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Awards and Recognitions 

Recognize an incredible practitioner for the difference they make!

Do you work alongside a colleague who consistently demonstrates client-centered and occupation-based skills and expertise?

Do you have a mentor who is always there for you? Do you partner with a Fieldwork Educator who promotes inter-professional collaboration? Do you witness the energetic, diverse, and professional connection between an OT and OTA? 

Submit nominations for the awards listed below.

Nominations are due September 1. Recipients will be announced at the annual conference held in October. 

Please contact info@otacco.org for questions. 

2021 Marjorie Ball Award of Merit Recipient


Valerie Kline was nominated for the Marjorie Ball Award by the entire staff of the OT Department at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in recognition of her dedication and outstanding clinical skills. As the overall director of the physical medicine and rehabilitation department, she has displayed immense courage and commitment to the profession of occupational therapy throughout her long career, especially in response to COVID.

As an example of her dedication to the OT department, after being hospitalized earlier this year and going through a grueling course of rehabilitation, she returned to her leadership role at the hospital as soon as possible at continued risk to her own health and well-being. Her staff believes she is the true embodiment of resilience in the face of adversity.

Valerie always ensures her staff and department receive the latest information and education related to their professions, positioning them to provide the best services possible. She is an expert at assessing and fitting clients with new technology and equipment that improve their participation in their lives, She is an inspiration to her co-workers, as well as to her patients.

Valerie is an example of how a person can not just successfully adapt to a disability but can also thrive in helping others find the right tools and occupational supports. She is the true embodiment of occupational therapy in action in both her professional actions and personal life.

Past Recipients of the Majorie Ball Award of Merit

1968 - Alberta Harrah 

1969 - Chloe Nelson
1970 - Not Awarded
1971 - Ellie Gilfoyle
1975 - Ann Grady
1976 - Wanda Mayberry
1978 - Doris Shriver
1980 - Bobbie Smith
1981 - Pat Christ
1985 - Agatha Jackson
1986 - Bill Lofton
1987 - Mary Hillary
1988 - Karen Spencer
1989 - Susan Johnson
1990 - Barbara Strewler
1991 - Joanie McMullen
1992 - Patrice O'Reilly
1993 - Wanda Mayberry
1995 - Constance Mullens
1996 - Rosalie Lewin
1997 - Anne Fisher
1998 - Lois Hickman
1999 - Cynthia Cano
2000 - Wanda Mayberry
2001 - Anita Bundy
2002 - Pam DiPasquale-Lehnerz
2003 - Dottie Davis
2004 - Lucy Jane Miller
2005 - Susan Zekert
2006 - Becky Robler
2007 - Terry Hawkins
2008 - Susan Woodmansee
2009 - Janice Hinds
2010 - Not awarded
2011 - Not awarded
2012 -  Not awarded
2013 - Pat McKenna
2014 - Karen Atler
2015 - Audrey Aguilar
2016- Suzanne Holm
2017 - Terri Cassidy 
2018 - Patty Stutz-Tanenbaum
2019 - Lucy Bosio
2020 - Bailey LeBoeuf Johnson

2021 - Valerie Kline


2021 Agatha Jackson COTA Award of Excellence Recipient 


Amber Sand is a COTA who has been extremely active in the OTAC community for years.  She served as a past chairperson of the Membership Services committee, and now serves at the NBCOT liaison to OTAC.

In addition to her advocacy and service to OTAC and NBCOT, Amber is known as a passionate, experienced professor by her students.  Many younger therapists and therapy assistants look up to her as a role model of active professional engagement and service at the local, state, and national levels.  She has donated countless hours to OTAC in her career and inspired her students to become more active in professional governance. 

On a personal note, her passion as my professor sparked my own interest in joining OTAC as a student representative and to later serve as the Chairperson for the Communications Committee!  As with many others, my own career and professional development have been greatly aided by observing her active engagement and leadership style.

