Location: Western slope
Contact: Lindsey Trott, Melissa Mattner & Victoria Warnaar
Melissa was born and raised in Southwest Lower Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Management from Spring Arbor University, her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University and is currently a doctoral candidate in the DHSc program at the University of Indianapolis.
She fell in love with the Western Slope while completing a travel contract in 2012 and was finally able to fulfill her dream to become a Colorado resident, moving here in 2017. With 10 years of OT experience, she also brings a passion for addressing feeding and developmental issues in the 0-3-year-old population.
Her research interest for her dissertation is how occupational therapists can become a more integral and safe part of feeding interventions. She is also interested in how OTs can give postpartum support to parents following a traumatic birth and NICU experience. When Melissa isn't busy spending time with patients, or working on school, she can be found spending time outdoors enjoying skiing, cycling, and hiking. On gloomy days, you might find her knitting, reading, or binging "The Great British Bake Off" on Netflix. She resides in Montrose with her daughter, Avery, and her partner, Eric.
Lindsey became an occupational therapist in 2018 as her second career after being a special education teacher in Houston, TX. She earned her B.A. in Sociology & Studio Art from Rice University, her M.Ed. from the University of St. Thomas, and her M.O.T. from Texas Woman’s University – Houston Center where she completed her level I fieldwork assignments in the Texas Medical Center.
She moved to Colorado to complete her level II fieldwork assignments for her M.O.T. degree. She trained in Denver at a subacute rehabilitation facility and then at an inclusive preschool. Her first job as a licensed practitioner was working PRN in acute care in Frisco at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center.
She now lives on the Western Slope where she loves working with patients of all ages in inpatient care, outpatient clinics, and community settings. She is currently working toward her post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree (OTD) at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. When not studying or practicing occupational therapy, you can find Lindsey quilting, skiing, or watching gymnastics. She looks forward to connecting with other occupational therapy practitioners in the region.
Tori was born in Canada but spent most of her formative years in the Midwest. As a result, she has a soft spot for lake-life and cheese curds!
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Education, with a concentration in Social Studies, from Augustana College (Rock Island, IL). After college graduation, she secured a job teaching public school history in the somewhat rural Quad Cities, on the border of IL/IA. This agricultural hub is the birthplace of John Deere tractors. Tori loved teaching middle and high school students, but noticed the needs of these diverse learners were, at times, left unmet. Her quest to reach all students resulted in her stumbling upon the world of occupational therapy, and she realized this fun(!)ctional career, with its focus on adaptation/compensation, was a path she needed to further explore.
Therefore, after a few years of teaching, she temporarily set aside that profession to transition into graduate school. She completed her Doctor of Occupational Therapy at Huntington University in Fort Wayne, IN. For her Doctoral Capstone, she got adventurous and taught adaptive skiing with the Keystone Adaptive Center, modifying lesson techniques and ski equipment so learners of all physical and mental abilities could successfully navigate the ski hill. Little did she know, this project would also ensure she got much better at conquering moguls herself! It also began her love affair with the great state of Colorado.
Once she completed her OTD, she was intent on working and living near the mountains. She was honored with the opportunity to work at a Level II trauma center and, for the past 5 years, has worked on the Western Slope as an acute care OT at this region's largest and highest-acuity medical center. That job gave her the chance to really expand her OT skill set, and she soon found herself treating the critically ill, especially patients undergoing mechanical ventilation or post-neurological trauma. She spent most of her days on the ICU and as a charge therapist. She loved her time there, and further advanced her practice by participating in her hospital-network's Critical Care Special Interest Group, as well as undergoing certification as a Brain Injury Specialist.
Her desire to synthesize her prior experience as an educator, with her practice skills as an OT, led her back to teaching, but this time, within Higher Education. She began teaching as an adjunct at Colorado Mesa University with the Kinesiology Department in 2020. In 2021, she joined CMU full-time as an Assistant Professor in their developing MSOT Program. Currently, she is thrilled to be (very!) busy building courses in preparation for the matriculation of the MSOT program's first cohort. When she's not reading textbooks and developing syllabi, she likes to hike with her dog, downhill ski, and volunteer within her community.
Check out our calendar to see when the next District meeting is scheduled!