We are pleased to announce the recipient of the second annual Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award, Dr. Paula Kramer. The award, named in honor Dr. Jim Hinojosa’s immense contributions to the NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy and to the OT profession as a whole, seeks to recognize an outstanding NYU OT alumni who has made significant contributions to the profession.
Dr. Kramer is a three time graduate of NYU, and has written or co-authored 9 books and over 100 book chapters. Her focus is the translation of theory into practice, clearly describing the process and defining the concepts that are foundational to theory development. Together with Dr. Jim Hinojosa, she translates the abstract aspects of theory into a clear and understandable format. As a scholar, she has influenced practice by detailing how practitioners use the profession’s applied body of knowledge to provide theoretically based practice. Dr. Kramer was also named one of AOTA’s 100 Most Influential People in Occupational Therapy. Read on to learn more about Dr. Kramer, what brought her to the profession, and what she sees for the future of OT.
Tell us a little bit about your background, and your path to becoming an OT.
I had bad scoliosis when I was younger and surgery was recommended. At that time, the process required an extended hospital stay with limited movement, including staying in bed. My doctor recommended occupational therapy. My occupational therapist taught me how to perform most ADL skills with my limited movement, but more importantly, she taught me that I was still a productive, functional person even with these limitations. I learned that the limitations did not define me, I defined me. That was an amazing gift. That made me love occupational therapy, and I wanted to become an occupational therapist ever since.
How do you think your education at NYU prepared you for becoming a leader in the field?
Being educated by leaders helps you to become a leader. I have three degrees from NYU, all in OT (which I would not necessarily recommend, but it did work for me). My baccalaureate gave me the basics that I needed to start my career. My masters allowed me to grow and explore a more specified area of practice, working with children, understanding learning disabilities. And it taught me the critical importance of theory. Taking courses across campus in different departments was helpful and beginning to work with Anne Cronin Mosey was invaluable. Throughout my doctorate, I was constantly encouraged to grow and stretch, and see what could be instead of what was. This is the essence of leadership, seeing future possibilities and being willing to grow to get there.
You have worked extensively in changing policy and education in the OT field, can you tell us a little about your accomplishments there?
I started my service to the profession locally with the Metropolitan New York District and NYSOTA. I soon became involved with the Accreditation Council, I was interested in how education programs were developed and regulated. Around 1990, I was honored to Chair the new revision of the educational essentials now called the Standards. It was the first set of Standards developed independently by occupational therapists without the involvement of the Council for Allied Health Education and the American Medical Association. I shocked to discover that the term “occupation” was not in our educational standards and that there was limited mention of theory. I was proud to have championed the inclusion of both in the 1991 Standards.
Can you tell us about your writing and co-authoring of OT literature with Jim Hinojosa?
Jim and I have a fantastic relationship. He has been one of the most important people in my professional life, as well as being a great friend. Professionally, it is rather a co-mentorship. He makes me think differently. I can express myself and what I think about the profession or the topic we are working on, and he will give me his perceptions and together we can come to a consensus of what we want to put forward. He is one of those people that make you stretch and grow. I am very proud of all of the work we have done together, and I have enjoyed the collaboration so much.
What do you see for the future of the OT profession? What do you hope to accomplish in the future with your work?
I think the future of the profession is bright. We have many opportunities as long as we keep focusing on how we change the functional performance of our clients. We are finally becoming better known, but still have a ways to go, and it is important that we continue to promote the profession aggressively. I think the profession is somewhat at a crossroads with the decision to move to a doctoral level. Personally, while I am aware of the potential drawbacks, I think we have to make the jump. Our world recognizes education and titles, and to have our colleagues in physical therapy, at the doctoral level without having our profession at that level will put us at a disadvantage in the clinical world. My personal goals are more in the area of continuing to write to improve areas of practice and knowledge especially in pediatrics and the importance of theory related to occupation.
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Grace Kim‘s study Randomized Trial on the Effects of Attentional Focus on Motor Training of the Upper Extremity Using Robotics With Individuals After Chronic Stroke was recently published in the journal Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The study is also co-authored by NYU Steinhardt’s Mitchell Batavia, Associate Professor in the department of Physical Therapy, and Jim Hinojosa, Professor Emeritus in the department of Occupational Therapy.
