“It's just surreal,” says Heather Porter in her office on a sunny spring day. Sunlight streamed through a thin window facing Broad Street, illuminating the awards, diplomas, elegant plants and art, and family photos that crowd her office. The juxtaposition is clear but casual, as if the personal and professional fit hand in glove. Much like Porter herself.
Occupational Therapy News
On Friday, April 7, the College of Public Health hosted about 70 students from four Philadelphia School District schools for a public health career information day in celebration of National Public Health Week. Students had opportunities to engage in hands-on activities and learn about the skills used by practitioners of public health, athletic training, nursing, and therapeutic recreation.
You’re new to the U.S. and know hardly anyone. You have a child on the autism spectrum – a neurological difference that is entirely new to you – who is learning to communicate and learning English with you. You learn that you are entitled to receive educational and therapeutic services, and you are thrust into a complicated network of information, providers, and paperwork.
Christine Hischmann has practiced occupational therapy in mental health settings for most of her 42-year career. A leader in establishing occupational therapy services in community mental health, Hischmann launched programs in Philadelphia and in northeastern Pennsylvania. She’s also served as director of occupational therapy at Clarks Summit State Hospital in Lackawanna County and was a founding member of the OT faculty at Misericordia University, where she served as department chair from 1996 to 1999.
"Temple embodies the idea of community practice...of rolling up your sleeves and getting out to where the patients are--which is the heart of the profession," says Schemm.
"Temple's legacy is that it equips students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be leaders in their profession," says Donna Weiss, professor emeritus of occupational therapy at Temple. "When you look at leaders in occupational therapy education, research and practice--and that's nationally and regionally--you'll see that a lot of them are Temple-made."
Jessica Kilpatrick came to Temple with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Shippensburg University. As an OT with CORA Services in Philadelphia, she works with children at diverse area schools. She completed her master’s in OT in 2013. We talked with her as part of our celebration of Temple OT's 50th anniversary.
The College of Public Health partnered with the Philadelphia 76ers to host a Bounce Out the Stigma autism awareness clinic on Saturday, March 18. The three-hour clinic brought 30 kids on the autism spectrum to Temple’s Pearson Hall for drills in passing, shooting, and dribbling. About 20 graduate students from the Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech-Language-Hearing programs assisted throughout the afternoon’s activities.
You could say it’s been Beth Pfeiffer’s year. In addition to teaching courses and maintaining a clinical pediatric practice, the associate professor is involved in several funded research projects, received the highest honor of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, and was recently named a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Her latest project: a program to get more young adults with autism on the move.