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A Message from the Department Head Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar Professor and Head

Dear friends and colleagues, It is with great pleasure that we share with you some of our highlights from these past eight months. We have been actively involved in producing new scholarship, developing new collaborations, participating in conferences and promoting the professional development of our students. As one example, we proudly hosted our 3rd Scholarship of Practice Day in March; our faculty continue to make significant contributions to interprofessional education; 13 faculty participated in the AOTA conference in Philadelphia in April; and many of our students and faculty have earned recognitions. We are proud of the continued efforts of our faculty, staff and students in “Creating Tomorrows Practice.”

Dia del Niño Family Health Festival

UIC students participated in the Dia del Niño, Family Health Festival with Yolanda SuarezBalcazar (third from right) and Robert Barish, UIC Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs.

Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar and students from the Department of Occupational Therapy (pictured at left) volunteered at Dia del Niño, a community participatory event and celebration of Pilsen’s children. The event started with a warm-up Zumba dance followed by a 2-mile Health Walk. During the walk, OT students and El Valor families promoted safe walking through signs and card messages circulated to all participants. The walk ended at the UIC Pavilion where families participated in the Family Festival that included fun physical activity games, free health screenings, wellness education and health-related activities, and cultural performances. OT students facilitated hands-on health promotion interactive activities. Over 1,000 Chicago residents participated in the event throughout the day. This event was also co-sponsored by UI Health.



3rd Annual Scholarship of Practice Day

Over 160 UIC alumni, students, faculty, community partners and local clinicians gathered in March to discuss and share the latest research and scholarship conducted by UIC faculty and students at S.O.P. Day, led by professor Joy Hammel. The keynote speaker, Margo Holm (below), presented her work on the Performance of Self-Care Skills (PASS), which was created to help therapists conduct evaluations of a range of activities of daily living and identify potential safety risks and needs for assistance. Holm also provided a hands-on workshop the night before S.O.P. Day to faculty, students and local clinicians on tips on how to administer the PASS. Topics of scholarship presentations by faculty and doctoral student included primary care, community participation, older adults use of everyday technology, pediatric practice, health disparities and OTD/PhD dissertation findings. UIC faculty honored alumna Velma Reichenbach ’55 BS OT, MAMS ’81 with a special tribute to recognize her contributions to the department over many years (see page 5 for details). Roundtable discussions were added this year to facilitate clinicians, students and faculty exchanging information about building “Communities of Practice.” The free annual S.O.P. Day is a highlight of the year for attendees, especially the wine and cheese poster reception! This annual event will be held on next year on April 6 and paired with a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the UIC Department of Occupational Therapy.

Performance Assessment of Self-Care Skills (PASS) in Action at UIC! How to best evaluate what supports will be needed by someone who has been living in a nursing home and is hoping to move into the community? The Williams Consent Decree mandates that the State of Illinois provide all residents of nursing homes that are “Institutes of Mental Disease” (IMDs) the opportunity to live in the “least restrictive setting”: the community. The state contracted our OT department to evaluate eligible individuals who were initially determined to be at risk for successfully making this transition. Joy Hammel & clinical assistant professor Celeste Januszewski chose to use the PASS. These individuals have often lived in an institution for many years, without the opportunity to OTD student Kathryn Duke sets up for a PASS evaluation. independently perform the day-to-day tasks of community living. The PASS provides the evaluator with the opportunity to evaluate the strengths and challenges of the individual while they are engaged in these everyday occupations, and to offer support or adapt the task as needed. The evaluator can identify resources that would provide the support the class member needs to transition from institutional living into a place they can call home. For details about the PASS, contact Margo Holm, Page | 2


Interprofessional Education Leading Interprofessional

Education Efforts Interprofessional education (IPE) is increasingly recognized as an essential component of occupational therapy education. UIC is uniquely positioned to become a leader in IPE due to the wide range of health professions education programs across all UIC campuses. On April 7, the 5th annual UIC IPE Immersion Day was held. Over 900 students from 13 disciplines worked together in small groups to analyze a case study and discuss a TED Talk by Atul Gawande: How do we heal medicine?, in which he calls for a new approach to health care that uses an interprofessional “pit crew team.” Participants completed the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Competency Self Efficacy Tool, a new instrument to evaluate health professions students’ self-efficacy in interprofessional collaborative competency. The tool was created by an interdisciplinary UIC faculty team including clinical professor Liz Peterson (pictured above), and was Faculty Celeste Januszewski (right) and recently published in the Journal of first year OT students participate in IPE Immersion Day Interprofessional Care.

