2021 TNOTA Annual Conference & Student Track Saturday & Sunday Session Descriptions

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Short Courses


Short Course 1: OT’s Role in Vestibular Rehab for Post-Concussion Care. This course covers the basic mechanisms of vestibular dysfunction, assessment and intervention. Participants will be able to discriminate between various mechanisms of injury and select interventions that are evidence-based. Speaker: Jerry Lee Williams, OTD, OTR/L

Short Course 2: The Integral Role of the Occupational Therapy Practitioner in Finger and Partial Hand Prosthetic Intervention. Finger and partial hand amputations make up almost all upper extremity amputations in the United States (94%). Learn how you can join NP on our mission to restore end user’s ability to perform daily tasks, support job retention, and positively impact lives with our custom, functional body driven prosthetic solutions. Speaker: Tania Garcia



Short Course 3: The NBCOT® Disciplinary Action Program: Serving the Public Interest. The mission of NBCOT is to serve the public interest by advancing client care and professional practice through evidence-based certification standards and the validation of knowledge essential for effective practice in occupational therapy. In order to serve the public, certificants and exam applicants must abide by the NBCOT Code of Conduct and Practice Standards. This presentation provides an overview of the NBCOT Disciplinary Action Program including Procedures for Enforcement and sanctions that may take place. **This course will be presented virtually** Speaker: Shaun Conway, OTR.

Short Course 4: Special Interest in Hand Therapy: 'Passions and Pearls.’ Special Interest Section in Hand Therapy for the hand and upper extremity. This course will focus on passions and pearls for best treatment and techniques as well as orthoses fabrication demonstrations by the instructor. Speaker: Peggy Haase, OTR, CHT



Short Course 5: Homelessness and COVID-19: Lessons Learned. Participants learn about a COTA's experiences while working at a COVID-19 emergency shelter for the homeless. Speakers: Thaddeus Meyer, COTA, Rita Troxtel, OTD, OTR/L, CAL, CPAM

Short Course 6: Building Community Connections Through Experiential Learning in an OT Program. This course explores the use of experiential learning design and application in a master's level community-based OT class and its impact on individuals, groups, and populations secondary to students' connections with local community members. Speaker: Ashley Held, MS, OTR/L



Short Course 7: Culturally Sensitive Practice to Establish Meaningful Connections. This course is designed to provide tools for culturally sensitive practice. Starting at the evaluation and occupational profile, it’s important to understand how the client’s beliefs and values can assist us in providing client-centered care. Speakers: Lena Roll, OTS, Stedmon Hopkins, MOT, OTR/L

Short Course 8: Shaping Student Attitudes Toward Older Adults Through Professional Socialization. Research indicates practitioner bias influences client outcomes. AOTA core values demand equality and freedom to clients of all ages. OT practitioners have an obligation to shape student attitudes toward older adults to meet these ethical values. Speakers: Christine A. Watt, PhD, OTR/L, CPAM, Lauren Beard, MS, OTR/L, CPAM



Short Course 9: TNOTA Advocacy Panel: Lessons learned in 2020 and beyond. This short course consists of a panel of seasoned OT advocates at the state and national level. Panel members will share their insight, experiences, and advice for advocating for occupational therapy both in Tennessee and at the federal level. Participants will be able to ask questions and engage in discussion with panel members. Speakers: Cindy DeRuiter Blackwell, OTD, OTR/L, Susan McDonald, EdD, OTR/L, Courtney Atnip, Stephanie Lancaster, EdD, OTR/L, ATP, CAPS, Mary C. Barnes, MOT, CHT

Short Course 10: Occupational Therapy's Role in Sexuality Education for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. This short course will review occupational therapy practitioner’s role in providing sexuality education to clients with neurodevelopmental disabilities, including evidence-based recommendations, tools and clinical examples. Speaker: Elizabeth K. Schmidt, PhD



Short Course 11: The Anatomy of an Occupational Therapy Ally. Allyship is the practice of emphasizing social justice, inclusion, and human rights by members of an ingroup to advance the interests of a marginalized outgroup. In this session, the concept of allyship will be discussed, including what it looks like to be an ally as an OT student or practitioner. Speakers: Stephanie Lancaster, EdD, OTR/L, ATP, CAPS, DeOnna Clark, MOT, OTR/L

Short Course 12: Emotions as Meaningful Occupations: Using Emotion-language to Foster Possibilities in our Professional Interactions. The presenter will connect meaningful, emotional language use as occupational with making possibilities in professional relationships. This connection arises from the presenter’s research and commitment to psychosocial education for making applications across practice settings. Speaker: Gary Davidson, PhD (c), MDiv, MSOT, OTR/L, CHT




Workshop 1: Meaningful Connections: OT and OTA Inter-relationships. Course participants will leave with a greater understanding and appreciation of the unique roles of OTA and OT practitioners, as well as how licensure may impact these. The inter-relationship between practitioners will be explored and avenues for greater collaboration will be presented. Speakers: Susan Sain, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Jason Gonzales, COTA/L, Becky Ross, BS, COTA/L, Danielle Kissane, MOTR/L



