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EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS OPEN THROUGH JULY 31ST!

Presenter Biographies 

Picture of Amy Mayer


Presenter:  
Amy Mayer, OTD, OTR/L, RYT
Presentation: Integrating Objective Posture Assessment and Cueing into Occupational Based Practice: An Opportunity Often Missed!

Amy Mayer OTD, OTR/L, RYT has helped improve the lives of people with pain for over three decades. She is an advanced myofascial release practitioner using the Barnes technique. She combines this skill with her doctorate level training as an occupational therapist, and certifications in yoga, holistic stress management, Reiki and natural movement. During her career she has been recognized for her excellence in teaching, and leadership in wellness programming. Her passion is sharing the research related to fascia and how it is changing occupational therapy practice.

Picture of Holly Ross


Presenter:
Presenter: Holly Ross, OTR/L,WSI, LTP, ATRIC
Presentation: It's Going Swimmingly: Occupational Therapy with a Focus on Aquatics, Pediatrics & Entrepreneurship

Holly Ross is an OT that graduated from Eastern Michigan University in August 2018 with a combined bachelors in science and masters in Occupational Therapy degrees. In February of 2020, Holly opened her practice and unexpectedly grew it into her brand; CANOE. Holly will be presenting and highlighting one of her specialties; Aquatics. Approaching 15 years in the field of aquatics, she has innovated the field to not just consider orthopedics, but prevent drowning, improve family bonds, and achieve occupational flow. Licensed with Michigan & Colorado for occupational therapy, and nationally licensed as a water safety instructor & licensed training provider with the American Red Cross, Holly will show you what aquatics could hold for your daily practice. Are you ready to make a splash?

Picture of Heidi Kungi


Presenter:
Heidi Kungi, OTD, OTR/L
Presentation:  Advocating for the OT Profession + 2024 State/National Legislation Update

Heidi is a Colorado native. She attended CSU in Fort Collins for her undergraduate degree and Creighton University, Regis Pathway for her graduate degree. She graduated from Creighton University in 2021. She has been involved in OTAC as a student and continues to be a part of organization as the current Public Policy chair.



Photo of Kylie
Presentation:
You are CAPABLE - Enhancing Home Safety Through Modification: A Panel Discussion and Experience
Presenter: 

- Kylie Sleeth, MS, OTR/L, LSVT BIG Certified
- Jodi Johnson MOT, OTR/L
- Ian Chevier OTR/L, CAPS.

Kylie Sleeth, OTR/L earned her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina in 2013.  Kylie was an Emerging Leader for AOTA from 2015-2016 focusing on student engagement, participation and resources for new practitioners.  She has served as the Professional Development and Education Chair for the Occupational Therapy Association of Colorado for two terms. Kylie has the passion for working with the older adult and geriatric population with experience in inpatient rehab, home health, skilled nursing facility and outpatient therapy.  She has completed the Certified Living in Place Professional training and has her LSVT Big Certification. Kylie co-owns Thrive! Therapy which is a mobile outpatient therapy company providing OT, PT, and SLP services to older adults in the Denver Metro area. She enjoys being a Fieldwork Educator, leadership in many capacities, working out, being outside, and spending time with her family.

Picture of Katy Owens
Presenter:
Katy Owens, OTR/L
Presentation: Working Through Grief in People with Chronic Pain and Chronic Illness

Katy is a graduate of Colorado State University, as well as a Coast Guard veteran. She is currently an acute care occupational therapist, and also owns her own mobile outpatient OT business. Katy specializes in mental health and pain management, and is working towards completion of the Therapeutic Pain Specialist certification.





Presenter: Sarah Putt, OTR/L
Presentation: Building Your Occupational Therapy Business: From OT Practitioner to OTPreneur


Sarah Putt is a licensed and certified occupational therapist with over 15 years of experience. She is the founder and clinical director of Sarah Bryan Therapy which specializes in therapy interventions and assessments in the home environment and primarily works with children from birth to 3 years of age. Sarah is the host and creator of OT 4 Lyfe, as well as a co-founder of OTPreneur, where she supports OT practitioners who want to start their own OT businesses.



