Planning Grant Collectives

In the spring of 2017, AOTF began a series of Planning Grant Collectives; these workshops bring together researchers from many disciplines to plan future studies in the field.

The 2020 workshop will focus on “Stimulating Research to Advance Evidence-based Applications of Telehealth in Occupational Therapy.”

The previous Collectives focused on aging in place, cancer, and mental health. 

Stimulating Research to Enhance Aging in Place: A Continuum of Home and Community-based Services

Stimulating Research to Enhance Aging in Place: A Continuum of Home and Community-based Services

July 21-23, 2019

Planning Grant Collective - Aging in Place Group photo


The goal of the AOTF workshop will be to establish several collaborative teams that will develop new research grant proposals designed to advance the evidence base for home and community-based services that support aging in place. Workshop participants will generate and prioritize novel research questions during the workshop and form research teams to subsequently write grant proposals to answer their chosen question. Each team will be asked to generate a plan that puts them on the path towards competitive grant submissions. For example, one team could decide to use existing pilot data and could establish an analytic plan for a manuscript that both justifies the need for further study and establishes a documented collaboration between researchers that would be needed in a grant application. Another team might identify a focused research question and establish plans to pursue institutional/internal pilot funding that would be needed for a larger grant. Ultimately, the goal is to use this networking opportunity to create new research teams that secure extramural funding to build the evidence base for aging in place, allowing older adults to fully engage in daily life roles and maintain or improve their quality of life.


Participants (*Committee Member)

  • Sajay Arthanat, PhD, OTR/L, ATP, Telehealth Practice Center. University of New Hampshire
  • Tracy Chippendale, PhD, OTR/L, New York University
  • Carrie Ciro*, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, University of Oklahoma
  • Malcolm P. Cutchin, PhD, Wayne State University
  • Chanee Fabius, PhD, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University
  • Beth Fields, PhD, OTR/L, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Heather Fritz, PhD, OTR/L, Wayne State University
  • Vanessa Jewell, PhD, OTR/L, Creighton University
  • Mary C. Lawlor*, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, University of Southern California
  • Danbi Lee, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, University of Washington
  • Catherine Lysack*, PhD, Wayne State University
  • Elizabeth Marfeo, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, Tufts University
  • Margaret McDonald, MSW, Visiting Nurse Services of New York
  • Tracy M. Mroz*, PhD, OTR/L, University of Washington
  • Elsa M. Orellano-Colon, PhD, MSc, OTR/L, ATP, University of Puerto Rico
  • Melissa Park, PhD, OT/L, McGill University
  • Catherine Piersol, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Jefferson Elder Care, Jefferson College of Rehabilitation Sciences (JCRS)
  • Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, University of Maryland
  • Juleen Rodakowski*, OTD, MD, OTR/L, University of Pittsburgh
  • Shlomit Rotenberg, OT, PhD, Rotman Research Institute Baycrest
  • Stacey Schepens Niemiec, PhD, OTR/L, University of Southern California
  • Emily Somerville, OTD, OTR/L, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Pamela Toto, PhD, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA, University of Pittsburgh
  • Jennifer Womack, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Organization Partners and Special Guests

  • Ellie Daniels, MD, MPH, American Cancer Society, Inc.
  • James Gibaldi, The Michael J. Fox Foundation
  • C. Jean Hsieh, PhD, OT, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Sarah Ruiz, PhD, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research
  • Heather M. Snyder, PhD, Alzheimer's Association







Catalyzing Research to Optimize Participation in Work & Life Roles of Cancer Survivors: Moving Beyond Symptom Management

Catalyzing Research to Optimize Participation in Work & Life Roles of Cancer Survivors: Moving Beyond Symptom Management

March 2-4, 2018


The goal of the second Planning Grant Collective was to establish research teams that will develop grant proposals for studies that move the evidence base for cancer rehabilitation beyond impairment reduction to target improving cancer survivors’ productivity and participation in meaningful activity. Researchers from the disciplines of occupational therapy, nursing, oncology, physiatry, physical therapy, psychology, and exercise science attended the event. 

The event led to the formation of research teams that created action plans regarding publications and collection of pilot data to advance three lines of inquiry ultimately focused on reducing participation restrictions experienced by cancer survivors. One research team is analyzing existing data to inform the development an intervention designed to address employment concerns of people diagnosed with early-stage cancer. Another team is re-analyzing existing qualitative data to identify ways to use a community-based self-management approach to foster optimal participation in life roles and meaningful activities. The third team has designed a pilot study to collect descriptive data regarding participation restrictions, in order to inform intervention development within clinic settings.

Newman, R. M., Alfano, C. M., Radomski, M. V., Pergolotti, M., Wolf , T. J., Sleight, A. G., … Lyons, K. D. (2019). Catalyzing Research to Optimize Cancer Survivors’ Participation in Work and Life Roles. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health

Participants  (*Committee Member)