Workshop 2: Harnessing the Power of Placebos and Top-down Cortical Reorganization. This evidence based session will explore how the power of top-down cortical re-organization and placebos can be incorporated into current interventions. Placebos have been proven to be effective in the treatment of brain injury and chronic pain, among others. According to the CDC, OT and PT are frontline treatments for chronic pain as an alternative to opioids. Increasingly, therapists are adding top-down cortical re-organization to their current treatments. In this session, therapists will learn how to harness the power of placebos. Speakers: Mary C. Barnes, MOT, CHT, Lisa Perrone, OTR/L, CHT, CKTP

Workshop 3: Using More Complex Fine Motor Tasks to Present the “Just Right Challenge.” Fine motor activities and tasks in therapy can be repetitive and lose their meaning. As a result, both pediatric and adult students/patients can develop a disinterest in therapy. This course will focus on a few higher-level activities using everyday materials as well as some new materials to bring increased interest to therapy. The course will begin with a brief review of the anatomy of the hand as well as the actions of the muscles used in performing various tasks. Grading each of the activities will also be discussed to give opportunities for clients with varying degrees of skills the ability to participate. Speaker: Stephen Penick, MS, OTR/L



Workshop 4: Using Telehealth to Reach More Populations. This course presents innovative telehealth practices to reach the needs of individuals across the lifespan in a variety of practice settings from research, first-hand accounts, and an entrepreneurship model. Speakers: Tanner Petty, OTDS, Barbara Meussner, OTR/L, MBA, Alicia Rinks, OTR/L, Allison Shackelford, OTR/L, Sandra Dicks, OTS

Workshop 5: Pain Neuroscience Education and Treatment for Chronic Pain Including CRPS. Peripheral and Central Sensitization and Clinical Signs Related to Cortical Reorganization. Our understanding of chronic pain neurophysiology has facilitated a paradigm shift in treatment interventions from a biomechanical model to a top-down biopsychosocial treatment approach. Central and peripheral sensitization is a result of chronic pain and is a result of cortical reorganization. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), is a chronic pain syndrome that encompasses autonomic dysfunction combined with a constellation of symptoms that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Speaker: Christina Woods, OTR/L, CHT


Lunch Session: Presidential Address & Keynote


Presidential Address. Speaker: Dr. Cindy DeRuiter Blackwell, OTD, OTR/L, TNOTA President

Keynote: Evidence Based Practice: The Truth about Abilities of Disabilities. Speaker: Paul Erway, speaker and author


Sunday, September 12, 2021

TNOTA Annual Business Meeting & Legislative Update


TNOTA Annual Business Meeting & Legislative Update. Speakers: Dr. Cindy DeRuiter Blackwell, OTD, OTR/L, TNOTA President, Courtney Atnip, Lobbyist, Capitol & 5th Public Strategies


Short Courses


Short Course 13: Promoting Critical Thinking in Online OT Courses. Critical thinking is central to OT practice. Focusing on critical thinking in online courses requires incorporation of opportunities to conceptualize, apply, synthesize, and evaluate information, not simply memorize it. This course presents conceptual information and strategies to develop online courses that promote development of skills and habits for critical thinking. Speaker: Elicia Cruz, PhD, OTR/L

Short Course 14: Microaggressions and Implicit bias within the Professional Setting. This course will cover areas concerning microaggressions and implicit biases. These areas will include a definition and explanation of both topics, how they affect the professional setting and how to respond to microaggressions and implicit biases in various situations. Speakers: Morgan Booth, OTS, Allison Nance, OTS



Short Course 15: Behavioral Activation Strategies to Improve Client Engagement. Many barriers can prevent clients’ engagement in occupational therapy sessions, including low mood, poor energy, insufficient motivation, stress, and pain. These factors are also common barriers to occupational performance in meaningful activities. This session summarizes behavioral activation strategies to address these barriers and promote clients’ engagement in therapy and occupations. Speaker: Katy Schmidt, OTD, OTR/L

Short Course 16: Promoting Inclusive and Affirming Occupational Therapy Practice for the LGBTQIA+ Community. This session will address inclusive and affirming occupational therapy practice within the LGBTQIA+ community. We will provide overviews of various topics including strategies for inclusive interviewing, pronoun usage, and creating meaningful and affirming therapeutic interactions. Included is a presentation, breakout sessions, and Q&A to foster safe and respectful learning environments. Speakers: Lauren Hanna, OTD, OTR/L, Roya Rezadoost, OTD, OTR/L




Workshop 6: Introduction to Dry Needling. This lecture and lab-based course will focus on the effects of dry needling on soft tissue by creating micro-lesions that activate remodeling both locally and systemically. A review of the most currentevidence for the efficacy of dry needling for specific upper limb orthopedic and neurologic conditions including spasticity will be included. The participants will have the opportunity to practice needling techniques. The session is not intended to prepare participants to begin dry needling but rather to practice the techniques and explore potential applications to their practice. This session does not provide any certification in the use of Dry Needling techniques. Speakers: Mary C. Barnes, MOT, CHT, Christina Woods, MOT, CHT

