Top AOTF Accomplishments in 2021
Message from the AOTF Board Chair:
It's been an exciting first year as AOTF Board Chair! A big thank you to our trustees, donors, volunteers, staff, partners, and community members that help support the Foundation's mission. As the only organization in the US that focuses exclusively on building research capacity in OT, we've implemented and strategized new initiatives to build OT research capacity across all career stages, and to continue to generate, translate and disseminate research knowledge while strengthening partnerships to support effective, evidence-based occupational therapy for everyone. Happy holidays and we look forward to building new research together in 2022 and beyond!
Mary Jane (MJ) Mulcahey, PhD, OTR/L
Top Accomplishments in 2021:
1.) 14 Research Grants Awarded: Bridging Research, Evidence, and Practice
- 5 Intervention Research Grant (IRG) Awardees will lay the necessary groundwork for larger intervention and for implementation studies and support the profession’s Vision 2025 of occupational therapy as an evidence-based profession. Thanks to NBCOT, AOTA, and the St. Catherine Challenge for their joint funding.
- 3 Implementation Research Grant (IR) Awardees will conduct research that is focused on helping occupational therapists take evidence-informed practice from theory to reality in their practice setting. This research grant develops and evaluates the processes used to implement, sustain, and or scale-up evidence-based practice into routine care with an end goal to improve the quality and effectiveness of care. Thanks to NBCOT for their generous funding.
- 3 Health Services Research (HSR) Grant Awardees will examine how people get access to health care, how and what care is delivered, the cost of that care, and what happens to patients as a result of receiving or not receiving care. Thanks to NBCOT for their generous grant funding.
- The Dr. Gary Kielhofner Doctoral Research Scholarship in Occupational Therapy and Nedra Gillette Endowed Research Fellowship were also awarded to honor their namesakes.
- The inaugural American Occupational Therapy Foundation/The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) $100,000 intervention research grant was awarded to Katrina Long OTR/L, EdD, MS, BA on her project Overcoming Motivational Roadblocks to Fitness. Read full interview.
2.) Expanding Funding with New Research Grants
- Bonita Kraft Occupational Therapy Doctoral Student Scholarship- This scholarship will support an occupational therapist doctoral candidate in pursuing research in mental health and help increase the visibility of occupational therapy in mental health for adults.
- Nancy Talbot Postdoctoral Research Fellowship- In honor of Nancy Talbot MEd, OTR, FAOTA, the AOTF has established the Nancy Talbot Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in support of postdoctoral research training in occupational therapy. This one-year award will be $30,000 (with the possibility of a competitive renewal for a second year) seeks to improve diversity of the occupational therapy workforce by supporting postdoctoral training for individuals from racial and ethnic groups demonstrated to have low representation in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences. Applications accepted in 2021, to be awarded in 2022.
3.) Collaboratively Bringing OT Research to You: Virtually, On Demand and In-Person
- Our signature events at AOTA Conference 2021 went virtual with live Q&A: Evening with a Scholar: What Really Matters at End of Life, with Dr. BJ Miller, preeminent speaker on palliative and end-of-life care and State of the Science: Intersections of Occupation and Self-Management of Chronic Conditions with senior investigators and their mentees. See what we have in store for AOTA Inspire 2022.
- Our webinar series, Navigating Research During the COVID Pandemic, spearheaded by Past Board Chair, Mary Lawlor, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, continued in 2021 with Lessons Learned from Front Line Occupational Therapists and Implications for Research.
- Four panelists share their unique stories in Authentic Stakeholder Participation in Research; exploring the practices, opportunities, barriers and benefits of stakeholder participation in, and throughout the research process, all with an aim to improve the delivery of care. Thanks to our Board Member Stephen Shore, EdD, along with Anna Perng, Pamela Quinn, Kimberly Anderson-Erisman, PhD for bringing their unique experiences to this must-see presentation.
- Our Board Members Mary Jane Mulcahey, Ph.D., OTR/L, CHC, CLP, FASIA and Kerri Morgan, Ph.D., OTR/L, shared their SCI expertise on Coaching Care Partners of Children with SCI and Exercise, Physical Activity, and Adapted Sports for Persons with an SCI, in our joint presentation Occupational Therapy Across the SCI Lifespan with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center during Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month in September.
- We've collaborated with CoHSTAR and LeaRRn to bring you Workshop in Implementation Science and Health Services: Advancing Grant Writing Skills for Rehabilitation Researchers, May 18-20 in Washington, DC. Applications for complimentary registration and travel awards will be accepted through Jan. 15, 2022.
4.) Supporting the Future with 53 OT Scholarships
53 scholarships ranging in value from $500 to $5,000 were awarded this year from AOTF and its collaboration with organizational partners including state occupational therapy associations. The OT Scholarship Program is one of the oldest of the Foundation's programs dating back to the establishment of AOTF in 1965. Thank you to the Scholarship Selection Committee, comprised of volunteer occupational therapy practitioners and educators, who reviewed all applications and recommended scholarship recipients.
