Speaker Bios

1A - Megan Warfield Kimball, OTR/L, OTDMegan has been a licensed OT for the past 8 years. She began her career as a traveling occupational therapist in Texas and Iowa. She has been working in home care in Minnesota for the past 6 years for Home Health Care Incorporated out of Golden Valley. She recently graduated from St. Catherine University with an occupational therapy doctorate.

1B - Mary Vining Radomski, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA - Mary Vining Radomski is a senior scientific adviser at the Courage Kenny Research Center. She graduated from the OT program at the University of Minnesota, where she later obtained a PhD in Educational Psychology (Learning and Cognition). Mary has received funding from the Department of Defense for research related to assessment and intervention after mild traumatic brain injury and served as the principal investigator on the 2 studies that will be discussed in this presentation.

Ginger Carroll, MS, OT/L - Ginger Carroll is a research project coordinator at the Courage Kenny Research Center. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Ginger worked as an occupational therapist in a variety of physical disabilities settings prior to joining the Courage Kenny Research Center. Ginger is a co-investigator in an on-going study of the Charge of Quarters Duty Test and the recently completed Front Desk Duty study.

Amy Meyers, OTR/LAmy Meyers is an occupational therapist at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute - Mercy Hospital. Amy is a co-investigator in an on-going study of the Charge of Quarters Duty Test and the recently completed Front Desk Duty study.

Romina Takimoto, MS, OTR/LRomina Takimoto is an occupational therapist at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute - United Hospital. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and a co-investigator in the recently completed Front Desk Duty study.  

1C - Laurie Carlson - Community Outreach Coordinator with Can Do CaninesI have been employed with Can Do Canines for 20 years and speak to groups on the subject of service dogs. I have attended dog behavior seminars, Assistance Dogs International (ADI) international conferences and disability awareness seminars frequently over the years I've worked at Can Do Canines.

1D -  Lindsay Marth, MA, OTR/L, BCPR, TPS Lindsay Marth, MA, OTR/L, BCPR, TPS graduated from the University of MN with a BS in biology and completed her graduate work at St Catherine University (SCU) in 2008. After working in community mental health for 5 years, she joined the Minneapolis VA in 2013 to be part of a multi-disciplinary team hired to build their comprehensive pain center. She is currently working as a pain clinical specialist and the OT Clinical Education Coordinator for the Minneapolis VA. She also serves as adjunct faculty for SCU in their weekend MAOT program and does work as a contract faculty for International Spine and Pain Institute (ISPI). She completed her certification as a Therapeutic Pain Specialist through ISPI/EIM in 2016 and in 2018 she received her AOTA board certification in physical rehabilitation.

Tonya Rich, PhD, OTR/L - Tonya Rich, PhD, OTR/L graduated from the University of ND with a BS in Occupational Therapy, completed her master's degree at St. Mary's University of Minnesota, and PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Minnesota in 2017. She practiced in specialty pediatrics for nearly 20 years which motivated her research in novel rehabilitation pairing non-invasive brain stimulation and motor training. She has now joined the Minneapolis Adaptive Design & Engineering research group at the Minneapolis VA in 2018. She is currently working in clinical research to understand phantom limb pain and design new interventions using non-invasive brain stimulation and technology. Her work as a clinician brings a unique perspective to her research with Veterans.

1E - Wendy Ann Tomhave OTR/LWendy Ann Tomhave is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist with 27 years clinical experience in pediatric orthopedics and clinical research at Shriners Healthcare for Children – Twin Cities. She graduated in 1988 from Saint Catherine University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Occupational Therapy which included a specialized internship in Hand Rehabilitation. Her career began at Abbott Northwestern Hospital working with adults in hand therapy, long-term rehabilitation and acute care before narrowing her interest to pediatric orthopedics at Shriners Healthcare for Children – Twin Cities in 1992.In 1998, her quest for knowledge and desire to understand upper limb prosthetic preferences lead her to combine clinical research with providing Occupational Therapy services. She published the first of her nine publications in 2002. In addition, she is coauthor for a book chapter on congenital hand differences in Elsevier’s Rehabilitation of the Hand. Her background enabled her to become a leading expert in upper limb assessment and she co-developed and standardized two hand function evaluations: the Unilateral Below Elbow Test (U-BET) that measures how children missing one hand function with and without a prosthesis; and the Thumb Grasp and Pinch assessment (T-GAP) which rates how the hand formulates grasp and pinch during nine age appropriate tasks. Her expertise includes conservative rehabilitation and post-operative treatment of children with upper extremity orthopedic conditions with an emphasis in hemiplegic cerebral palsy, arthrogryposis, radial longitudinal deficiency and congenital hand differences.

