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
In honor of Dr. Jim Hinojosa’s immense contributions to the NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy and to the OT profession as a whole, we are honored to share the establishment of the Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award. This annual award seeks to recognize an outstanding NYU OT alumni who has made significant contributions to the profession.
We are pleased to announce the 2017 and inaugural award winner is Dr. Neil Harvison. Dr. Harvison is a two-time alumni of the department (M.A. 1988 and PhD 2005), and has contributed his life’s work to the OT profession. Dr. Harvison is a state licensed OT and is currently the Chief Officer for Academic and Scientific Affairs and Director of Accreditation and Academic Affairs at the American Association of Occupational Therapy. He has also previously worked as a Hospital Director at Mount Kisco Hospital Center, an Associate Director of Rehab Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, and Assistant Chief Occupational Therapist at Beth Israel Medical Center, amongst other positions as an OT.
We sat down with Dr. Harvison ahead of the AOTA convention, where he will be honored at the NYU OT alumni reception, to learn more about his life and work.
Please tell us a little bit about your background, and your path to becoming an OT.
I grew up in a working class neighborhood of Brisbane, Australia. I was one of five children and our dad worked as a gardener. I had some exposure to health professions through my disabled sister, but I really knew little about occupational therapy before I started exploring university programs. I shadowed an OT for a day and was sold!
I was fortunate to get admitted into the very competitive bachelor of occupational therapy program at the University of Queensland. The program came with free tuition and my family’s financial status allowed me to get living and other school fees covered by a government stipend. I graduated from the program with my class in 1983, and I stayed an extra 12 months to complete the honors research program. I then practiced as an OT in pediatrics in Brisbane before coming to NYU in 1986 to complete the MA in OT.
How do you think your education at NYU prepared you for becoming a leader in the field?
While the content in the coursework was important it would have been the exposure to my mentors in the NYU OT department that made the big difference. Initially, I spent a lot of time with Anne Mosey and Betty Abreu who both taught in the graduate programs. They each had very distinct leadership styles, but they both taught me the importance of carefully analyzing and reflecting on the available data before making an independent decision. They gave their students permission to question the status quo, as long as you had the data and rationale to support your argument, and more importantly that change was not necessarily a bad thing.
Later in my tenure at NYU it was faculty including Debbie Labovitz , Mary Donahue, and Jim Hinojosa who guided my career development. I still apply the skills I learned at NYU in my daily work life.
You have worked to implement community-based integrative medicine programs and inpatient integrative medicine initiatives, why do you think these types of applications of OT philosophy are important in moving the field forward?
I did have the opportunity to work on developing a number of integrative medicine programs. I think one of the reasons I was selected to lead these programs was closely tied to my background as an OT and our beliefs on the role of occupations in achieving health and wellness. As a profession one of our distinct strengths is our ability not to be tied to the disease focused model of health care, and our belief that health and wellness can be achieved through successful participation in occupations.
Why do you think continuing education for OT’s is so important?
A workforce of occupational therapy practitioners who maintain “currency” in practice is essential. The health care delivery system is changing rapidly and demanding quality services demonstrated through outcomes. The OT workforce must be delivering services that demonstrate the profession’s distinct contribution to the health and wellness of society. This can only be achieved if that work force is knowledgeable of the current interventions that achieve these outcomes.
What do you consider your most significant accomplishments in the field? What do you hope to accomplish in the future with your work at AOTA?
At this stage of my career I think it would be the strides we have made over the last 10 years in the quality of our education programs and our position within the higher education community.
Like most health care professions, the majority of our educators were trained to be practitioners and not to be faculty and teachers. We have worked a lot on faculty development and developing the quality of our program curriculums. Despite our relatively small numbers, we have achieved a prominent position within the community of health care profession educators and are recognized for the rigor and quality of our programs.
The focus of my work over the next 5-10 years will be on developing high-value continuing professional development. As a profession we graduate entry-level practitioners prepared to be leaders in the health care. We now need to ensure that members of our workforce maintain the same level of competency throughout their careers.
The NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Frieda J. Behlen Occupational Therapy Scholarships. This year’s awardees are Kathryn Ross, Alexia Santiago, and Claire Sherman. These three exceptional students will each receive a $2750 tuition award for their Summer 2017 semester.
Many congratulations to our 2017 recipients!
Kathryn Ross has fostered two passions during her time in the OT department: pediatrics and cooking. Through a fellowship with Dr. Koenig at the Center for Discovery, she was able to work with students in the CSD and Nutrition departments at Steinhardt where she saw the impact food can have on both children and adults with physical or cognitive impairments. Upon graduation in 2018, she hopes to create a cookbook with family-friendly recipes that can be combined with educational resources for how to utilize adaptive equipment in the kitchen.
Alexia Santiago is passionate about mental health and orthopedic rehabilitation, two areas that work in unison with many clients. In her future as an Occupational Therapist, she plans to create and use evidence-based research that reflects the benefits of actively incorporating mental healthcare in all domains of OT, and hopes to make things better for her clients through research and political advocacy. Alexia looks forward to the many opportunities available to tailor her OT practice to her talents and interests.
Claire Sherman came to the OT program with a desire for her future clients to live the most independent and productive lives possible, and through her time in the program has grown to cultivate her interests in the areas of work rehabilitation and hand therapy. She has a passion for advocacy and along with being a clinician, she looks forward to being an advocate for those with disabilities through the promotion of legislation and policies beneficial to these populations.
The Frieda J. Behlen Occupational Therapy Scholarship is an endowed fund created principally by gifts from alumni of the occupational therapy programs at NYU. Income generated by the endowment is awarded annually to students who demonstrate superior academic achievement as well as financial need. With growth in the fund’s balance from new gifts, the amount given out has been able to increase and will continue to do so. The award takes the form of a tuition aid applied toward summer courses. Professional Program second-year students are eligible to apply.
The fund was named to honor the memory of Frieda J. Behlen, founder and longtime chair of NYU’s Department of Occupational Therapy. Ms. Behlen was known for never hesitating to find monies, even if from her own pocketbook, to enable deserving students to complete their studies.
To contribute to this and other Department of Occupational Therapy funds please visit http://www.nyu.edu/giving/.