Workshop 7: What’s the Deal with Oral Ties? Participants will be presented with an anatomical review of the oral cavity and surrounding tissues, along with tissues identified in oral restrictions, a brief history of tethered tissue, and reasons for the recent surge in identification. The course will discuss screening tool options, red flags, and secondary milestone delays. Speakers: Mariann Frigo, MS, OTR, Cindy Winthrow, PT



Student Track Session 1 (Saturday 8:00-8:50): NBCOT® National Certification Exam: Information You Need to Know for Success. This presentation will provide information on preparing for the NBCOT national certification examination, as well as the examination application process and the benefits of certification. *students only* **This course will be presented virtually** Speaker: Shaun Conway, OTR

Student Track Session 2 (Saturday 10:00-10:50): New Practitioner and Current Student Panel. This panel will be made up of a mixture of new practitioners and current students from a variety of schools and practice areas. Students will ask questions and gain advice on a variety of topics like fieldwork, preparing for jobs, balancing school and other commitments, and general advice from the panel members. *students only* Speakers: Rebecca Whitaker, OTD, OTR/L, Metta Devine-Qin, MOTS, Meagan Oslund, OTD, OTR/L, Madison Quan, OTS, Delaney Moor, OTAS

Student Track Session 3 (Saturday 11:00-11:50): Adaptive Equipment: How Do I Get My Client What They Need? Using the Wheelchair Service Provision Guide from RESNA (2011) as a model, this course will present best practice for working as a team with other professionals to provide adaptive equipment service. Interprofessional teamwork is essential to meet clients’ needs and provide ongoing support. *open to students and practitioners* Speaker: Missy Bryan, OTD, OTR/L, ATP, CPST

Student Track Session 4 (Saturday 1:40-2:30): Preventing Practitioner Burnout. ***Cancelled by the Speaker*** This Student Track Short Course is an overview of the meaning, causes and solutions to on-the-job clinician burnout presented in a way that is both informative and, hopefully, allows the participants to learn about their own personal work/life boundaries. *students only* Speaker: Tracey Hunt, OTA/L, OTS 

Student Track Session 5 (Saturday 2:40-3:30): You Graduated, Now What?: Navigating the State Licensure Process. Recent OT/OTA graduates will provide helpful tips, through experiential accounts, to assist OT/OTA students and new graduates or state practitioners in successfully navigating the Tennessee licensure process. Each step of the application process will be discussed including pros and cons of obtaining a limited permit versus traditional license. *students only* Speakers: Savannah Carroll, OTD, OTR/L, Carly Fennell, OTD, OTR/L, Chanté Bowens, OTD, OTR/L, Helene Gattie, COTA

Student Track Session 6 (Sunday 10:45-11:35): Sensory Processing: An Overview. This course will provide an overview of sensory processing and review typical sensory processing, sensory processing dysfunction, and sensory processing disorders. *open to students and practitioners* Speaker: Anne Zachry, PhD, OTR/L

Posters (Saturday 3:30-5:00)

Are NICU Stays at Birth Linked to Higher Risks of Mental Health Concerns Later in Childhood? 

Presenter: Bailey Satterfield, OTR


An Interprofessional Learning Experience with Occupational Therapy Assistant & Physical Therapist Assistant students through a simulated educational environment. ***Cancelled by the Speakers***

Presenters: C. Brooke Gentry, MS, OTR/L, Samantha Harris, PT, DPT, EdD


Cognitive Load & 1st Year Occupational Therapy Doctoral Students’ Experiences: Examining the Effects on Wellbeing & Exploring Potential Solutions

Presenter: Carly J Fennell, OTD, OTR/L


Examining the Relationship Between Sensory Processing and Stress in Occupational Therapy Graduate Students

Presenters: Sarah Parkinson, OTD/S, Alyson Graham, OTD/S, Payton Knupp, OTD/S, Amy Mack, OTD/S, Mackenzie Vanderbloomen, OTD/S 


Exploring Technology Use in Older Adults

Presenters: Chai Park, OTD/S, Bethany Copeland, OTD/S, Kelsey King, OTD/S


Integration of Occupational Therapy into Primary Care

Presenter: Averie Conn, OTD


Online Occupations: An Occupational Therapy Telehealth Resource Manual for Adults with Disabilities

Presenter: Tanner Petty, OTD/S


Parental Perspectives on Inclusive Dance Program: Their Child’s Experiences and Outcomes

Presenters: Sue Iliff, PhD, OTR/L, Hannah Matthews, OTD, OTR/L, Taylor Bumbalough, OTD/S, Brooke Edwards, OTD/S, Pooja Patel, OTD/S, Shauna Rocha, OTD/S, Morgan Sondergeld, OTD/S, Gabriela Swiecki, OTD/S


The Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Calm Room Interventions on Student Behaviors

Presenters: Cindy W. Poole, OTD, M.Ed., OTR/L, Shelby Allison, OTS, Chapel Mason, OTS, Madeline Robbins, OTS