Established in 2000, the AOTF Institute for the Study of Occupation and Health is the chief programmatic arm of the foundation. Through its programs and partnerships, the AOTF Institute helps to advance research, education, and leadership in the field of occupational therapy and raises public awareness of the vital link between everyday living and health.
The AOTF Institute exemplifies the vision of AOTF founder Wilma L. West, who believed that occupational therapy should address the dynamics of health and social forces as well as therapeutic interventions that affect the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.
Programs and partnerships of the AOTF Institute include:
Initiatives of its own and in cooperation with likeminded organizations within and beyond the field of occupational therapy:
Complementing these initiatives are various resources supported by the AOTF Institute and housed within the AOTF Wilma L. West Library
Selected previous initiatives of the AOTF Institute include:
- Task Force on Occupation in Societal Crises, created in 2002, linked occupational therapy perspectives to societal networks that help people manage stress and create a healthy balance through meaningful occupation.
- The Center for Outcomes Research and Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, funded in 1994 and supported through 2003, developed outcomes studies and generated evidence upon which to base effective practice.
Since 1994, CORE doctoral and post-doctoral fellows have generated over $11 million in funding. The concept of a scholarship of practice has generated two new international efforts in London and Stockholm to replicate CORE's idea of advancing and documenting the outcomes of practice. Notably, these efforts bring together scholars and practitioners in a common effort. CORE sponsored a series of events at the 2002 AOTA conference in Miami and a one-day institute at the AOTA Council on Education Program Directors' Meeting in November 2002. CORE and AOTF sponsored a scientific panel on Participatory Action Research at the AOTA annual conference in June 2003.