1F - Bryden Giving, MOT, OTR/LBryden Giving is a recent graduate with a Masters of Occupational Therapy degree coupled with experience in research, evidence-based practice, and occupation-centered treatments for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Bryden aims to pursue a Doctorate in Public Health within four to five years with a concentration in health equity and social justice as well as continue to advocate for a strengths-based approach when treating pediatric clients.

Keynote Speaker: Carli Braun Kody, Ph.D., L.P. - Dr. Carli Kody is a licensed psychologist in private practice. She specializes in helping people cultivate mental health, courage, and resilience in their everyday lives. Her professional background includes over 19 years of counseling, teaching, and research experience. Dr. Kody is a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator (CDWF), trained on applications of Dr. Brené Brown’s research. She participates in ongoing training in this area, as a member of the Daring Way™ professional organization. Dr. Kody facilitates The Daring Way™ in her work with individual clients, small groups, and larger organizations. In addition, Dr. Kody is a Trained Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), an empirically-supported, training program designed to cultivate the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion. She values the cohesiveness of The Daring Way™ and MSC for cultivating resilience in people’s lives.

2A - Theresa Burns,OTR Clinical Specialist - Theressa Burns is the Clinical Occupational Therapist Specialist for the Geriatric Research, Education & Clinical Center (GRECC) at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. She is author of the Cognitive Performance Test (CPT), a widely used standardized assessment is occupational therapy.

2B - Peter Freeborn, PT, DPT   Peter Freeborn, PT, DPT is a physical therapist at a 450+ bed Level 1 Trauma hospital in Saint Paul, MN with acute, inpatient, outpatient, aquatic and rehab experience. His focus has been on inpatient rehab with patients who have primarily endured significant trauma such as amputation or spinal cord injury These patients often have difficulty adjusting to their new situation. In his practice with them, the skills of alliance building became apparent and essential. He was often delegated the patients who were defiant, offensive, or likely to become violent. Of the thousands of patients, only an obstinate few did not achieve a workable rapport. It is his goal to never have another patient leave without a positive connection. He has a passion for educating. He has taught these skills to his peers with salient results. He also teaches Think First, a brain and spinal cord injury course to teens as a part of their driver’s education course. He has provided guest lectures at local Twin Cities universities’ Doctor of Physical Therapy programs. He presented information on Burns, Amputees and Rehab at the 2018 Midwest Regional Burn Conference.

2C - Teresa Glass, MAHS, OTR/L, ATPA Graduate of St. Kates, Teresa has been an occupational therapist for 35 years, with work experience in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, home care and the schools. She lived in Bolivia, South America for 7 years where she founded/directed Community-based Rehabilitation and Community-based special education services for more than 350 children with disabilities. She obtained a Masters in Holistic Health studies. He previous experiences inform her work daily. Teresa has worked with St. Paul Public Schools for the past11 years, most recently serving students in middle and high schools and working on the Assistive Technology Team. She is nationally certified as an Assistive Technology Professional.    

2D - Brandi French,OTR/L, MOT, CLTBrandi French OTR/L, MOT, CLT Graduated from North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) in 2000 with her associates degrees in Occupational Therapy transferred to the University of North Dakota (UND) where she graduated in 2004 with her Master’s degree, and Completed Lymphedema certification in 2009. Brandi has been a Director of Rehab for four nursing home facilities simultaneously, along with working in multiple other OT settings such as Acute Care, Home Health, Out Pt, and Aquatic or pool therapy; all the while working in seven different states as most of her OT career she has been as a traveling therapist. Brandi’s preferred setting of choice is Long Term Care. Brandi has presented at the Williston State College in ND to the nursing students and at the Annual Conference for Minnesota Occupational Therapy Association. Brandi grew up in small town in North Dakota, met her husband of 12 years, who is from Louisiana, while living and working in Wyoming. Brandi is working on a book that will be released later this year she is passionate about Occupational Therapy and sharing her knowledge and inspiration others along the way.