Based on Amber’s contributions and dedication to the field of OT, to OTAC, and to NBCOT, I am honored to recognize her as the 2021 Agatha Jackson COTA Award of Excellence recipient

Past Recipients of the Agatha Jackson COTA Award 

1986 - Lorraine Holden

1988 - Lynn Hoppe
1989 - Susan Johnson
1992 - Genita Maun
1993 - Helen Wetzel
1994 - Shirley Marino
1995 - Pat Webb
1998 - Christine Newell
2003 - Melissa Riehl
2004 - Barbara Lanning
2005 - Laura Carver
2006 - Gerald Valdez
2007 - Stephanie Rae Dionisio
2008 - Will O’Hearn
2009 - Bill Tiffany
2010 - Shannon Michel
2011 - Craig Dauer
2012 - Not Awarded
2013 - Not Awarded
2014 - Not Awarded
2017 - Linda Wilks
2018 - Patty Fantauzzo
2020 - Meghan Weber
2021 - Amber Sand

Agatha Jackson COTA Award of Excellence 

Nominations must be made by an OTAC member?  Yes.
Nominee must be an OTAC member? No.

Self-nomination allowed?  No.
Multiple winners possible?  No.


This award is specific to certified occupational therapy assistants (COTA) and was established to honor Agatha Jackson, a vital contributor to the OT profession in Colorado.  It recognizes a COTA for excellence in the areas of practice, education, and/or community service. 

The recipient of the prior year’s Agatha Jackson Award of Excellence traditionally speaks at OTAC’s state conference the following year.


Marjorie Ball Award of Merit

Nominee must be an OTAC member? No.
Nominations must be made by an OTAC member? Yes.
Self-nomination allowed? No.
Multiple winners possible? No.

This award is presented to an outstanding occupational therapist (OT/OTR) whose contributions have made a compelling and significant impact on the profession of OT in Colorado. This award is the highest honor that can be awarded by the Occupational Therapy Association of Colorado (OTAC) and has only been awarded to 40 Colorado OTs in over half a century.

This Award of Merit honors Marjorie Ball, who was the head of Colorado State University's (CSU) Department of Occupational Therapy for 21 years. In addition to her work developing the CSU OT program into one of the largest of its type in the country, she had a rich legacy of academia and practice. Her career included work at Firmin Desloge Hospital and Miriam Convalescent Hospital in Missouri. She served for several years as Chief of OT at Bushnell General Hospital in Utah and at Wakeman Convalescent Hospital in Indiana. Additionally, she spent a sabbatical year lecturing and working at l'Ecole d'Ergotherapie, Hôpital des Enfants Malades in Paris, as well as at La Clinique de Recuperation Fonctionelle, Les Charmilles in Valenton, France.

The recipient of the prior year’s Marjorie Ball Award of Merit traditionally speaks at OTAC’s annual state conference the following year.


OT-OTA Partnership Award

Nominee must be an OTAC member?  No.
Nominations must be made by an OTAC member?  Yes.
Self-nomination allowed?  No.
Multiple winners possible?  No.

This award recognizes an effective partnership between an occupational therapist (OT/OTR) and a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA).  This partnership must advance the OT profession, exemplify teamwork, and promote quality client service.


Recognition Awards 

Nominations must be made by an OTAC member?  Yes.
Nominee must be an OTAC member?  No.

Self-nomination allowed?  No.
Multiple winners possible?  Yes.

The Recognition Award acknowledges an individual or organization’s dedication to and support of the profession of occupational therapy (OT) in the state of Colorado.  The individual or organization does not need to be made up of medical professionals in order to be nominated for a Recognition Award.  Recognition Awards are an excellent way to recognize hard work done by non-OT colleagues to advance OT from a policy, educational, marketing, or practice perspective!

Past Recognition Awards have been given to:

2012 - Pueblo Community College faculty
2018 - Dr. Barbara Hooper
2018 - Jeni Finnigan
2018 - Melissa Sixta
2018 - Mandy Chamberlin
2020 - State Representative Johnathan Singer


Dottie Davis Service Awards 

Nominations must be made by an OTAC member?  Yes (must currently serve or have served in the past on an OTAC committee/board)
Nominee must be an OTAC member? Yes (must currently serve on OTAC committee/board).

Self-nomination allowed?  No.
Multiple winners possible? Yes. 

This OTAC staff-specific award was established in honor of Dottie Davis, a valuable and influential member of our occupational therapy (OT) community.  The Dottie Davis Service Award acknowledges individuals who have dedicated a significant amount of effort to developing and furthering the mission of the Occupational Therapy Association of Colorado (OTAC).  Nominations for this award can be made by individuals who are currently serving or have served in an official role within OTAC.  Similarly, the nominee must have served in a past or present official capacity within OTAC.


ABOUT OTAC

OTAC is the Occupational Therapy Association of Colorado. It is a non-profit organization that strives to increase the quality of care and level of professionalism to the practice of OT in Colorado.

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