  • Catherine Alfano*, PhD, Vice President, Survivorship, American Cancer Society
  • Arash Asher, MD, Director, Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Brent Braveman, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Director, Dept. of Rehabilitation Services, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Ashley Leak Brant, PhD, RN-BC, OCN, Asst. Professor,  School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Andrea L. Cheville, MD, Chair of Research, Dept. of Physical Medicine, Mayo Clinic
  • Elvan Daniels, MD, MPH, Program Director, American Cancer Society
  • Janet S. de Moor, PhD, MPH, Behavioral Scientist and Program Director, Office of Cancer Survivorship, National Cancer Institute
  • Allison King, MD, MPH, PhD, Medical Director, Survivoship Program for Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Mary C. Lawlor*, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, AOTF Chair, Professor & Associate Chair of Research, Mrs. T.H. Chan Div. of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California
  • Kathleen Lyons*, ScD, OTR/L, Scientist, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Kirsten K. Ness, PT, PhD, FAPTA, Epidemiology & Cancer Control, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • Robin Newman*, OTD, OTR/L, CLT, Clincial Assistant Professor, Dept. of Occupational Therapy, Boston University
  • Ralph Nitkin, PhD, Deputy Director, National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR)
  • Mackenzi Pergolotti*, PhD, OTR/L, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University
  • Mary Radomski*, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Senior Scientific Advisor, Courage Kenny Research Center, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
  • Alexandra (Alix) Sleight, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, Cancer Prevention Fellow, National Cancer Institute
  • Piyush Srivastava, MD, Medical Oncology, Walnut Creek Medical Center, The Permanente Medical Group
  • Gerald T. Voelbel, PhD, Director of Rehab. Sciences PhD Program, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, New York University
  • Rachel K. Walker, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Nursing, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Grant Williams, MD, Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology & Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship, University of Alabama at Birmingham,
  • Kerri M. Winters-Stone, PhD, FACSM, Enora E. Thompson Distinguished Professor, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Timothy J. Wolf, OTD, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Associate Professor & Chair, Dept. of Occupational Therapy, University of Missouri



Understanding and Enhancing Community Function in Serious Mental Illness

Understanding and Enhancing Community Function in Serious Mental Illness

June 19-21, 2017

Supported by a generious donation from Bonita Kraft and Florence Stattel, the first Planning Grant Collective focused on promoting research relevant to occupational therapy's role in mental health care.  

A select group of twenty-six occupational therapy researchers, psychologists, social workers, health policy specialist and others, representing mental health professionals from the U.S. and Canada gathered to establish several research teams in order to generate and worked on specific research projects together. Several funding agencies (NIMH, NCMRR, NIDILRR) were invited, both as a way to identify potential funding opportunities and as a way to educate the agencies about the focus of occupational therapy. 

Three groups were formed and agreed to pursue the following projects:

Group 1:  Action over Inertia; OT Consultation on ACT Teams; and Active Living.
Group 2:  Improvement of community living outcomes for persons with serious mental illness wit the inclusion of OT assessment/intervention.
Group 3:  College students with serious mental illness (SMI).


Participants (*Committee Members)

  • Antoine Luc Bailliard, PhD, OTR/L, Assitant Professor, Div. of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Skye Pamela Barbic, PhD, OT, Assistant Professor, Occupational Science and Occupatoinal Therapy, University of British Columbia
  • M. Carolyn Baum, PhD, OTR/L FAOTA, Elias Michael Executive Director, Dept. of Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Bette Bonder*, PhD, FAOTA, Fermer Dean, College of Sciences & Health Professions, Professor Emerita, Cleveland State University
  • Catana Brown*, PhD, OTR, Professor, Occupational Therapy Program, Midwestern University - Glendale
  • Katherine A. Burson, MS, OTR/L, CPRP, Independent Consultant
  • Leslie J. Caplan, PhD, Rehabilitation Program Specialist, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research
  • Wendy J. Coster*, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Professor & Chair, Dept. of Occupational Therapy, Director, Behavior & Health Program, Director, Patient/Clinician Reported Outcomes Care, Boston Rehab Outcomes Center, Boston University
  • Theresa Cruz, PhD, Program Director, National Center for Medical Rehabilitation
  • Elizabeth Francis-Connolly, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, Dean, Westbrook College of Health Professions, University of New England
  • Judith A. Cook, PhD, Professor & Director, Center on Mental Health Services, Research, & Policy, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH, Professor & Director, Division of Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research, Columbia University Medical Center, New York State Psychiatric Insittute (NYSPI)
  • Adam J. Haim, PhD, Chief, Treatment and Prevention Interventions Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health
  • Sharon A. Gutman*, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, Professor of Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine, Programs in Occupational Therapy, Columbia University Medical Center
  • Bonita Kraft*, OTR/L, Benefactor
  • Jeffrey Krolick, MA, Director of Special Projexts, Oregon Center for Excellence for Assertive Community Treatment, Options for Southern Oregon
  • Terry Krupa, PhD, MEd, BSC(OT), Professor & Associate Director, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queens University
  • Nadine Lariviere, erg, OT(C), PhD, Director & Associate PRofessor, OT Program, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Sherbrooke
  • Mary Lawlor, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Profesor, Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California
  • Susan McGurk*, PhD, Senior Researcher, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Professor, Occupational Therapy, Boston University
  • Penelope A. Moyers, EdD, OT/L, FAOTA, Dean of the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health and Graduate College, St. Catherine University
  • Kim. T. Mueser, PhD, Professor, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Sargent College, Boston University
  • Susan Noyes, PhD, OTR/L, Chair, AOTA Mental Health Special Interest Section, Assistant Professor, Master of Occupational Therapy Program, University of Southern Maine
  • Heather Parson, MSOT, Director of Federal Affairs, AOTA
  • Nadine Rebheim, PhD, OTR/L, Program Director - Psychologist, St. Joseph's Medical Center
  • Mark Salzer, PhD, Professor & Chair, Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences, Temple University
  • Virginia (Ginny)Stoffel, PhD, OT, BCMH, FAOTA, Associate Professor, Dept. of Occupational Therapy, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • Margaret Swarbrick, PhD, OTR, CPRP, Director of Practice Innovation and Wellness, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey (CSPNJ) & Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care