New IPE Courses A new course took place last semester: Interprofessional Collaborative Practice in HIV Care. Three OT MS students and clinical associate professor Gail Fisher participated in the course with a diverse group of students and faculty from 7 disciplines (above photo). It featured a blended format with 3 class sessions and online assignments. Students worked in teams to learn about best practice in HIV/AIDS care, and their profession’s role with this population. This course is a model for universities in the 10-state region of the Midwest AIDS Training and Education, housed at UIC. OTD student Dalmina Arias was selected to participate in the Scholars and Leaders in Interprofessional Geriatrics program, which is being offered by ENGAGE-IL faculty. The program is a unique opportunity for students from five professions to learn how an integrated team of interprofessional practitioners can optimize the health, well-being and quality of life of older adults.

Engage-IL Enhancement of Geriatric Care for All New Free CE courses for Interdisciplinary Health Care Professionals Liz Peterson, coinvestigator of the federallyfunded ENhancement of Geriatric Care for All through TraininG and Empowerment: An Interprofessional Imperative (ENGAGE-IL) project, has contributed to the launch of the Online Accredited Learning Interprofessional Geriatrics Program, which includes 32 free healthcare modules (CE courses). These CE courses will be available at no cost until July 1, 2018. UIC ENGAGE-IL is an AOTA Approved Provider (#10173)*, and occupational therapy practitioners can earn CE credit for completing the modules. Most modules are 30 minutes long. Topics include caregiver burden, common acquired hospital complications, community services, access and payment systems, fall prevention among community-dwelling older adults, pain management, and sleep quality. For module details go to * The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA

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Celebrating 100 years of Occupational Therapy

The 2017 American Occupational Therapy Association Conference Thirteen UIC faculty presented 19 sessions at the conference, the biggest conference in the history of AOTA!

Students (L to R) Kim The (PhD), Bianca Joseph (MS), and Elizabeth Harrison (PhD) at the UIC booth in the exhibit hall, a popular alumni destination.

Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar was an invited panelist in an AOTA preconference institute: Promoting a Diverse Workforce in Occupational Therapy through Student Recruitment and Retention.

Former UIC clinical instructor and alumna, Cindy DeRuiter Blackwell presented the Occupational Therapy Beginnings at the Jane Addams HullHouse poster.

Clinical assistant professor Jenica Lee discussed the Occupational Therapy Intervention Process Model poster with Carolyn Baum.

PhD student Elizabeth Harrison was elected the new co-chair of the Network for LGBTQIA+ Concerns in Occupational Therapy at the AOTA Conference. “The Network,” as it is called, is one of AOTA's Multicultural, Diversity and Inclusion (MDI) groups. The Network exists to "create the means for members of the occupational therapy professional community who are committed to advancing the understanding of sexual orientation issues to identify, support and mentor one another and to promote research in occupational therapy." Visit the AOTA webpage for more information.

Clinical associate professor Ashley Stoffel, above right, and assistant professor Mary Khetani co-led a discussion at a “Topics that Matter” session about promoting inclusion in early childhood settings.

Thank you alumni for your donations to the UIC OT department that provide conference travel awards to help our students attend AOTA & ILOTA conferences! UIC OT students benefited from 56 travel awards in the past academic year. Page | 4


Celebrating 100 years of Occupational Therapy

Illinois Occupational Therapy Association Centennial Celebration

UIC students and faculty members Kathy Preissner, Ashley Stoffel and Gail Fisher contributed to Illinois’ April observance of the OT Centennial at the Hull-House Dining Hall on the UIC campus. Ashley Stoffel, center right, dressed as Julia Lathrop, who taught a course to OT founder Eleanor Clarke Slagle through the Hull-House in 1911.

AOTA’s 100 Influential People: UIC Connections

Beatrice D. Wade

As part of the profession’s 100-year anniversary, 100 Influential Persons who influenced occupational therapy’s history were selected by AOTA’s OTArchive Editorial Board. Gail Fisher, a member of the advisory committee, nominated Beatrice D. Wade, who founded the UIC OT Department in 1943 and was the head until 1971. Other UIC-affiliated honorees were Gary Kielhofner, who served as department head 19862006; Anne G. Fisher, faculty member 1987-92; alumni Robert Bing, ’51, AOTA president 1983-86; Nedra Gillette, ’54, director of research for the American Occupational Therapy Foundation for 30 years; and Joyce Lane, ’69, co-founder of the Black Occupational Therapy Caucus. Website has biographies on all 100 persons, plus much more.

Alumnus Contributes to Archives Project Before passing away in early 2017, alumnus Velma Reichenbach, BS ’55, MAMS ’81, added a final contribution to her beloved profession by providing a recorded interview to the AOTA OTArchive project that will be part of an online repository chronicling the profession’s history. She also donated important documents to the UIC OT department’s archives collection and many years’ worth of journals to a newly established OT program.

