitive interventions promoting strategy use, generalization, and function.
Dr. Toglia has been recognized for her leadership and contributions to cognitive rehabilitation theory and practice by the American Occupational Therapy Association with an Achievement Award and appointment to the roster of Fellows of the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Her presentation, Executive Dysfunction and the Impact on Occupational Performance and Participation, is the 9th Annual Occupational Science Scholar Series.
In Occupational Performance Issues in Stroke: Linking the Brain to Everyday Life, Dr. Baum examines how what we do in everyday life is critical to recover from neurological injury, particularly stroke. Occupational therapy as a rehabilitation profession helps people to engage in daily activities and she particularly examines the role of executive function in the recovery process. Dr. Baum works with an interdisciplinary initiative which has for the last 15 years followed over 15,000 people with strokes to characterize their daily life and service needs. What has emerged is the important role that occupational therapists play in supporting action and doing.
Dr. Baum is currently a leader in an international initiative (USA, Canada, Asia, Australia, Israel and Europe) funded by the J. S. McDonnell Foundation that includes 70 basic, neuro, social and occupational scientists’ whose goal is to understand how to best help each individual realize his or her full potential for getting better and living well after stroke. This initiative strengthens our understanding of how neuroscience principles can inform rehabilitation science and concurrently understand how rehabilitation contributes to our understanding of the brain’s structure and function—a question first posed in our profession by Adolph Meyer in his seminal paper on The Theory of Occupation in 1922.
Her presentation, Occupational Performance Issues in Stroke: Linking the Brain to Everyday Life (PowerPoint), is the 8th Annual Occupational Science Scholar Series.
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Dr. Wendy Coster is Professor and Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Boston University’s College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (Sargent College). Dr. Coster is also affiliated with the Health and Disability Research Institute at the Boston University School of Public Health. She received her professional preparation in occupational therapy at Boston University and completed a Ph.D. in Psychology at Harvard University. Her clinical practice focus has been on schools and other community programs serving children and youth with emotional, behavioral, and cognitive disabilities. Her primary research focus has been the development of assessments to guide service planning and evaluation for individuals with disabilities and to support outcomes research.
Currently Dr. Coster is director of the Patient/Clinician Reported Outcomes (PRO) Core of the Boston Rehabilitation Outcomes Measurement Center. Among the instruments she has helped to develop are the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) and its newly-revised and expanded version, the PEDI-CAT; the School Function Assessment (SFA); Late-Life Function and Disability Inventory; and the Activity Measures for Post-Acute Care (AM-PAC). Dr. Coster’s most recent project, conducted in collaboration with investigators from CanChild, was the development of the Participation and Environment Measure for Children and Youth (PEM-CY), an instrument for children with and without disabilities that can be used in population surveys or clinical services.
Her presentation, “Developing effective interventions in OT: Balancing our focus on the whole and on the parts” is the 7th Annual Occupational Science Scholar Series.
Dr. Dunn is Professor and Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy Education at the University of Kansas. She is an internationally known expert for her studies about sensory processing in everyday life. She received her occupational therapy and a special education graduate degree from the University of Missouri, and her doctorate in applied neuroscience from the University of Kansas. She has published more than 100 research articles, book chapters and books, and has spoken around the world about her work. She is the author/ co-author of all of the Sensory Profile measures, which capture people's responses to sensory events in everyday life; these assessments have been translated into dozens of languages and are used for both professional practice and in research programs.
She has received the Award of Merit for outstanding overall contributions to occupational therapy, and the Eleanor Clark Slagle Lectureship for outstanding academic contributions; she is a member of the Academy of Research for the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and has received the A. Jean Ayres research award. She has also received a Kemper Teaching Fellowship for her outstanding educational approach.
Her presentation, Focus on Strengths: Imagine the Possibilities, is the 6th Annual Occupational Science Visiting Scholar Series.