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Arley Johnson

4/14/13 1:49 AM








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Cheylin Parker Communications Officer College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences

WASHINGTON --Howard University Allied Health Science graduate Arley Johnson (BS ’94) was recently named the interim site manager for Therapy Services at Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine and Good Shepherd Penn Partners Specialty Hospital. The facilities are part of University of Pennsylvania Health Systems, the state’s largest health care system. It’s a hefty position. Johnson’s job since August is to oversee a 58-bed rehabilitation facility and a 35-bed long-term acute care hospital at three sites and to manage 95 employees. Additionally, he is married with three children. Johnson says it can be difficult to maintain a balance. But to keep up with everything, he focuses on whatever is in front of him. “One thing at a time,” he said. But there was a time when Johnson didn’t see occupational therapy in his future. On Feb. 28, 1990, while at Howard, Johnson’s father died. That next day, he found out that he had been turned down for the program in physical therapy at Howard. “It was the worst week of my life,” he said. Johnson was sitting in the lobby of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences trying to figure out his life, when a friend suggested that he apply for the University’s program in Occupational Therapy. He didn’t really know anything about the program, he said, but he applied, not knowing what else to do. He has since graduated from Howard University’s Occupational Therapy program, earned a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Temple University and has quickly risen through the healthcare ranks. He started as an occupational therapist at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, where he gained experience and found his passion for neurorehabilitation. At Temple, Johnson implemented an interdisciplinary coma stimulation program and an outpatient constraint-induced movement therapy program for stroke survivors. In 2006, Johnson was appointed to assistant director of Rehabilitation at Pennsylvania Hospital. In his current position, Johnson handles everything from financial operations to program development operations. “I like to show what rehabilitation can bring to the table,” Johnson said. Johnson is also active in other endeavors. He co-authored a book chapter entitled “Neurological Diseases” in A Practitioner’s Guide to Occupational Therapy Textbook, and he is a recipient of the Philadelphia Region Fieldwork Consortium Site Award. He served as an instructor in respite care, short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home. He is a member of the Health Education Advisory Board for the Philadelphia School District and the Howard University Occupational Therapy Advisory Board. Johnson was an adjunct professor for Temple University’s Occupation Therapy program and has been a guest lecturer on occupational therapy at Howard University and Thomas Jefferson University. Although his father wanted him to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Johnson chose Howard University.

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Arley Johnson

4/14/13 1:49 AM

Although his father wanted him to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Johnson chose Howard University. “Howard showed me that so many other African Americans were forward-thinking and progressive,” he said. “It prepared me and gave me all the skills to be successful.” Johnson encourages aspiring occupational therapy students at Howard University to make education their top priority. “You’re learning things that you’ll be using for your career,” he said.

Howard University, Division of Allied Health Sciences Department of Occupational Therapy 516 Bryant Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20059 (202) 806-7614 Fax: (202) 462-5248 Last Updated on: February 24, 2012

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Turning Point Catapults Alumnus to Success  

Chey interviews a Howard University alum on his his efforts to make a difference in the medical field.