Gary W. Kielhofner

Save the Dates! 5th

International Institute on Kielhofner’s Model of Human Occupation (MOHO)

October 14th – 15th, 2017 University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX Registration details and information at

UIC OT Department 75th Anniversary Celebration and Scholarship of Practice Day Friday, April 6th, 2018 Details are forthcoming via our Facebook page and alumni listserv. Request to be added by emailing Page | 5


Scholarship of Practice: Focusing on Refugees & Non-native English Speakers

Vocational Access & Employment Options for Refugees with Disabilities What can be done to improve vocational rehabilitation access and employment options for refugees with disabilities in Illinois? Assistant The PRIDE team (L to R): research assistants professor Mansha Mirza is the co-principal investigator of a National Institute Ayush Mishra & Vineeta Ram (former), Principal on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, Health and Investigator Rooshey Hasnain, Co-Principal Investigator Mansha Mirza, & research Human Services funded project, Partners of Refugees in Illinois Disability assistants Kathryn Duke and Aman Khan. Employment (PRIDE). PRIDE uses a community based participatory research approach. In partnership with project partners, such as the Division of Rehabilitation Services, refugee-serving community-based organizations, employers (such as immigrant-owned small businesses), chambers of commerce and disability-focused organizations, the PRIDE team will develop a website, comprehensive vocational assessment tool kit, training curricula for refugees with disabilities and service providers, and an information technology tool that will help bridge connections between service system siloes. The PRIDE team will first launch the website and online training modules for refugee service providers, followed by training sessions with job-seeking refugees. In addition, Dr. Mirza is the recipient of a UIC Applied Health Sciences (AHS) Interdisciplinary Pilot Grant for her research project, Walking the Talk: Language Access in Rehabilitation Services. This research study utilizes an interdisciplinary and interinstitutional collaboration with Elizabeth Jacobs and Kathryn Miller from the University of Wisconsin – Madison to understand language access needs, policies and processes during adult physical rehabilitation. The study will address optimal delivery of rehabilitation services for Limited English Proficient patients and will include focus groups with rehabilitation providers and patients to explore their experiences with cross cultural communication.

Campus Spotlight on Dr. Mirza’s Work •

In January 2017, Dr. Mirza was the featured scholar in the UIC Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy for her work on how African-American and Latino families manage their children’s special healthcare needs. In April 2017, Dr. Mirza was invited to speak at the School of Public Health for the “World Health Day ObservanceDepression: Let’s Talk.”

Students Working with Refugees and Asylum Seekers Team Rainbow Chicago is an organization that was created by Elizabeth Harrison under the mentorship of Mansha Mirza through the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Chicago Chapter. The purpose of the organization is to provide social support and affirm community for LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers in Chicago. Heartland Alliance’s Marjorie Kovler Center for torture survivors employs UIC OT alum Mary Black. Mary provides opportunities for OT students to volunteer at Kovler through the AHS Health & Diversity Academy. First year MS OT student Shoma Webster has been volunteering with Mary this year. According to Shoma, “Volunteering there is truly a humbling experience. Whether assisting with cooking groups or in the community garden, there are so many ways to connect with people from all over the world who have so much to share and so much love to give.” RefugeeOne benefited from the efforts of first year MS OT Student and UIC IlliSOTA president Lori Myers, who led an effort to sponsor a drive for OT students and faculty to collect or donate items for welcome kits for newly arriving refugee families.

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Students Recognized for their Contributions Master’s and doctoral students pictured at left (L to R), Lauren Janness, Elizabeth Harrison and Amy Krischer, along with Kent Bubel, Ada Terman and Andrea Gurga, were selected to receive a 2017 Chancellor’s Student Service Award. Their volunteer efforts benefited formerly incarcerated adults, women with disabilities who are trying to get breast cancer screenings, asylum seekers fleeing discrimination and torture, people who are homeless, parent and child survivors of domestic violence, and youth in the Juvenile Detention Center. Incoming OT master’s student and recent UIC BA graduate in psychology Ricardo Ramirez (right) is this year’s recipient of the prestigious UIC Donald and Leah Riddle Prize. Ramirez gave the student address at the UIC Honors College commencement, was inducted into the UIC Activities Honorary Society and received a Chancellor’s Service Award. He has been working on OT assistant professor Susan Magasi’s research team for his Honors College capstone, testing the usability of accessible smartphones by people with cerebral palsy. Disability studies Ph.D. students (from left Jacqueline Beck, Alisa Sheth, Laura VanPuymbrouck, Lisa Mahaffey and alumna Danbi Lee), with Ph.D. students Kim The and Elizabeth Harrison and alumna Jenna Heffron, have been busy disseminating the findings of their research about the inclusion of disability studies in the occupational therapy curriculum. They have presented at AOTA conference, UIC’s S.O.P Day, the Southwest Conference on Disability, The Society for Applied Anthropology and the OT Summit of Scholars in Boston. First-year MS student Ryan Walsh (right) was selected to receive the AHS Scholarship Fund Award. This award recognizes outstanding student leaders who demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism within the UIC community and greater Chicagoland. Ryan has been a member of the AHS Health and Diversity Academy, teaching formerly incarcerated adults in a high school certificate program. He is working with a study assessing seniors’ use of everyday technology in Oak Park. Ryan is also serving as a student representative on the Illinois Occupational Therapy Association (ILOTA) Board.

