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New Gerry Balasta Occupational Therapy Scholarship

The Gerry Balasta Occupational Therapy Scholarship will provide financial aid to an occupational therapy student enrolled in an OT degree program in New York. This scholarship honors the memory of Gerry who sadly passed away from COVID-19 in April.

BalastaGerry Balasta, OTR/L, was a remarkable early intervention pediatric OT, entrepreneur, film maker and husband who sadly passed away from COVID-19 in April 2020. For over 20 years he worked in New York at a private pediatric practice with specialization on sensory and motor integration and Adult Neuro-Ortho. He recently sold a pediatric entity in New York to his partners, so that he could embark on another clinic with his wife Lea. Longtime NYC OT and PT, Iris Kimberg, a private practice consultant who knew Gerry for 20 years, brought this sad news to our attention and has been a leader in creating this meaningful tribute. 

Gerry was also a passionate film maker, founding Inspire Change Films in 2007, and combined his OT background with his film making to enhance his connection to people and their stories. In 2010 he created, directed and produced "The Mountain Thief" which told the story of the people of Patayas, one of the Philippines largest dumpsite towns. Gerry masterfully told the story of the people of the town who live off the mountains of trash in dumpsite towns but manage to retain their dignity and thankfulness for life. The film had a hugely successful film festival run, won the Special Jury Prize at the San Francisco International Asian-American Film Festival, The Prix Du Public at CCIFF, France and the George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award in Washington DC. 

Gerry's life was dedicated to helping people by connecting to people. Now we seek to honor his legacy by creating a scholarship that will help the next class of occupational therapists as they work towards their degrees. With both demand for OT services and the costs of OT education rising, we need to help those who are preparing for a career in service to others. 

Please make a gift to support Gerry's scholarship. Your generosity will enable us to make the first scholarship award in the spring of 2021.  Thank you. 

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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

September 2022 Newsletter

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

August 2022 Newsletter

August 2022 Newsletter

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

July 2022 Newsletter

July 2022 Newsletter

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

June 2022 Newsletter

June 2022 Newsletter

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

May 2022 Newsletter

May 2022 Newsletter

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.