The study focused on individuals with stroke and moderate-to-severe arm impairment living in the community. The individuals participated in a four-week arm training protocol on a robotic device in an outpatient clinic.
Highlights of the study include:
•Participants improved on motor outcomes after engaging in high-repetition robotics arm training.
•There were no differences between external focus or internal focus of attention on retention of motor skills after 4 weeks of arm training.
•Individuals with moderate-to-severe arm impairment may not experience the advantages of an external focus during motor training found in healthy individuals.
•Attentional focus is most likely not an active ingredient for retention of trained motor skills for individuals with moderate-to-severe arm impairment.
Ali Ahmad, PhD (PhD 2015) is currently working in the clinic as the head of the hand therapy unit at Ministry of Health – Kuwait.
James Battaglia, MA OTR/L CHT (MA 2001) has recently been appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Occupational Therapy program in the Health Professions Department at Hofstra University. He is currently working toward completion of his EdD in Learning and Teaching at Hofstra as well. His paper Toward a Caring Curriculum: Can Occupational Therapy be Taught in a Caring Context?, was published in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and a co-authored paper with his wife Dana Battaglia entitled, Faculty mentoring in communication sciences and disorders: Case study of a doctoral teaching practicum, was published in the Academy of Educational Leadership Journal in late 2016.
Paula Kramer (BS 1973, MA 1977, Ph.D. 1993) was recently named Professor Emerita of University of the Sciences.
Katherine Malfucci (MSOT 2012) started working last year as a Senior Instructional Therapist mentor with the Nest program, a New York City Dept. of Ed. ASD program that partners with NYU to include students with ASD in general ed classrooms. It has been a great inspiration to work with and learn from therapists throughout the city who do such wonderful, innovative work with our students. This year she also began working at Back to Health, an outpatient clinic in Brooklyn, providing care for clients of all ages with musculoskeletal injuries and disabilities.
Sara Monheit-Peress (MA 1981) is married to Louis Peress (a COTA and Real Estate Broker) and is practicing Occupational Therapy in Las Vegas.
Jaimie Porter OTR/L CBIS (MSOT 2011) currently works in Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation at Mount Sinai Hospital, originally on the Brain Injury Rehab unit and currently on the Spinal Cord Injury Rehab unit, and has recently become a Certified Brain Injury Specialist.
Jackie Tamayo, MS, OTR/L (MS 2012) is a hand therapy resident at OrthoCarolina ’16-’17, obtained CHT, and is a hand Specialist at Calif. Orthopaedic Institute in San Diego.
Audrey H. Weiss (MA 1995) wrote the cover story in the August (2016) edition of OT Advance Magazine. The story titled Hitting the High Notes…starting an OT music group for special-needs students is easier-and more fun- than you thought, is about her OT music group which she runs in schools and clinics.
The annual Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award was established in honor of Dr. Jim Hinojosa‘s immense contributions to the NYU Department of Occupational Therapy and to the OT profession as a whole. This award seeks to recognize an outstanding NYU OT Alumni who has made significant contributions to the profession. The award will be presented at the Department’s 2018 Alumni Reception at the annual AOTA Conference. Recipients will receive $500 and will be featured in the Department’s Blog/Newsletter.
The nomination period for the 2018 Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award is open through January 15, 2018. In order to submit a nomination, please complete the form below.
Follow this link to the Application:
2018 Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award Nomination Form
This fall Katie Tietz debuted her book Self-Care for the Healthcare Professional: How to gain confidence, take control, and have a balanced and successful career. Katie, who is currently an occupational therapist at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California is also a certified mindset coach, a skill she uses both in her practice and to inspire her writing, which is a combination of personal stories, educational content, and activities at the end of each chapter. Read on to learn more about what motivated Katie to write her book.
What sparked your interest in becoming an OT?