Contributions to Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Rehabilitation Measures Database In collaboration with the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, formerly known as Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, UIC students have contributed occupation-focused measures into the Rehabilitation Measures Database. The database, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, was created in 2011 to be a centralized resource for clinicians to find the most evidence-based assessments that fit their clients’ needs. Joy Hammel and Susan Magasi were instrumental contributors to the initial launching of the database and created a training module. UIC OT students began their involvement by providing feedback on the initial modules. In 2014, clinical assistant professor Heidi Fischer mentored UIC OT students to contribute occupation-based measures, due to the lack of occupational therapy assessments in the database. Students have contributed measures on the Model of Human Occupation, mental health, quality of life and vocational options for individuals with spinal cord injuries and, pediatrics. So far, all assessment summaries submitted by UIC OT students have been added to the Rehabilitation Measures Database, and one was published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy: My Vocational Situation (MVS): Case Example and Psychometric Review. Page | 7


Breaking News!! Clinical associate professor Kathy Preissner and clinical instructor Catherine Killian are seeking fieldwork educators to pilot test the newly revised AOTA Fieldwork Performance Evaluations (FWPE) for the OT and OTA student, as part of their AOTAfunded project. If interested, please contact the study office at for more information. Susan Magasi was recently selected as the “UIC Rising Star Researcher of the Year” in the Social Sciences! This award is presented to five UIC early career scholars who have demonstrated outstanding promise to become future leaders in their area of expertise. Faculty receiving AHS college awards during the 2016-17 year: ➢ Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar was selected as the 2016 AHS Professor of the Year, the highest honor bestowed by the college ➢ Gail Fisher received the 2016 AHS Educator of the Year award in December 2016 and Ashley Stoffel received the 2017 award in May 2017 ➢ Mansha Mirza was named the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year, in recognition of her volunteer and scholarly efforts to aid refugees Announcing the 5th Edition of the Model of Human Occupation book! This new release, edited by OT professor and UIC Vice-Provost Renée Taylor, includes new “MOHO Problem-Solver” case examples. A major revision of the chapter on the Environment and Human Occupation was authored by Gail Fisher and colleagues Sue Parkinson from the UK and Lena Haglund from Sweden. Invited Podcast on Environmental Impact on Young Children’s Participation The journal Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology invited Mary Khetani to create a podcast on a recent study completed with CPERL alum Erin Albrecht. This study found that caregiver perceptions of environmental support within the home mediated the relationship between factors related to a child and the child’s family and the child’s level of involvement in home-based activities. The podcast includes an introduction to Jessica Jarvis, a new postdoctoral associate in CPERL, who will work to replicate these results with new data from a multisite longitudinal study involving critically ill children. Results can contribute new knowledge about trends in the occupational performance needs of young children, including those recovering from a pediatric intensive care unit stay, and identify targets for intervention within the child’s environment. Clinical assistant professor Theresa Carlson Carroll’s Caring for the Caregiver article was featured as the cover story of the April edition of AOTA’s OT Practice magazine. Carroll also participated in a recorded virtual chat on this topic for AOTA. She was quoted in the Washington FAMILY Magazine , “Mental Health Tips for Parents and Caregivers.” Editors: Jasmine Brown & Gail Fisher Department of Occupational Therapy UIC College of Applied Health Sciences 1919 W. Taylor St. (MC 811) Chicago, IL 60612

Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop Ten participants successfully completed a Chronic Disease Self-Management workshop at University of Illinois Health (UI Health). This latest workshop was facilitated by Jenica Lee and Clinical Instructor and OT Team Leader Kay McGee, under site coordination from master trainer OT Cathleen Jensen. Labeled “Take Charge of Your Health in Illinois”, it was made possible by grant funding and support through RUSH University Medical Center and Age Options. Evidence support for this program and details are available here. The participants all rated the value of the group between 8 and 10 out of 10, and specifically cited the action planning, social support, problem-solving, and decisionmaking skills as most valuable. UI Health has offered multiple self-management workshops to patients in recent years. Seven OT staff are currently trained to facilitate. Program highlights have included collaborating with current and former patients and Jenica Lee as cofacilitators, and OT Maureen Gecht as a trainer. The team finds that the workshops provide an evidence-based program to address chronic health conditions and UIC’s goals of addressing health disparities and providing quality healthcare. For more information, email Cathleen Jensen at

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UIC OT Progress Notes Spring/Summer 2017  
UIC OT Progress Notes Spring/Summer 2017