The OT faculty are engaged in many professional initiatives and endeavors. Some highlights of their accomplishments and activities this year include:
Ana Allegretti, Ph.D., OTR is the principal investigator for an ongoing research study, Go Baby Go, that examines the outcomes of providing children with disabilities modified ride-on cars to support their mobility. Dr. Allegretti is also the principal investigator on a study to examine what assessment tools are currently being used by OTs for children with cerebral palsy. Dr. Allegretti loves mentoring students and they have been very successful in presenting at state and national conferences with her guidance and teaching. Dr. Allegretti mentored numerous OT students for their projects and in 2018 they have presented at the AOTA annual conference, the Texas Society of Allied Health Professions annual conference, and the Texas Occupational Therapy Association Mountain Central Conference.
Karin J. Barnes, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA, in collaboration with Pediatric Therapy Specialists, Inc. in San Antonio, is the principal investigator of the study, Occupational Therapy Intervention for Three Children with Sensory Processing Difficulty to Improve Occupational Performance. Dr. Barnes attended the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder Research Mentorship Workshop on Single-Subject Research Design for children with Sensory Processing Disorders in April 2018 and continues to receive consultation with Dr. Lucy Jane Miller on this research project. Dr. Barnes received funding for this Multiple-baseline Across Subject design research project through the Ut Health San Antonio School of Health Professions pilot grant award program. Dr. Barnes was also a 2018 inductee into the University of Texas Kenneth I. Shine Academy of Health Science Education.
Autumn Clegg, EdD, OTR received the School of Health Professions 2018 Spectrum Award for exceptional contribution to the school’s mission components: teaching, research, scholarship, and service. Dr. Clegg has presented at numerous state and national conferences in 2018 including AOTA, the AOTA Education Summit, the national ALS Association Clinical Conference, and the Texas Occupational Therapy Mountain Central Conference. Her research related to factors that support OTs’ willingness to serve as fieldwork supervisors has garnered a lot of interest in her presentations this year.
Ricky Joseph, Ph.D., OTR is a leader in interprofessional education (IPE) in our department and university. In addition to several publications related to IPE, he has presented his work in IPE at numerous conferences this year including the Texas IPE Consortium Meeting, the Texas Society of Allied Health Professionals, the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, and the AOTA Education Summit. Dr. Joseph was also recently appointed to the ACOTE Roster of Accreditation Evaluators.
Kimatha Grice, OTD, OTR, CHT received the 2018 Shining Star Award from the Texas Society of Hand Therapists (TSHT). She was presented the award in April at the annual TSHST conference for her contributions to the society and the specialty practice of hand therapy. Dr. Grice had two presentations at the TSHT meeting and was the co-author for a scientific presentation at the national hand meeting in September 2018.
Laura Novak, OTR joined the department this year and is developing the new OT services program for people with dementia and their caregivers as part of the UT Health San Antonio Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's & Neurodegenerative Diseases. Lara has 19 years of experience in adult rehabilitation and geriatrics and is completing a post-professional OTD program at Creighton University.
Precious Osuoha, Ph.D., OTR has presented at the Texas Society of Allied Health Professions in her research regarding how occupational therapists can facilitate positive experiences for dementia caregivers. Dr. Osuoha also works closely with the UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing Center for Caregiving to provide skills training for family caregiver and care recipient dyad members in the community on occupational performance and home safety and modification.
Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, Ph.D., OTR has presented at numerous national conferences this year including the AOTA, the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP), and the AOTA Education Summit. In addition to serving as the Professional Development Coordinator for the AOTA Academic Education Special Interest Section (AESIS), Dr. Piernik-Yoder also became part of the leadership team of the AOTA Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Institute and Mentoring Program. In January 2018, Dr. Piernik-Yoder was named Chair of the OT department.