OT Clinical Assistant Professor Zesarae Bodie, fourth from left, led a breakout session on “Sex the Forgotten ADL” at the annual conference of the New York State Occupational Therapy Association (NYSOTA).

Several faculty members of the Katz School Occupational Therapy Doctorate program played a key role at the recent annual conference of the New York State Occupational Therapy Association (NYSOTA).

Dr. Mindy Garfinkel, a clinical associate professor and assistant director of the OT Doctorate program, received an award during NYSOTA’s president’s reception for her contributions to pediatric practice and the promotion of inclusive play spaces.

“The students love her,” said Dr. Julie Kardachi, director of the OT Doctorate program. “She’s an awesome instructor with a wealth of experience, and her classes are fun.”

Dr. Garfinkel, who teaches a course in assistive technology and universal design, has served as an occupational therapy representative on the education committee of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) and on children and youth committees of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Through her committee work, she became involved in creating inclusive play spaces.

Recently, occupational therapists have been working with playground designers to develop barrier-free play spaces. “To a child with mobility challenges, a typical playground isn’t fun, it’s frustrating. It is full of spaces that they can’t access,” she said. “There is nothing like witnessing a child’s excitement when they realize that they can wheel their wheelchair onto all the playground spaces and play like all the other kids.”

Right, Dr. Mindy Garfinkel, clinical associate professor and assistant director of the OT Doctorate program, received an award for her contributions to pediatric practice and the promotion of inclusive play space.

Dr. Zesarae Bodie, a clinical assistant professor, was selected to teach a short course on “Sex the Forgotten ADL: Revisiting the Role of the Occupational Therapy Practitioner” and led breakout sessions afterward on the topic.

Research has shown that sexuality and concerns with sexual participation after a disability or illness can impact an individual’s quality of life and self-esteem. As health care professionals, occupational therapy practitioners are well-equipped to address sexual participation and sexuality with clients to maximize their engagement and satisfaction.

“Sexuality is an under-appreciated activity of daily living in our profession,” said Dr. Bodie. “Since we specialize in treating the whole person, our job is to help our clients do the things they want and need to do that are integral to living a fulfilling life.”

The Katz School’s OT Doctorate program is the first fully accredited entry-level occupational therapy doctorate in the New York metropolitan area. Students are educated and trained to become scholar-practitioners who develop and deliver inclusive, equitable and evidence-based services through the integration of theory, research and knowledge augmented by clinical practice.

Housed in a state-of-the-art facility with advanced laboratories, the OT Doctorate program integrates theory, research and practice, and provides fieldwork in a variety of clinical settings, including NYSOTA where Katz School students track pending legislation affecting the industry and do advocacy work on behalf of the profession.

Left to right, Drs. Garfinkel, Bodie and Julie Kardachi, director of the OT Doctorate, helped promote the program. Adjunct Professor Melanie Evangelista was behind the camera.

“NYSOTA is a fabulous experience for our students,” said Dr. Kardachi.

Graduates of the OT Doctoral program are leaders and advocates in the profession. They promote health, well-being and resilience through occupational engagement in diverse local and global communities. Occupational therapy is ranked in the top 15 of U.S. News & World Report’s Top Health Care Jobs.

“Our students develop the professional competencies and an ethical code to engage in research, evidence-based practice, policy development, leadership and advocacy, and occupational justice,” said Dr. Kardachi.

The OT Doctorate program was a sponsor the NYSOTA conference. “It was a great way to share knowledge, network and recognize each other in an intimate, collegial setting,” said Dr. Kardachi, “and to let people in the profession know more about our newly accredited occupational therapy program.”

 

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