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Top AOTF Accomplishments in 2023

MJ MulcaheyAs I reflect upon the year in review, I have deep gratitude and respect for the donors, partners, and volunteers who contribute to the tapestry of the Foundation. There are dozens of volunteers who serve the Foundation to help move the field towards the vision of a vibrant science that supports occupational therapy. Combined with the financial support of generous donors and partners, it is the time and talent of our volunteers that enable the Foundation to carry-out our important mission— advance the science of occupational therapy.

Happy new year and we look forward to building new research with your support in 2024 and beyond!

Sincerely,

Mary Jane (MJ) Mulcahey, PhD, OTR/L

1.) Laying the Groundwork: 20 OT Research Funds Awarded

2.) Moving the Science Forward

This past October, AOTF brought together over 45 occupational therapy and collaborative leaders in Alexandria, Va. for the AOTF Planning Grant Collective workshop,“Functional Cognition: Moving the Science Forward.” The focus of this two-day program was to clarify and advance occupational therapists’ critical role in supporting positive outcomes for consumers through assessment and treatment of functional cognition across different age groups and care settings. It also set priorities for functional cognition research and to identify and address the gaps in evidence, to advance the science, and to influence education, practice, and policy. This meeting is a first step in developing collaborative teams that will continue to meet to develop further action steps and projects, white papers, and new research grant proposals to move the profession forward in functional cognition, with the goal of maximizing client outcomes. The next PGC meeting will be held fall 2025.

3.) Providing Education Collaboratively

  • Our signature events at AOTA INSPIRE Conference 2023 were held live in Kansas City, Missouri, with Breakfast with a Scholar: Fearlessly Different, by Mickey Rowe, Founding Artistic Director of the National Disability Theatre, State of the Science and Research Excellence Symposiums. See what we have in store for #AOTFoundationFriday, March 22, at AOTA INSPIRE Conference & Expo 2024.
  • Through a NIH R25 Education Grant, AOTF along with rehabilitation institutional partners are funding the ‘Training in Diversity Education’ or TiDe program. TiDe will educate current rehabilitation clinician scientists in the skills and knowledge needed to recruit, train, and support research trainees from populations underrepresented in biomedical science. These clinician scientists will in turn support the next generation of diverse clinician scientists with the capacity to advance rehabilitation research. TiDe will leverage partnerships across disciplines and institutions to provide didactic and hands-on research experiences and “training for the trainers” (current rehabilitation clinician scientists). Following their first annual workshop on August 10-13 in Alexandria, Va., the TiDe program is now accepting applications for faculty scientists through February 29, 2024.
  • For the 2nd consecutive year, AOTF co-sponsored with the Center on Health Services Training and Research (CoHSTAR) and Learning Health Systems Rehabilitation Research Network (LeaRRn) to bring you Workshop in Implementation Science and Health Services (WISH): Advancing Grant Writing Skills for Rehabilitation Researchers, last May in Alexandria, Va. Of the 24 participants,14 were Occupational Therapists, and of those, six were AOTF-funding recipients. WISH will return in 2025 so check back this fall to apply. 

4.) Forging a Path to OT Research

A cohort of entry-level OT students participated in the AOTF/AOTA Future Scientists Institute, in Kansas City, Missouri. The facilitators and mentors included faculty and doctoral/postdoctoral students from established research programs from around the nation. Program participants met with leading occupational therapy scientists to address topics such as possibilities within OT science, considerations when evaluating potential doctoral programs, and career opportunities as a scientist. The participants were also invited to our Breakfast with a Scholar, State of the Science and Research Excellence programs, AOTA's Presidential Farewell/Inaugural Addresses, as well as the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lecture by Mary Lawlor, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Past AOTF Board Chair. Applications will open this fall for the 2024 Institute.

