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Fred Sammons, PhD (Hon), OT, FAOTA

Fred Sammons, PhD (Hon), OT, FAOTA

OfficeLifetime Honorary
LocationKalamazoo, Michigan

Fred Sammons began his professional life teaching mechanical drawing to high school students. It was after serving in the Army during the Korean War that he earned his occupational therapy degree at Virginia Commonwealth University on the GI Bill. His first job was at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, becoming the director of occupational therapy in 1957. In 1960, Fred joined the staff of the amputee clinic at Northwestern University, and this is where he began to design and build devices to assist individuals with disabilities in their every day activities. With a growing demand for his devices, Fred decided in 1965 to devote all his time to creating, manufacturing, and distributing his inventions, and "the rest is history." Sammons, Inc. grew to a multimillion dollar business, and is now Sammons Preston, an AbilityOne Company. His honorary doctorate in occupational therapy, awarded by the Western Michigan University (WMU) Department of Occupational Therapy, recognizes the many contributions he has made to the profession. Mr. Sammons was named one of the 100 Influential People of Occupational Therapy by AOTA.

Mr. Sammons continues to give to the profession through grants, scholarships, and donations that support research, education, and clinical programs. In his retirement, he has been an active member of AMBUCS, Inc., with whom he collaborates to develop designs for adapted bicycles and tricycles (AmTrykes) for children with disabilities. He expresses great pride in his innovative seating system and in the ways in which he has been able to adapt these bikes to each child’s needs. His love for innovation and technology that help others has been present throughout his life and continues today.

Mr. Sammons' support of the Foundation has been generous, long standing, and diverse including the Fred Sammons and Barbara Rider Endowed Scholarship of the Michigan Occupational Therapy Association, and the Fred Sammons Endowed Scholarship of the Virginia Occupational Therapy Association. AOTF established a new volunteer recognition award in 2017 as a result of a generous endowment for the award from Fred Sammons and Barbara Rider: the Fred Sammons Volunteer Recognition Award. This award will be presented by the AOTF in perpetuity. Mr. Sammons was the inaugural recipient. With the establishment for the endowment for this new volunteer recognition awards, Mr. Sammons becomes the first, and to date only, living million-dollar donor to the Foundation.

In 2017, AOTF created the Fred Sammons Volunteer Recognition Award in honor of Mr. Sammon's devotion to volunteerism. Mr. Sammons was the inaugural recipient.

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Research Resources Newsletters

October 2022 Newsletter

October 2022 Newsletter

Future Scientists Program | Academy of Research | OTJR Special Section | Webinar Series | Take the Challenge

September 2022 Newsletter

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Funding Deadlines | OTJR Special Issue | Webinar Series | Take the Challenge | Board Meeting

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Funding Opening | OTJR Editors Choice | New Webinar Series | Awards Closing

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Funding Opening Soon | How to Select a Journal | New Webinar Series | Grant Recipient Update

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Award Nominations Open | OTJR New Issue | New Webinar Series | Reviewers Wanted

May 2022 Newsletter

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OT Summit | OTJR Top Reviewer | WISH Workshop | Future Scientists Institute Recap

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Press Releases

AOTF Announces Opening of 2016-2017 Scholarship Competition

AOTF Announces Opening of 2016-2017 Scholarship Competition

AOTF 2016 Intervention Research Grants Announced

 AOTF 2016 Intervention Research Grants Announced 

AOTF Announces Research Priorities to Support Effective, Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy

AOTF Announces Research Priorities to Support Effective, Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy

Foundation Announces Opening of 2015-2016 Scholarship Competition

Foundation Announces Opening of 2015-2016 Scholarship Competition

AOTF Announces the Charles Christiansen and Beth Jones Endowed Scholarship

AOTF Announces the Charles Christiansen and Beth Jones Endowed Scholarship

AOTF Partners with OccupationalTherapy.com for Scholarships

AOTF Partners with OccupationalTherapy.com for Scholarships

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Selected Previous Initiatives of the AOTF

The Center for Outcomes Research and Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago

1994-2002

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 Annual 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.

Program for the Study of Habits, Health, and Society

1999-2007

From 1999 to 2007, the AOTF Institute sponsored three interdisciplinary conferences to enable scholarly exploration of the construct of human habit and its role in everyday life. 

The third of these conference, "Habits III," convened in January 2007 and involved eighty-nine scholars representing twelve fields and disciplines. The proceedings of this conference, entitled Habit and Rehabilitation: Promoting Participation, are available through the publisher SLACK, Inc. as the supplement to the fall 2007 issue of OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health. 

Task Force on Occupation in Societal Crises

2002

Task Force on Occupation in Societal Crises, created in 2002 in response to the attack on 9/11, linked occupational therapy perspectives to societal networks that help people manage stress and create a healthy balance through meaningful occupation.