5.) PTE Continues to Grow - Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE), the national occupational therapy honor society, continues to advance its mission to support occupational therapy by promoting research, leadership, and scholarly activities. 126 schools now have active chapters, with nine new ones joining PTE in 2021. For a fourth consecutive year, PTE’s successful partnership with OccupationalTherapy.com offered free continuing education courses to its active alumni and lifetime members. Thank you to the leadership of PTE officers and engagement of members! See how to start a chapter.
6.) Pathway to OT Research - AOTA and AOTF announced the cohort of entry-level students selected to participate in the 5th Annual Summer Institute of Future Scientists in Occupational Therapy. The two virtual half-day sessions took place in June, hosted by Colorado State University. 48 future scientists focused on two topics: (1) what it’s like to be a researcher and (2) the multiple educational paths to becoming a researcher. The future scientists explored these topics through a series of mini-lectures and facilitated break out rooms. Participants were also invited to attend the 9th Annual Virtual Occupational Therapy Summit of Scholars June 23-25th which featured several AOTF leaders, Academy of Research members, committee members and funding recipients who shared their expertise and knowledge.
7.) OTJR Advancing the Profession Through Scientific Inquiry - 2021 has been another outstanding year for our research publication OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health. The 2020 Impact Factor and 5-Year Impact Factor have both reached all-time highs.* With 223 submissions from January 1 to November 1, 2021, OTJR is also tracking to have a record high number of submissions. SAGE Publishing selected OTJR as a journal with great potential for content growth and invested in the journal’s future by granting an additional 30% page volume publishing budget for 2021-2022 and beyond. This continued growth represents the contributions of quality data-driven research from authors and the rigorous processes of OTJR's newest Editor-In-Chief, Timothy J. Wolf, OTD, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Assistant Editor, Associate Editors, Editorial Fellows, Review Board Members, and SAGE Publishing Partners. In addition, the editorial team presented the AOTF/OTJR Short Course: Advances in Technology to Enhance Manuscript Writing and Publishing at AOTA Inspire 2021. View OTJR subscriber benefits and author guidelines.
8.) Recognizing Research Excellence - Every year, AOTF bestows awards and honors to individuals that contribute time, energy, and support to the fulfillment of the mission, goals, and objectives of AOTF. See full list of recipients including our distinguished Academy of Research inductees, Kathleen Doyle Lyons, ScD, OTR/L and Shawn C. Roll, PhD, OTR/L, RMSKS. View the 2021 Research Excellence Symposium with presentations from our Academy of Research Inductees and Early and Mid-Career Awardees.
9.) Making STRIDES - Our newest standing committee, Standing for Research Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (STRIDE) is developing, directing, and evaluating AOTF initiatives to promote diversity & belonging, combat racism, heal trauma, achieve equity, and social justice. To accomplish initiatives they've established three subgroups: Grants, Visibility & Networking and Collective Engagement. Recommendations brought forth will be integrated into the strategic plan and infused at all levels and in all functionalities of the Foundation, reflecting our commitment to pro-active action and stance. Read full action plan.
10.) Student Online Scavenger Hunt in OT Month - In celebration of OT Month in April, the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) held a 2nd consecutive online scavenger hunt to have some fun while broadening the knowledge of the Foundation’s mission, activities and our impact on evidence-based practice. Thank you to student participants and EBS Healthcare who sponsored five $50 Amazon® Gift Cards for the raffle.
11.) Over 50 Schools Raising Funds for Early-Stage Research The 2021 St. Catherine Challenge raised over $43,000 for the Intervention Research Grant thanks to 50 participating schools across the country. Special thanks to the Top 4 Fundraising Schools: University of Pittsburgh, Washington University in St. Louis, NYU Steinhardt, and University of Florida. We invite you to support your school in the 2022 Challenge now underway. Did you know?IRGs provide financial support for a 1-year, early-stage, research study and over 90% of grantees receive federal grant funding.
12.) Strengthening the Future of OT Thanks to You
- Donors - AOTF is immensely grateful to our generous donors who made gifts during the fiscal year 2021 (October 1, 20-September 30, 2021). The full list of donors will be available at www.aotf.org and in our upcoming 2021 Annual Report. Give a tax-deductible gift.
- Volunteers - We depend on the board members, committee volunteers and reviewers from all areas of occupational therapy and the public to deliver the programs you have come to rely on. View volunteers and how to apply.
- Partners - We are especially grateful for our valued partner support and flexibility during this ever-changing year. We look forward to working with you in the new year. Become a partner.
*With the 2020 Impact Factor, Clarivate has introduced Early Access content in Journal Citation Reports to more accurately reflect the dynamic citation environment of rapid online publication, phasing in further changes over three years.
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