Gannon Occupational Therapy Students Present at National Conference

Posted: April 25, 2017

Five students from the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program at Gannon University's Ruskin, Florida, campus presented research at American Occupational Therapy Association's (AOTA) Annual Conference & Centennial Celebration. Four faculty members and 24 of the more than 50 students from the Ruskin campus were also in attendance.

The students and their research subjects included: Whitney Blankenship: "Systematic review of medication adherence measures for children;" Adele Campbell: "Patient preference for home exercise program provision: A survey study;" Selena Hengy: "Understanding the self perceived occupational performance of individuals with spinal cord injury using the COPM;" and Alexi Richter and Samantha Barley: "Validated outcome measures used by occupational therapists for autism spectrum disorders."

Eight students and two faculty members from the Erie campus also attended the AOTA conference with five students making presentations.  There were: Dhanvi Amin, Claudia Anukam, Jennifer Cobler, Lauren Dillon and Megan Theuerkauf: "Occupational therapy students' stigmatizing beliefs toward individuals with schizophrenia." 

The conference attracted more than 500 occupational therapists to Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Occupational therapy is one of the largest majors at Gannon with 234 students enrolled in master's-level and OTD programs across Gannon's two campuses. As professional practitioners, they will focus on helping clients perform everyday activities to their highest potential. Some examples include: Teaching Wounded Warriors how to hold their children again after limb loss; helping babies in the NICU learn to feed, breathe and swallow so they can thrive; providing recommendations for assistive technology in the vehicle or home so older adults can age safely; and helping stroke survivors relearn how to bathe, groom, dress and cook for themselves, among other occupations.