Presenter:
Becky Kinnison, OTD, OTR/L
Presentation: 
Stroke Penalty: Addressing the Handicap Women Face after CVA

Becky Kinnison is a 2009 graduate of the Creighton University. After graduation focused her practice on adult physical rehabilitation in Omaha for 12 years primarily in acute rehab working with patients with a variety of neurological diagnoses. While working in this setting she developed quick vision assessments and treatment programming for the neurological population and continued to support it throughout her time in acute rehab. During her clinical career, she also served as a Neuro Fellow Mentor and a Coordinator of Clinical Education. She joined Creighton University in 2022 as an Assistant Professor and Academic Clinical Education Coordinator. She currently serves the state of Nebraska by being on the Nebraska Stroke Task Force and as the Vice President of NeuroRehabilitation (NOTA). She continues to serve as a clinic and faculty mentor for the Neurology fellowship and is a faculty moderator for the inter-professional Neruorehabilitation Organization at Creighton. She is fueled to see therapists (future and current) fall in love with neurorehabilitation and is dedicated to continuing to grow this area of practice.

Presenter: Carla Wilhite, PPOTD, OTR/L
Presentation: Regenerative Occupation: Human and Planet Health Practices

Carla is an occupational therapist who has been practicing for almost 25 years. She has a BFA in painting and drawing, BS in occupational therapy, Master of Nonprofit Management, and post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy for advanced practice. She states, "Most importantly for this proposal: I am a person with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression. Recovery happens.... on a daily basis. Through my occupational therapist mind, I have been thoughtful about the world and the impact of our human occupations on planet health. I propose regenerative occupation as a means to restore planet health in small individual ways while healing the fractured places in human hearts. For me, regeneration happens in a kayak on a river in the desert canyons, finding a new pace of life while seeking the merging of my paddle strokes into the laminar flow of water, until it is effortless. Easier said than done. But if I find this merging, I become more open to discover the birds, plants, and critters who call this piece of the world home.'


Presenter:
Janell Pisenga, PhD, OTR/L, CSRS
Presentation: 
How to Address Mental Health in Neurorehabilitation Occupational Therapy

Dr. Janell Pisegna is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Colorado State University. Dr. Pisegna’s research interests center on helping rehabilitation practitioners implement evidence based rehabilitative care as part of their routine practice. Dr. Pisegna is especially interested in supporting clinicians in rural practice settings where barriers such as limited time and access to specialty medical care disparately impact these communities. Dr. Pisegna has been a practicing occupational therapist for over 7 years with expertise in adult and older adult rehabilitation and has numerous publications and presentations.


Presenter:
Virginia Spielman, PhD, OTR/L

Presentation: Table-Top Role Playing Games as Meaningful Occupation Part 1 & 2

Virginia obtained her BSc in Occupational Therapy in Oxford England (2002), and her MS OT in the USA in 2018, she obtained her PhD in Early Childhood Development with an emphasis on mental health, with Fielding Graduate University, in Santa Barbara in 2021. Virginia has considerable post-graduate training, she is certified on the SIPT and a DIR/Floortime Expert Level Training Leader and parent coach.

Virginia is a well-travelled speaker, coach and educator on topics including sensory integration, DIR/Floortime┬«, child development and infant mental health.  Virginia is a founder and former Clinical Director of SPOT (Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy) Interdisciplinary Children's Therapy Center in Hong Kong, where she led a large and widely respected inter-disciplinary team. Virginia is part of the Interdisciplinary Council for Development and Learning (ICDL) advisory board as a clinical consultant. Her extensive pediatric experience includes supporting children on the autism spectrum, as well as those with differences in sensory integration and processing, infant mental health issues, adoption, acquired brain injury, neurodevelopmental differences and those who have experienced developmental trauma. She is a co-developer of Critical Core a therapeutic role playing game designed to support social flourishing in youth who struggle with confidence and competence in social situations. She is also co-designer of the Palaana Sensory Lounger with Slack Lifestyle.