2E - Shaun Conway, OTR, - Shaun Conway is a certified occupational therapist who currently serves as Senior Director, External and Regulatory Affairs for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT®) where he has worked for over 25 years. In this capacity, he is currently responsible for the oversight of organizational functions related to state regulation, international regulatory services and community outreach.

Barbara Williams, DrOT, MS, OTR - Barbara Williams is a certified occupational therapist who currently serves as the Associate Director, in the External and Regulatory Affairs Department for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT®) where she has worked for over 5 years. In this capacity, she is responsible for activities related to state regulation, international regulatory services, and community outreach.

Robin Samuel,OTR/L, MSCS - Communication Award -Robin Samuel has practiced has a licensed occupational therapist in Minnesota for greater than 23 years starting her therapy career at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinics in 1996.  She currently works at University of Minnesota Health with adult outpatients specializing in the assessment and treatment of those with neurological and neuromuscular conditions such as MS, stroke, ALS, MD, Parkinson’s disease, brain injury, as well as other conditions such as cancer rehab.  She obtained her Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy at the University of Minnesota in 1995. She also obtained her Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Specialist through the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers in 2011. She is certified in Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT). She is a Clinical Specialist mentoring colleagues and students, participating in research, and presenting to various patient support groups, clinical teams, and at conferences.  She has written on neuromuscular disease for ALS Insights national on-line newsletter and is the author of a rehabilitation chapter on the role of managing neuromuscular disease for the Clinical Handbook of Neuromuscular Medicine (published 2018). Robin has expertise across the continuum of care treating adults and teens in acute care, acute inpatient rehabilitation and as an outpatient practitioner for 15 years. She also currently works with the ALS Clinic of Excellence at University of Minnesota Health.  Robin’s focus of care is to improve quality of life for individuals by optimizing their functional abilities and resilience.  

3A - Stephanie Bruggman MS OTD OTR - Stephanie Bruggman has been an Occupational Therapist for 25+ years. She received her Bachelors degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of North Dakota. Her Masters was completed through Mount Mary University. The subject of her Master’s was using electronic media to educate early childhood special education teachers regarding hand skill development and interventions for pre-school children with developmental delays. Stephanie obtained her OTD from Mount Mary University in May 2019. Doctoral work focused on -Early Motor Signs of Disordered Development -ASD in at-risk infants and toddlers. Stephanie developed a clinical reasoning tool looking at the early motor indicators contained in current literature. The tool was piloted on a small population of at-risk infants/toddlers and a Typically developing group. The results and future directions for this Doctoral work are the subject of this presentation. Stephanie has worked in pediatrics in multiple settings. throughout her career including the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, Capernaum Pediatric Therapy and Bloomington Schools Early Intervention B-3 Program.

3B - Brenda Frie, EdD, OTR/L, CHT - Brenda Frie is an assistant professor in the MAOT program at St Catherine University. She currently teaches content that supports rehabilitation practice including kinesiology, biomechanical concepts, and interprofessional education. She has practiced as an occupational therapist in mental health, inpatient rehabilitation, and outpatient hand therapy settings. In keeping with these interests, she has published and presented nationally on topics related to interprofessional education and chronic disease management.

Siri Dusek, OTSSiri is a second-year MAOT student at St. Catherine University. She participated in a two-year clinical scholar project at the Minneapolis Veterans Home including implementation of an environmental tool-kit and a review of supporting literature.

Alissa Hynes, OTS Alissa is a second-year MAOT student at St. Catherine University. She participated in a two-year clinical scholar project at the Minneapolis Veterans Home including implementation of an environmental tool-kit and a review of supporting literature.

3C - Erin Sootzke, MOTErin received her Master of Occupational Therapy degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI in 2015. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Occupational Therapy at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In the beginning of her career, she developed a passion for assisting people with neurological impairments reintegrate into the community and improve their quality of life. She currently works with people who have sustained traumatic brain injuries in a community-based setting. Her research interests include neurorehabilitation, supporting occupational therapy’s role in healthcare, and participation in relationships after disability.

