Michigan Occupational Therapy Association

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MiOTA Member Spotlight:
LUKE BAKER, B.A., OT STUDENT


Luke Baker is a Professional Year 2 (PY2) student in the Master of OT Program at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). He will begin his 3rd year in the program and his Level II fieldwork in January of 2022. Luke came to the OT program at EMU after graduating in 2019 from the University of Michigan – Dearborn with a BA in Behavioral and Biological Sciences.
 
Outside work, Luke enjoys going to the gym, hanging out with friends, walking his dog, and watching soccer. As an undergraduate student, Luke played soccer for the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
 
Luke was attracted and inspired to join the field of OT after shadowing. He says, “I decided that I wanted to become an OT after shadowing and realizing that this profession would allow me to channel my fascination with science and human behavior, desire to problem solve, and creativity into my biggest passion of all: making a positive impact on the lives and well-being of others.”

Luke came to the OT program with significant research exposure. His senior capstone project was entitled "Effect of Participant Emotion on the Own-Age Bias." For this study, he studied if own-age bias (preferential recognition of faces of people their own age) was affected by the participants’ emotions. He was also a volunteer research assistant (RA) in the cognitive neuroscience research lab of Dr. Zhong Xu Liu.

They investigated whether a decline in memory is related to older-adults being less able to engage automatically in deep-level processing, and how biological rhythms, especially the breathing cycle, affect the way people process and remember social stimuli. As a Graduate PY1 Student in the OT program, he took the initiative and presented a poster titled “Broadening School-Based Practice: Recess is Important” at the 2020 Annual Conference of the Michigan OT Association (MiOTA Conference). As a PY2, he, along with his co-authors, presented his culminating project (Advisor: Dr. Andrea Zakrajsek) at the 2021 MiOTA conference. “Exploring Perceptions to Participating in a Faculty-Led Level I Fieldwork Experience: A Case Study Approach”.

Luke served as a graduate teaching assistant for a first semester MOT course at EMU, is an active member in the Lyla M. Spelbring Endowed Lectureship and Conference planning committee and, is the current president of EMU’s chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon, a specialized honors society that promotes research and scholarship among OT students. He was awarded the EMU 2021 College of Health and Human Services’ Outstanding Student Award. The recipients of this honor excel academically, and through service to their program, the university, and to their communities. Luke aspires to become a well-trained OT scientist.

Luke is an involved MiOTA student member. He says, “MiOTA membership allows OTs to build a network among the members, advocate for OT services in Michigan, and allows OTs to be lifelong learners by capitalizing on MiOTA's educational opportunities.”

If you would like to be highlighted or would like to nominate a MiOTA member, please email us at website@miota.org (Attn: Renuka Roche) or renukaroche@gmail.com

MiOTA Updates


You are invited to learn about the value of MiOTA membership! In July 2021, MiOTA's Leader of the Executive Committee, Cathleen Johnson, OTD, OTRL, FMiOTA recorded the informative presentation 

State Associations: Professional Responsibility & Practice Protection



MiOTA's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

MiOTA is aware of the concerns many of you have regarding the impact of COVID-19 on your personal and professional life.  Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Michigan, many questions and concerns have been submitted to our association. This is a difficult time for all of us and rest assured your professional association volunteer leadership in collaboration with our lobbyist, Bret Marr and the AOTA Regulatory Affairs committee have been collaborating to answer questions and provide resources.

We are actively working with AOTA and our state legislators to support our profession and, by extension, our clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Information is frequently changing so our volunteer team is doing our best to fully review all of it for accuracy before we share it with you. 

Additional COVID-19 resources are located for MiOTA members and non-members alike under the Advocacy Updates webpage.

General information on professional responses to COVID-19 can be found on AOTA’s website for members and non-members alike: https://www.aota.org/Practice/Health-Wellness/COVID19.aspx.

The American Congress for Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) is offering a series of free educational webinar resources featuring "experts from the Tele-Medicine industry to provide clear and up-to-date information regarding telemedicine and remote monitoring in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation during the COVID-19 crisis": https://acrm.org/resources/coronavirus-pandemic/acrm-pandemic-webinar-series/?fbclid=IwAR06yrGS5RSIAimR3zBakDXwpOFRsRJEpJnfrrIHyNHwmlp-ld2mRTFZAis

If you are currently practicing or transitioning to telehealth therapies, please make sure to verify telehealth benefits with each insurance providers.    

For additional information on telehealth, please log into your MiOTA account and visit the COVID-19 & Telehealth webpage.

 


AOTA’s Position on Vaccination of the Occupational Therapy Workforce 12/9/2020

It is the position of AOTA that occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants working as essential personnel in settings with the potential for COVID-19 exposure should be included in the first round of vaccinations. Furthermore, because the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of health care personnel includes “unpaid persons,” students providing services during fieldwork should be included if their fieldwork is in settings with exposure risk.  

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued recommendations on December 1 as to who should receive Phase 1 COVID-19 vaccinations. The recommendations included health care personnel, defined as “paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.” The recommendations go on to state that if there are limitations to the number of vaccine doses available, “jurisdictions might consider first offering vaccination to residents and health care personnel in skilled nursing facilities because of high medical acuity and COVID-19–associated mortality among residents in these settings.”   

In its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recognizes occupational therapists and assistants as essential critical infrastructure workers. Based on the ACIP recommendations, this position supports that occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants who work in settings with potential for exposure should be included in the first round of vaccinations.  At this time, the situation is fluid and continues to evolve. AOTA will update this article as we receive additional information.

 

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