Presenters:

- Melissa Oberg, MOT, OTR/L
- Jenny Naylor, OTD, OTR/L 

Presentation: The OT Obstetric Evaluation Experience

Melissa Oberg, MOT, OTR/L, currently practices in an acute care setting at a Level 1 Trauma Center. Over the last year, she worked alongside Jenny Naylor, a doctoral student completing her capstone, to create and implement an obstetric therapy program to support the birthing center. The successful launch of this program was supported by Melissa’s foundation and pelvic floor education through Herman and Wallace and Lindsey Vestal, as well as a robust OT experience through four years of practice in a variety of settings. Melissa’s passion for OT in pelvic health and obstetrics is second only to her desire to empower others to feel the same.


Presenter:
Terri Cassidy, OTD, OTR/L, CDRS
Presentation: Fitness to Drive for Youth with Neurodivergence

Terri Cassidy, OTD, OTR/L, CDRS is an occupational therapist, certified driver rehab specialist and the founder of Fitness to Drive. She completed her occupational therapy graduate work at Colorado State University and received her clinical doctorate from the University of Utah. Terri has held leadership roles as president of the Colorado ADED chapter, the Colorado representative to AOTA's Representative Assembly, and co-facilitator of the Fitness to Drive Community of Practice through the AOTA Special Interest Sections. She has been honored to receive the Marjorie Ball Award from OTAC and the Innovative and Emerging Practice Award from AOTA and the Distinguished Alumna Award from Colorado State University.


Presenter:
Suzanne Briggs, OTD, Remedial Vision Certified
Presentation: Remedial Vision in the Kitchen: Occupational Therapy's Role Treating Vision Deficits After TBI

Suzanne Briggs, OTD, OTR/L, has practiced occupational therapy in multiple settings throughout her 20-year career and currently works at a hospital-based outpatient rehabilitation clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her passion for treating patients with vision limitations has led her to develop the remedial vision program at her clinic, where she provides treatment in collaboration with neuro-optometrists. Suzanne received her Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree from Salus University in 2023 with a certification in remedial vision rehabilitation (Summa Cum Laude and Alumni Association Award for Top Graduate). Suzanne has presented as a guest lecturer at local brain injury support groups, universities, and hospital professionals. She presented a remedial vision and outcome measures course for continuing education units at VISCON2024: Vision Rehab Summit with CIAO.


Presenters:
- Joanna Watson, MS OTR/L
- Anna Keough, MOT, OTRL, CBIS, ECDCS
Presentation: No Arm Left Behind

Joanna Watson has been an OT since 2013 and has worked in just about every setting possible as an OT.  She states, "I am a fierce OT with a passion for the patient. I will go above or beyond to come up with creative solutions that includes fabrication of products that are functional to meet the patients’ goal, as well as integrating a holistic approach that maintains healthy expectations for the patients/families with love and grace." She is currently working at Craig Hospital on the Brain Injury floor on the inpatient side of the hospital. She has been employed at Craig for 8 years and continues to grow her creative solutions with the support of a fantastic model system hospital.



Presenter:
Gwyneth Jones, OTA and Certified Personal Trainer
Presentation:  Don't Let Incontinence Run Your Life, Build Your Own Agency

Gwyneth is an Occupational Therapy Assistant and Certified Personal Trainer (American Council on Exercise). She currently runs a wellness coaching practice for Pelvic Floor health through her business Body in Freedom (bodyinfreedom.com) and teaches Pelvicore Yoga Fusion fitness classes through South Suburban Parks and Recreation in the south Denver metro area. As a member of Global Pelvic Academy, she has furthered her education and has received CEUs in the following topics: Pelvic pain: Understanding the full scope of differentials. Pudendal neuralgia and entrapment, Endometriosis. Essential information. Endometriosis and Nutrition. Diastasis Recti and Postpartum Exercise, Assessments and treatment. Pelvic floor Muscle Dysfunction. Pelvic pain. Tailbone pain. Persistent Genital Arousal; Vulvar Lichen Sclerosis. Understanding and treating Male Pelvic Pain During Sex.

She has received certifications in Female Chain Reaction and 3-D MAPS (through the Gray Institute), Senior Fitness Specialist (ACE) and BASI Pilates mat instructor.