Honestly, I just kind of followed what felt right. Before becoming an OT, or even knowing what an OT was, I worked with children and adults with learning and developmental disabilities. I worked in a variety of settings… as a respite worker in the home and community, in an adult learning center, and a pre-school as a 1:1 aide. The child I worked with in pre-school had major food aversions. At the adult learning center we worked on building daily life skills. As a respite provider I worked on community integration and encouraged appropriate leisure pursuits. I was drawn to these jobs because they promoted independence and quality of life. I thought there could be no better career than to bring this to others. That’s when I found out what occupational therapy was, and it was a no brainer. It wasn’t really an interest that was sparked… it was more like a realization of a true calling.
Why did you want to write a book focusing on self-care for healthcare professionals?
I wanted to write this book because I think self-care is incredibly important. It’s important for all people, but in a career where you give so much of yourself to others, I would argue that it’s even more important. I would even go as far to say that if you’re not practicing self-care as a healthcare professional, it could become a patient safety issue. If you are burned out and frustrated with your career, that leaves a lot of room for error… not to mention the negative energy that you drag around with you, from patient to patient. I wanted to write this book so that healthcare professionals can learn how to serve others from their overflow, instead of scraping the bottom for any last drops in an already empty cup. As the saying goes, we have to fill our cups first before we can give to others.
Do you find that self-care for health professionals is a “taboo” topic when the focus is supposed to be care for patients/clients?
I think that it certainly can be. We’re all givers. We all have strong empathy for others. We wouldn’t be in this profession if we weren’t. So naturally, as givers, when the topic arises of ‘taking’ (taking time for your own self-care), it might make us feel uncomfortable, selfish, or even guilty – and those aren’t nice feelings! Unless you have someone telling you that you don’t have to feel guilty and that self-care is not selfish, then you’ll likely continue down that spiral of burnout and compassion fatigue. Then what does that look like for your patient? What does that look like for your loved ones? What does that look like for you? My goal is really to modify that thinking pattern that self-care in healthcare is somehow forbidden. I think that by practicing daily self-care we actually do better by our patients and loved ones. We are able to give more, provide more, and practice more patience and understanding. With that in mind, self-care should be a part of our job descriptions, not the taboo topic that it can sometimes be.
How did your own experiences shape the writing of the book, and how did your time at NYU Steinhardt influence your professional life?
My own experience is what made this book! Both of my experiences as a new graduate OT and the daughter of a mother who was in and out of hospitals and sub-acute nursing facilities for years, is what prompted me to write this book. I saw the signs of early burnout in myself as a provider and I saw many nurses, doctors and therapists who clearly struggled with compassion fatigue and burnout when my mom was in the hospital. My experiences acted like this informal needs assessment – and this book, I guess you could say, is the treatment plan!
My time at NYU Steinhardt undoubtedly helped to shape this book as well. Every single day I think of Kristie Koenig’s words to us during our pediatrics course. She said, “It’s really easy to be a bad OT.” When I began my career I started to realize just how true that statement had been. It was disheartening at first, but that statement continues to motivate me to this day! My time at NYU, all of the professors, all my classmates… they mean so much to me. They set the bar high for professional standards, and personally they all hold a very special place in my heart.
Do you have plans for more writing? What’s next for you?
I would love to do more writing in the future! I really enjoy the writing process and the creation aspect. Although I don’t have anything specific to write about at the moment, I’m sure that life will unfold and opportunities will arise. And as Anita Perr used to tell us, “Always say yes to an opportunity!”
In terms of what’s next, my goal is to get this book in the hands of as many healthcare professionals as possible. I truly believe that it will change lives when utilized to it’s full potential. I’m currently bringing this information to the staff at my own hospital, co-creating our “Lighthouse Initiative” with a couple of my brilliant co-workers, and hope to spread the message to other hospitals, clinics, and universities as well. I also plan to continue my coaching with Health Pro Mindset and help healthcare professionals to maximize their personal and professional potentials!
We sat down with new OT faculty member and alumna of the department PhD program here at NYU Steinhardt Grace Kim to learn more about her research and experiences in the classroom during her first year as a faculty member in the Department of Occupational Therapy.
How has your first year as faculty here at NYU Steinhardt gone?