3D - Teresa Glass, MAHS, OTR/L, ATP  - A Graduate of St. Kates, Teresa has been an occupational therapist for 35 years, with work experience in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, home care and the schools. She obtained a Masters in Holistic Health studies. Teresa is nationally certified as an Assistive Technology Professional. She lived in Bolivia, South America for 7 years where she founded/directed Community-based Rehabilitation and Community-based special education services for more than 350 children with disabilities. She returns to Bolivia often to collaborate and give lectures on Community-Based Rehabilitation to Doctors, Health Promoters, Community Activists, University Students and others. Teresa is a published author, with the most recent book (published in Spanish in 2014, and English in 2018), called Community-Based Rehabilitation in the Bolivian Amazon. The book has been widely disseminated in Bolivia and other countries of Latina America as a guide for the implementation of Community-Based Rehabilitation programs. She has worked with St. Paul Public Schools for the past 11 years, most recently serving students in middle and high schools and working with students K-12 on the District-wide Assistive Technology Team.

3E - Traci Kruse, OTD, MA, OTR/LDr. Kruse is currently the Director of Experiential Learning at the University of Minnesota. She has practiced clinically in home health for 9 years, and has additional clinical experience in long-term care and transitional care settings. Dr. Kruse is passionate about aging in place and home safety, along with cognition, memory, and maintaining activities of interest through the lifespan. Her research interests include the role of Occupational Therapy in reducing hospitalizations in the home health setting. She is also passionate about community accessibility which can limit a person’s ability to participate in activities of interest. Dr. Kruse has supervised students in the home health setting for both level I and II placements. She understands the challenges and rewards that come with having a student and feels the role of Director of Experiential Learning is more than just placing students in a site and that she is also a support for fieldwork educators, students, and faculty to build on strengths in their roles and guide experiential learning.

Kary Gillenwaters MAKary currently works in a non-clinical role as a health care consultant and program manager where she uses her OT skills to care for the health care team, focused on relationships with self, colleagues, and patients and families. She is passionate about understanding the whole person and increasing understanding and use of relational competence to improve the well-being of clients and the teams that serve them. Her first career as an addiction counselor was foundational to her view that understanding how people make meaning during health challenges is essential when partnering with them to create effective care plans. As an occupational therapist, she has provided services in independent and assisted living, memory care, home health, hospice, long-term care, and school settings in direct provider and management roles. From rural to urban, from pediatrics to geriatrics, and in direct and indirect care, Kary has a passion for identifying and meeting unmet needs, often bridging mental and physical health care, and bringing together multiple disciplines and sectors to address a common goal. Her academic activities include facilitating problem-based learning with beginning OT students. Her guiding belief in working with “challenging” people and situations is that if we are not making progress with them, we just don’t know enough about them yet.

Lisa Garrity MA, OTR/L - Lisa’s journey in the field of occupational therapy began in 2009 when she graduated from St. Catherine University. Her clinical experience focused on adults with a variety of diagnoses in the TCU, SNF, home health and hospice settings. Lisa became interested in the management of swelling and this led her to seek certification as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. Working in Lymphedema management really highlighted the beauty of the holistic approach that OT offers. Lisa learned first-hand about soul therapy and how that type of therapy creates well-being on a variety of levels for a person.Currently, Lisa is still active in the clinical arena, both in traditional OT and Lymphedema. She has since also transitioned into an educational role. This was first through working as an adjunct instructor at Bethel University where she facilitated groups of working professionals from a variety of career backgrounds. An OT at heart, Lisa’s current role combines her passion for therapy and education in her present role as rehab staff development coordinator. Combining education with holistic-centered mentoring, she oversees the orientation and field training of therapists in the fields of lymphedema, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech pathology. When not at work, Lisa enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. 

Paula Metling MA, OTR/L, started her OT career in an outpatient pediatric clinic and school based practice. She balanced between part-time in both settings and full-time in both settings. She eventually saw a need for additional programming for children outside of the traditional outpatient and school settings and started her own private practice, Farm Kids. Farm Kids was created in response to the alarming increase in children presenting with developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, anxiety, and other neurodevelopmental disorders in order to improve successful participation in their daily lives.

3F - Shaun Conway, OTR - Shaun Conway is a certified occupational therapist who currently serves as Senior Director, External and Regulatory Affairs for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT®) where he has worked for over 25 years. In this capacity, he is currently responsible for the oversight of organizational functions related to state regulation, international regulatory services and community outreach.

Barbara Williams, DrOT, MS, OTR - Barbara Williams is a certified occupational therapist who currently serves as the Associate Director, in the External and Regulatory Affairs Department for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT®) where she has worked for over 5 years. In this capacity, she is responsible for activities related to state regulation, international regulatory services, and community outreach.