She started her business, Body in Freedom, after recognizing the huge need to empower clients and patients to take control of their own pelvic floor health using a combination of holistic exercise, education and empowerment through principals of psychosocial support and action (largely through the ACT model). Her programs are designed for the general population, but can be graded for rehab and therapeutic populations as well.


Presenter: Kit Elstad (they/them)
Presentation: 
Explore the Day: Using photography to explore the world around you.

Originally from Syracuse, NY, Kit and their family made the move to Colorado last year to be closer to the mountains that they love to explore and photograph. Kit is a Library Media Specialist in the Poudre School District and was a Librarian in the Syracuse City School district for 11 years prior to that where they also ran the Adventures Education Program for the Expeditionary Learning Middle School. In that role they had the distinct pleasure of taking students on adventures where they got to step outside their comfort zones to go camping, hiking, and complete ropes courses. One of Kit’s proudest accomplishments was making sure that these experiences were accessible to all students. Over the past few years Kit has delved into photography as a way to continue to engage with the outdoors and nature while dealing with chronic illnesses and limited mobility and is always looking for ways to share that passion with others. 

Kit is a 2012 Graduate of Syracuse University (SU) with their Masters in Library and Information Science: School Media and has a Certificate of Advanced Study from SU in Cultural Heritage Preservation (2017) and a Certificate of Advanced Study from Montana State University in Native American Studies (2020). Their goal is to always fuel curiosity in themselves and others and help people find the adventure in the everyday. 


Presenter: Krista Covell-Pierson, OTR/L, BCM-PMD
Presentation: Stop Fearing Success: An Occupational Therapist's Approach to Entrepreneurship

A Colorado native, CSU graduate in social work and occupational therapy, Krista Covell-Pierson created an innovative private practice to serve people of all ages in their most meaningful environments. This includes their homes, places of work, grocery stores, community centers, and even right on public transportation. A creative entrepreneur, she has been Fieldwork Educator of the Year for CSU, received her board certification in pelvic muscle dysfunction, and raises awareness for the importance of community-based practice. Not only is she passionate for her patients and practice, but also for the therapists she works with. She believes in helping them reach their professional, as well as personal, goals. Seeing therapists become entrepreneurs is one of her greatest joys.


Presenter:
Lisa Fyffe
Presentation: Access Barriers for Young Children within the Early Intervention and Universal Pre-Kindergarten System in Colorado

Dr. Lisa Fyffe joined the CSU Occupational Therapy Department as an Assistant Professor in 2012 and developed the pediatric curriculum for the Occupational Therapy Doctorate. Dr. Fyffe has extensive pediatric experience, having worked in primary and secondary education, outpatient pediatric therapy, in-home private pediatric practice, Level IIIA Neonate Intensive Care Unit, and early childhood education. Dr. Fyffe is an expert in play-based learning as an inclusive early childhood education pedagogy for supporting diverse learners and optimizing children’s readiness for school. Dr. Fyffe’s current research explores embedded models of occupational therapy practice within early childhood education, with an emphasis on equitable and inclusive developmental support for young children enrolled in private childcare centers.


Presenter: 
Hannah Pfeifer, OTR/L, CTRP-C
Presentation: The Impact of Occupational Therapists on Social-Emotional Development in Children and Adolescents

Hannah is a dedicated pediatric occupational therapist who graduated from the University of Kansas Medical Center. With certifications as a Clinical Trauma and Resilience Practitioner, Hannah has also pursued advanced training in the treatment of anxiety for children and teens, toddler behavior management, and emotional regulation. Additionally, she is certified to administer both the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and the Autism Diagnostic Interview.

Hannah owns and operates three pediatric therapy clinics in Castle Rock and Parker, Colorado, known as Fyzical Therapy.

Passionate about the belief that social-emotional intelligence forms the foundation of all development, Hannah strives to bring greater awareness to the crucial role of occupational therapists within the mental health space. Committed to fostering the well-being and potential of young individuals, Hannah continues to advocate for the integration of occupational therapy in comprehensive mental health care.


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.

Have a feedback or need more help?                                    Email: info@otacco.org

CONTACT

Email: info@otacco.org 



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