I think really good so far, since it is something really new. It’s a long roller coaster, ups and downs, you slow down and speed up and don’t know whats around the corner. So far all of my experiences have been so positive.
What classes did you teach this year? Did anything stand out to you about them?
In the fall semester, I co-taught Clinical Neurology with Professor Karen Buckley, who is retiring this year. I also taught two Research Interpretations classes, which are more project-based. In that class, I supervised a small group of our entry level MS students, who complete a certain aspect of an ongoing project during the class. It is a nice, different approach to teaching. The class is more hands on and presents realistic scenarios students may encounter in clinical settings. The students are able to have an actual project at the end, which often manifests as a paper or poster at a future conference, so I really enjoy teaching this class.
In the spring, I co-taught Evidence Based Practice with fellow new faculty member Janet Njelesani. That class consists of post-professional OTD students who have their own perspectives and experiences in the field, so the classes end up having a rich dialogue, a different type of learning than the entry level MS students. Teaching both types of students has really helped acclimate me to the program.
What is your background, and what brought you to NYU Steinhardt?
I’m originally from California but have spent the past 15 years in New York. I completed my master’s degree in OT at Columbia University, and then worked clinically at various hospitals in the city.
Most recently, I was at Cornell Medical Center in a clinical research position. At that point, I wanted to do my PhD, and that’s how I ended up in the part-time post-professional PhD program in the OT department at NYU Steinhardt. Six years later as I was finishing up my dissertation I applied for the faculty opening here in the OT department. I’m so happy the timing worked out so well and that I ended up with the position.
Now that you are at NYU, are there any particular research topics you are focusing on?
My research interest historically has always been in neurological populations, specifically stroke and how damage to the brain manifests itself functionally in people in such different ways that you’d never imagine. Here at NYU I’m interested at this point in delving deeper into how we can integrate everyday technologies, specifically mobile wireless technologies, into community and home settings where patients are spending their time when not at a clinic.
I’d like to focus this research on how can we utilize mobile apps, such as motion sensor data (like fit bits) to be able to asses patients when they are in their natural environment, and provide feedback for them when they are moving around in the space, and also as a way to communicate with patients when they are not in therapy.
We don’t know what patients are able to do at home currently even though we give them recommendations. Technology has given us a lot of different opportunities to figure out how we can improve. Giving patients external structure through technology can help to remind patients and keep them motivated with relevant feedback, and empower them to participate in their own care and rehab.
What do you find is the most rewarding aspect of teaching future OT’s?
I think I like that it is still very new to me, so I am still learning as well along with my students. I like to know that you have to be present, everything is happening in real time in the classroom, you have to think on your feet, and sometimes it goes off in a different direction that surprises you. This reminds me that it is the same as treating patients, where the time can go in a various number of ways and you have to problem solve as things are happening, and you have to go with that, and remind students that you always have to think on your feet as an OT.
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Tracy Chippendale recently received a grant from NY Community Trust to conduct a feasibility study for “Stroll Safe”, an outdoor fall prevention program that she developed. The 7-week program, designed for active community dwelling seniors, focuses on safe strategy use to prevent stumbles, trips, slips, and falls outdoors. The purpose of the study is to examine the feasibility of the program and data collection protocol to plan a multisite clinical trial.
The topics addressed in the once a week, 7-week outdoor falls prevention program, for which a treatment manual has been developed, are based on the results of a survey conducted of community dwelling older adults that identified gaps in knowledge and use of prevention strategies, and the related literature. The program includes pre-set modules, however, participants will be able to voice individual concerns and problem-solve solutions during group discussions, and will discuss topics such as self-advocacy regarding reporting problems to the city.
Participants will be asked to keep daily diaries of stumbles, trips, slips, and falls from the time they enroll in the study until two months following the completion of the program. Dr. Chippendale is currently conducting the study.
The American Occupational Therapy Association held its Annual Conference & Centennial Celebration in Philadelphia, PA from March 30 to April 2, 2017. This milestone event had record breaking attendance with over 14,000 attendees. The theme for this year’s conference focused on the History of the OT profession. The conference also had an extra celebratory tone this year with a special Centennial Bash and Centennial Ball for attendees.