4A - Jenica Domanico, MA, OTR/L, CLECJenica Domanico is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist (MAOTR/L) and Certified Lactation Educator Counselor (CLEC) with a BA in Psychology. She has multiple years experience working in mental health acute crisis care and is PSI trained in Maternal Mental Health. She is a mother of 3 kids and owner of perinatal rehabilitation business MOM plus ME, LLC where she provides in-home rehabilitation services to pregnant mothers and new mothers. She started her business with the vision to change the dynamic in maternal health care to include physical and mental rehabilitation services for new moms and families to support them in the physical, mental, social, and spiritual recovery from pregnancy, birth, and postpartum complications.

4B - Patricia Schaber, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTAPatricia Schaber was the occupational therapy research coordinator in the Memory Clinic at M Health-Fairview, the clinical arm of the N. Bud Grossman Center for Memory Research and Care. She is an associate professor in the Program in Occupational Therapy at the University of Minnesota. She authored the 2010 edition of Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Adults with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, and a chapter on Dementia in Occupational Therapy in Mental Health: A Vision for Participation. She presently serves on the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council for the Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

4C - Christy Dauner, OTRChristy Dauner and Sue Vaugn are registered occupational therapists with over 25 years of experience working with injured workers - primarily those with musculoskeletal spinal pain. They have performed thousands of OT Functional Assessments and developed an equal number of customized work conditioning programs over the years; and both have extensive training in ergonomics, posture, lifting and body mechanics. In addition, Christy and Sue have completed post-graduate training in Cognitive Behavioral Coaching (CBC) techniques, which they utilize with every patient to address potential psychosocial barriers to pain management.

Susan Vaugn, MS, OTRChristy Dauner and Sue Vaugn are registered occupational therapists with over 25 years of experience working with injured workers - primarily those with musculoskeletal spinal pain. They have performed thousands of OT Functional Assessments and developed an equal number of customized work conditioning programs over the years; and both have extensive training in ergonomics, posture, lifting and body mechanics. In addition, Christy and Sue have completed post-graduate training in Cognitive Behavioral Coaching (CBC) techniques, which they utilize with every patient to address potential psychosocial barriers to pain management.

4D - Kelly Erickson PhD, OTR/LKelly Erickson PhD, OTR/L is an Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Occupational Therapy at The College of St. Scholastica. Her focus includes teaching and learning pedagogy, occupational performance with emphasis on occupation-based assessment and intervention, use of everyday technology, development of clinical reasoning and professional behaviors among graduate students, and behavior management and sensory processing across the lifespan. She has research in the areas of mobile technology in the occupational therapy process, professional development outcomes with on-campus clinic model, and mindfulness among graduate students. Dr. Erickson is Editor-In-Chief for the AOTA Knowledge Translation Content Development Board, which includes overseeing item writing with editorial board members, establishing and completing timelines for product review, and online test prep product review.

4E - Rhoda Erhardt, MS, OTR/L, FAOTAThe former director of the Easter Seal Mobile Therapy Unit in Fargo, North Dakota, she has been in private practice since 1978, providing evaluation and consultation services to a variety of health agencies, educational systems, and national corporations, as well as presenting throughout the world. In 1989, she founded Erhardt Developmental Products, a company that produces and distributes a variety of pediatric resources. Her publications include books, chapters, journal articles, assessments, and DVDs on topics such as normal and atypical development of hand function, hand preference, handwriting, eye-hand coordination, feeding, vision, and visual-perceptual-motor function in children with cerebral palsy and learning disorders.

Kary Gillenwaters, MA, OTR/LKary currently works in a non-clinical role as a health care consultant and program manager where she uses her OT skills to care for the health care team, focused on relationships with self, colleagues, and patients and families. She is passionate about understanding the whole person and increasing understanding and use of relational competence to improve the well-being of clients and the teams that serve them. Her first career as an addiction counselor was foundational to her view that understanding how people make meaning during health challenges is essential when partnering with them to create effective care plans. As an occupational therapist, she has provided services in independent and assisted living, memory care, home health, hospice, long-term care, and school settings in direct provider and management roles.From rural to urban, from pediatrics to geriatrics, and in direct and indirect care, Kary has a passion for identifying and meeting unmet needs, often bridging mental and physical health care, and bringing together multiple disciplines and sectors to address a common goal. Her academic activities include facilitating problem-based learning with beginning OT students. Her guiding belief in working with “challenging” people and situations is that if we are not making progress with them, we just don’t know enough about them yet.