MS2 Students Present Their Older Adult and Grantwriting Projects

Last week, the MS2 class presented posters about their projects for their Older Adult and Grantwriting classes, run by Professor Phyllis Simon and Dr. Lenin Grajo.  The students used the needs of their Level 1 Older Adult fieldwork sites to generate grant proposals and suggested funding agencies that might accept the proposals.  The students also ran programs at their older adult fieldwork sites, which included senior centers, day programs, NORCs, and home visits.   They met with their sites in the fall to do a needs analysis, and then returned once a week for ten weeks for their fieldwork this spring.

Students were divided into groups, and each group presented for an hour to their classmates, the MS1 class, OT and PT faculty, OT program staff, and staff and participants from their fieldwork sites.  One of the fieldwork site staff members who attended said that having the students, “was a wonderful learning experience for everyone.  The students, our staff, and the participants.”

Many of the students ran programs around falls risk and assessment, home safety, and activity participation.

Melissa Aponte and Ivy Vega ran a bilingual group about nutrition and healthy eating at a local senior center.  Several of their participants had low literacy, so they created a visual nutritional assessment appropriate for their population.

Margo Stoner and Michelle Hogan teamed up with the Center for Hearing and Communication to bring a hearing screening van to their fieldwork site, a local NORC.  Forty residents received hearing screenings, and Margo and Michelle followed up with those who had hearing loss.

Other groups focused on life reviews, stress, participating in meaningful activities in daily life, and technology.  One group helped facilitate a member run talent show, which helped increase participation in other groups, and showcased a wide variety of talents among the seniors at their site.  At least one group started by the students is being continued as a member run group.  Overall, the students did an outstanding job.

March/April Faculty Update

Dr. Lenin Grajo published a chapter, “Occupational Adaptation”, in Perspectives on Human Occupation: Theories Underlying Practice.  

Amanda Sarafian will be attending a workshop as part of the the Research CP initiative to set a patient-centered research agenda for cerebral palsy (CP).

Dr. Emily Raphael-Greenfield and Dr. Sharon Gutman published an article, “Effectiveness of a supportive housing program for homeless adults with mental illness and substance use: A two-group controlled trial” in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Dr. Glen Gillen and Dr. Dawn Nilsen presented at the Cornell Stroke Symposium.

Amanda Sarafian and Dr. Lenin Grajo are working with AOTA to do a systematic review of evidence for pediatric OT interventions to determine their effectiveness on learning and academic outcomes.

Dr. Glen Gillen is one of the featured medical experts in Healing the Broken Brain by Dr. Mike Dow and David Dow.  The book asks clinicians all of the questions that stroke survivors and their families want to know the answer to.

Columbia OT at AOTA 2017

Our students, faculty, and staff had a wonderful time at the 2017 American Occupational Therapy Association conference in Philadelphia last week.

For the first time ever, we had a booth in the expo hall to promote our OTD and EdD programs.  The booth was manned by faculty and staff and our programs got a lot of attention.

Our students, faculty, and alumni presented workshops and posters on a variety of topics.  Dr. Dawn Nilsen and Dr. Glen Gillen presented a pre-conference workshop.

Professor Phyllis Mirenberg Simon and her student research team presented a poster on their outstanding work creating LGBTQ competence for clinicians and promoting quality of life and positive health outcomes for this underserved population.

Dr. Sharon Gutman and Dr. Emily Raphael presented their recent work on homelessness and supportive housing with their talented research students. This area of research has been their passion for years.

Alumni of the MS and EdD programs also presented several posters.

Dr. Janet Falk-Kessler presented at the State of the Science Symposium on the science of resilience, with nods to Professor Pamela Miller.  The four presentations will be featured in an upcoming issue of OTJR. 

Columbia students won the St. Catherine Challenge, raising more than $8000 for occupational therapy research.   We were the only school to reach the Diamond Level.

We also had a wonderful time at our alumni and friends reception on Friday.  Many of our students were able to make the trip to Philly and got a chance to network with alumni.

Columbia was also featured a few times in the Centennial celebration video highlighting the history of OT.  Check it out here: http://www.otcentennial.org/video/history-of-occupational-therapy

Humans of CUOT: Leah Potter, Class of 2018

leah-potter

 

Hometown: Sudbury, MA

Why OT?  I was a child development major in college, and a logical choice would have been for me to go to grad school to become a teacher, which is an excellent profession but never really appealed to me. However, I always enjoyed working with children with disabilities. The way they interact with the world is so interesting to me. One of my friends, who was also a child development major and I had a long discussion after sophomore year about what we could do with the degree after we graduated. Neither of us really knew our other options, but she mentioned Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. I’d never heard of occupational therapy, so I looked into it, specifically how occupational therapists worked with children with disabilities. I loved everything I found, how we look at the person as a whole rather than a cluster of symptoms, how we take into account the desired outcomes of the client rather than just checking healthcare boxes to get them “well.” I knew I had a lot of catching up to do regarding prerequisites, but I figured if this was something I really wanted I would actually end up liking all the extra classes I would have to take (and I did). So I finished those classes by the end of my first semester of senior year and I applied to a few schools. I really didn’t even expect to get into Columbia, that seemed like a reach to me. The first one I heard back from was a rejection, which shattered my confidence, and I thought I wouldn’t get in anywhere after that. So imagine my shock when I received the acceptance from Columbia, a school I didn’t expect to look at me twice. Sending in that application, even with all my self-doubt, was the best decision I ever made. I could not be happier to be here now.