5.) Stronger Together

Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE) the national occupational therapy honor society, continues to grow and advance its mission to support occupational therapy by promoting research, leadership, and scholarly activities. With seven new schools joining PTE in 2023, they are now 142 active chapters strong. For a sixth 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.) Investing in the Future with over 50 OT Scholarships

Over 50 OT students received scholarships ranging in value from $150 to $5,000 in 2022 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. Applications will open this summer for 2024.

7.) Disseminating Research through OTJR 

2023 has been a year of continued growth and innovative change for our research publication which transitioned to its original name: OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research. The 2022 Impact Factor is 1.4 and the 5-Year Impact Factor is 1.9. To meet the ambitious goals of OTJR, we’ve expanded the size and expertise of the Editorial Board, implemented a reviewer in training program, and diversified types of manuscripts published by the journal to include brief reports, book reviews, and invited commentaries. We published a successful special issue on telehealth that included 22 high-quality articles in July and issued a call for papers on the practical application of the Person-Environment-Occupation-Performance Model for an upcoming 2024 special issue. OTJR's publicly available video, Enhancing Success in Publishing Peer-Reviewed Research," geared towards graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and early career researchers has been viewed over 400 times! Additionally, OTJR’s social media presence grew to over 3,500 AOTF/OTJR Instagram followers and 700 X followers providing new avenues for innovative dissemination of occupational therapy research.This continued growth represents the contributions of quality data-driven research from authors and the rigorous processes of OTJR's Editor-In-Chief, Timothy J. Wolf, OTD, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Assistant Editor, Associate Editors, Editorial Fellows, Review Board Members, and SAGE Publishing Partners. View OTJR subscriber benefits and author guidelines.

8.) Best Partners Forever (BPFs)
One of AOTF’s strategic planning workgroups met with OT volunteers from both research & clinical backgrounds at the 2023 AOTA INSPIRE Conference to discuss, set objectives and agenda for the 2024 program `Connecting OT Researchers & Practitioners AOTA Conference Workshop' to promote knowledge interaction between OT researchers and clinicians. An abstract was submitted for the workshop to be held at the 2024 AOTA conference as a result of this planning meeting. We're happy to report that a session has been approved.

 

9.) 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 the full list of 2023 recipients including our distinguished Academy of Research inductees, Carolyn Unsworth, PhD, BAppSci (OT), GCTE, OTR, MRCOT, FOTARA, Professor, Discipline Lead Occupational Therapy Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Federation University Australia and Sook-Lei Liew, PhD, OTR/L, Associate Professor; Director, Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory, University of Southern California. View the 2023 Research Excellence Symposium with presentations from our latest inductees along with our Early and Mid-Career Awardees.

10.) OT Students Supporting Research

57 schools raised over $53,000 in AOTF's 2023 St. Catherine Challenge, a national student-led fundraising initiative to support occupational therapy Intervention Research Grants (IRG). Results were posted at our 2023 AOTA Inspire Conference booth; top school teams were invited to both AOTF’s State of the Science and Breakfast with a Scholar which included group picture with the speaker.

  • 1st Place- St. Catherine University 
  • 2nd Place- University of Pittsburgh 
  • 3rd Place- University of Southern California 
  • MVP- Missouri State University 
  • Rush to the Top- Yeshiva University and University of Wisconsin-Madison 

11.) Thank YOU for Strengthening the Future of OT!

  • Our generous donors who made gifts during the fiscal year 2023 enables AOTF to invest in new OT research, support OT students at all degree levels and to disseminate vital information to the profession. All our work and the impact of that work is made possible through the power of philanthropy. The full list of donors will be available here and in our upcoming 2023 Annual Report. Become a donor: Give a tax-deductible gift.
  • Our dedicated volunteers from all areas of occupational therapy and the public are essential to implementing our strategies to build critical evidence. If you would like to become a volunteer, view opportunities and apply.
  • Together with our valued partners, we've created new programs, events, and opportunities to build and share evidence in demand. We look forward to collaborating this year with established and new partners

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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

View All...

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

View All...

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.