For the third year, NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Occupational Therapy had a booth in the Expo. Alumni and current students stopped by to say hello, reconnect with the department, and show their NYU OT pride by wearing our popular NYU OT Alumni, Supporter, and Students badges. We also had a number of student and faculty presenters.
The booth also provided an opportunity for prospective students to learn more about the post-professional MA, OTD, and PhD programs. We were also excited to promote our new online OTD program starting Fall 2017. Faculty members and staff were on hand to answers questions about the curriculum, admissions requirements, and our remuneration program.
We hope to see fellow alums next year at the 2018 AOTA conference in Salt Lake City!
See below for a complete list of department presentations and posters:
Kristie Patten Koenig, Associate Professor
State of the Science Symposium:
“Resilience: Occupational therapy and its role in helping to adapt to adversity”. AOTF State of the Science Symposium Speaker at the American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA March 2017.
Presentation: Shifting to Strengths and Success: Authentic Partnerships Between OT and Autistic Self-Advocates. With Stephan Shore
Yael Goverover, Associate Professor
Presentation: Assessing Functional Cognition: Its Importance in Occupational Therapy Research and Practice
Contributing Authors: Carolyn M. Baum, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Timothy J. Wolf, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Joan Toglia, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Grace Kim, Assistant Professor
Poster: The Effects of Attentional Focus on Upper Extremity Motor Training Using Robotics With Persons After Chronic Stroke
Contributing Author: Jim Hinojosa, PhD, OTR, FAOTA; Mitchell Batavia, PhD, PT; Ashwini Rao, EdD, OTR, FAOTA
Poster: Indoor and Outdoor Falls Among Older Adult Trauma Patients: A Comparison of Patient Characteristics and Outcomes
Janet Njelesani, Assistant Professor
Conversations That Matter: Doing, being, & becoming a tenured professor: Conversations for junior faculty on the tenure track.
Poster: Test Construction of the Occupational Repertoire Development Measure- Parent (ORDM-P)
Sally Poole, Clinical Assistant Professor
Short Course: Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy Intervention for Patients With Distal Radius Fractures. With Debra T. Zizik
Tsu-Hsin Howe, Associate Professor and Jim Hinojosa, Professor Emeritus
Poster: A Postmodern Approach to Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy
Chien-Ying Yang, PhD Candidate
Poster: Motor Performance of Children With Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Fourth to Sixth Grades: Differences Among Subtypes
Yun Shi PhD Candidate and Tsu-Hsin Howe, Associate Professor
Poster: Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Behavior-Based Feeding Questionnaire (BBFQ) for Taiwanese Mothers of Preterm Infants
Brocha Stern, PhD Candidate
Poster: Time To Learn: A Neurobehavioral Approach After Musculoskeletal Hand Injury
Poster: Older and Happier? Associations Among Age, Affective Symptomology, and Quality of Life in Multiple Sclerosis
Poster: Coaching in Hand therapy: Strategies for engagement and empowerment, with Mark Hardison
Margaret Waskiewicz, OTD student with Steve Van Lew, Daniel Geller, and Liz Martori
Poster: Adult MTBI and Sensory processing
Poster: Determining the efficacy of OT treatment of postconcussive syndrome, with Elizabeth Martori
Professional Program Recent graduates:
Catherine Stalter (MS Program), Elisabeth Bahr (MS Program), Norhora Guzman (MA Program), with Kristie Patten Koenig, Associate Professor
Poster: Afya: A Descriptive Study of Community-Based Long-Term Rehabilitation Project in Post-Earthquake Haiti
Kristina Fusco (MS Program), Erin Devine (MS Program), Talia Zeitz (MS Program) with Kristie Patten Koenig, Associate Professor
Poster 4049 – Afya: The Impact of a Long-Term Rehabilitation Project on Pain and Function Outcomes in Post-Earthquake Haiti
Marisa Davison (MS Program), Cara Flinter (MS Program), Nylah Lummer (MS Program), Katelyn Ryan (MS Program), Mallori Seliger (MS Program) with Grace Kim, Assistant Professor
Poster: The Use of Web-Based Resources To Facilitate Stroke Rehabilitation