Which OT area of practice are you interested in?  Definitely pediatrics. No question. Though I recently considered working with veterans with physical disabilities.

What are your favorite occupations to engage in? Running, snowboarding, hiking, reading, petting dogs

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?  Flying. I hate airplanes and heights, but I feel like flying would be fun.

Describe your perfect Saturday. Wake up around 9 or 9:30 and go for a run. Come back and grab a New York bagel and coffee. Get outside and do something fun with friends (walk around the park, throw a football, something relaxing but active). Plan a creative dinner (either make one or splurge and go out for Italian). Grab my pjs, a blanket and a movie and relax .

What is your favorite book? Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

February Faculty Update

Dr. Glen Gillen was the first speaker in the Boyt Schell Visiting Occupational Science Scholar series at Brenau University.

Dr. Dawn Nilsen and Dr. Glen Gillen launched a clinical trial at Helen Hayes Hospital.  They aim to differentiate between two dosages of self-directed Mirror Therapy added to treatment as usual for decreasing arm and hand motor impairments, improving activity level, and increasing self-directed participation after stroke.

Phyllis Simon published an article in LGBT Health entitled “Development of an Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Model for Older LGBT Adults” about her work with elinc, an Elder LGBT Interprofessional Collaborative Care Program.

Dr. Glen Gillen was the keynote speaker at the Vermont Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference.

CUOT Wins St. Catherine Challenge!

Columbia University Programs in Occupational Therapy has won the 2017 AOTF St. Catherine Challenge! The students raised a total of $8,012.62, far exceeding their goal of $7,000, and more than doubling their efforts in 2016.

The AOTF St. Catherine Challenge is a student-led initiative to support the profession of occupational therapy by raising funds for occupational therapy research grants provided by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Supporting occupational therapy research means helping expand support for effective treatment methods which can improve treatment outcomes for patients in the US and across the globe. The AOTF provides funding for research across multiple domains including mental health, pediatrics, geriatrics, and physical disabilities.

Congratulations to the students for all their hard work and to the other schools who competed.  No one loses when we all support research!

New OT Lab Opens

CUOT’s new OT laboratory space is now open on the lower level of the Hammer Health Sciences Building.  It is currently being used as a classroom space, but will soon also include lab modules, including a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and a store.  The programs received a generous donation to cover the cost of the AV for the room.

2017-02-16-14-29-56

The faculty and staff worked hard to set up the space, although there’s still a lot of work to be done.

lab-opening

We’ve come a long way from the basement of the Black Building!

Humans of CUOT: Derek Douglas, Class of 2018

derek-douglas

Hometown: Maryland

What brought you to OT?

There was something about OT that naturally drew me to the field, but I wasn’t able to fully understand it until my shadowing experience. The therapists I shadowed addressed more than just the injury, disease, or illness. These clinicians examined the person’s physical and emotional well-being, the environment the client lived in, and many others factors in order reengage the patient in activities they yearned to do. If I had to put my shadowing experience into one word, it would be “AMAZING.” Witnessing OTs in action inspired me to become an occupational therapist. And I am incredible grateful to be now studying occupational therapy at Columbia University.

Which OT area of practice are you interested in? 

This is a tough one to answer. I know that I’m interested in physical disabilities, but I’m keeping an open-mind as I progress through the program.

What are your favorite occupations to engage in?

Weighting lifting, Tai Chi, and playing sports.

What do you think is mankind’s greatest invention? 

Football

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? 

Super strength so that I can be like Thor

What is your favorite thing about New York City? 

Feeling like I am at the center of the world with access to virtually any occupation I could fathom from running along the Hudson to exploring historical sites.

Columbia OT Students Compete in St. Catherine’s Challenge

In December, MS2 students Kelsey Mezrahi, Amanda Rudnick, and Sabah Hashmi organized a silent auction benefiting the AOTF St. Catherine’s Challenge. All auction items were donated and they were even lucky enough to have the professors involved.  Several professors donated themselves to spend some quality one-on-one time getting to know the winning students better!

Auction organizers with faculty members Dr. Dawn Nilsen, SOTA advisor, and Program Director Dr. Janet Falk-Kessler Auction organizers with faculty members Dr. Dawn Nilsen and Dr. Janet Falk-Kessler.

 

The AOTF St. Catherine Challenge is a student-led initiative to support the profession of occupational therapy by raising funds for occupational therapy research grants provided by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Supporting occupational therapy research means helping expand support for effective treatment methods which can improve treatment outcomes for patients in the US and across the globe. The AOTF provides funding for research across multiple domains including mental health, pediatrics, geriatrics, and physical disabilities.

The auction drew students, faculty, and staff. The auction drew students, faculty, and staff.

Columbia University participated for the first time last year and the students rallied together to raise the second most funds of any other school participating. In their first year, the students raised $3441 on behalf of St. Catherine’s Challenge and reached the gold level, and this year they plan to double it.  Anyone interested in donating can find more information here.

January Faculty Updates

This month in faculty news:

Dr. Sharon Gutman has been promoted to the rank of Professor.

Dr. Dawn Nilsen has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.

Dr. Lenin Grajo co-authored an article in the Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, and Early Intervention entitled “The occupation and participation approach to reading intervention (OPARI): A community of practice study”.

Dr. Emily Raphael-Greenfield and two CUOT alumni published an article, “Adapting to a challenging fieldwork: Understanding the ingredients.” in the Open Journal of Occupational Therapy.

 

 

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