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MOT Program Admits First Class of Students

RADFORD -- Radford University welcomed its inaugural class of Master of Occupational Therapy students this fall term. President Penelope W. Kyle, Provost Wilbur Stanton and Dean Raymond Linville, key players in bringing occupational therapy education to RU, were all present to express their good wishes at the new program’s orientation session on August 31.

RU began investigating the potential for an MOT program in the late 1990s, when Stephen Heater, a national leader in the profession, served as Dean of the Waldron College of Health and Human Services. Current university administrators worked for two years with local health care providers and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, to earn state approval for the program in 2008. The American Council for Occupational Therapy Education awarded it Developing Program Status in April 2009.

During the following spring and summer, a 3800 square-foot space in Waldron Hall was remodeled and equipped to facilitate experiential learning. It includes a fully furnished ADL/IADL apartment and a simulated clinic.  Three full-time faculty joined Founding Department Chair Dr. Douglas M. Mitchell and Clinical Director Dr. Cynthia Creighton in August. Dr. Brittney Heinrich, who teaches psychosocial practice courses, relocated from Southern California. Ms. Vesna Costello and Ms. Sheila Krajnik, both experienced therapists and residents of SW Virginia, teach in the areas of pediatric practice and adult and geriatric rehabilitation respectively.

The new MOT program addresses a shortage of occupational therapists in the rural Southwestern area of Virginia. In keeping with its mission of service to the region, the program’s curriculum includes a practicum course in every term. Practicum students will work with faculty mentors to provide services to persons in local communities who would not otherwise have access to occupational therapy.

Nov. 3, 2009
Contact: Chad Osborne (caosborne@radford.edu; 540-831-7761)

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