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2022 Conference Schedule

Student Center on EMU's Campus

900 Oakwood St.

Ypsilanti, MI

Free parking at Pine Grove Lot at corner of Structure Dr. & Oakwood: Campus Map


3rd Floor South Lounge

MORNING WORKSHOPS A 8:45-9:45 3rd Floor

Supporting Families of Children who have Experienced Trauma: Caregiver Co-Regulation Coaching

Session Location: Student Center Room #310A


Presenter: Michelle Suarez, PhD, OTRL

Abstract: This session will provide insight into the impact of trauma on the developing brain and how OT's can support families of children who have experienced trauma. Specifically, Caregiver Co-Regulation Coaching will be outlined with case examples.  Participants in this session will leave with concrete strategies for working with this population.


The Role of Occupational Therapy in Technology Training for Older Adults

Session Location: Student Center Room #310B

Presenters: Alicia Jones, PhD, OTR/L; Sophie Casanova, OT student; Faith Goutlet, OT Student; Vanessa Mejia-Miller, OT Student; Tessa Osborne, OT Student; & Hannah Tarnaski, OT student

Abstract: The use of technology is highly integrated into many aspects of daily life, habits, routines and occupational engagement. Obtaining skills for technology use has become a necessity for older adults in order to navigate areas such as finances, communication needs and health management. This need has increased greatly since the wake of COVID-19. The Occupational Therapy department at Eastern Michigan University collaborated and created a digital literacy training program for older adults within Washtenaw County with the primary goals of: (1) decreasing the technology access barrier among older adults living within the community, (2) increasing proficiency surrounding technology use in order to facilitate aging in place and enhance quality of life, (3) build relationships among intergenerational connectedness. We designed a classroom style curriculum in which we deliver structured series in order for our participants to gain knowledge in how to navigate technology devices as well as internet usage.   

Workshop Materials Shared by Presenter:


Occupational Therapy's Role During and Post-Incarceration

Session Location: Student Center Room #300

Presenter: Ariana Gonzalez, OTD, OTR/L, CTP

Abstract: During this presentation, Dr. Gonzalez will discuss her journey through practice, program development and entrepreneurship with a unique population. She will highlight the needs and barriers to reentry of justice-involved individuals and how occupational therapists can help meet some of these needs. Additionally, this presentation will briefly review research from this program's pilot in early 2020 and discuss how the pilot led to the business now referred to as LAITR where Dr. Gonzalez works with state and local entities to serve this population.

Workshop Materials Shared by Presenter:


MORNING WORKSHOPS B 10:00-11:00 3rd Floor

The Role of Occupational Therapy in the Implementation of a Medication Management Program

Session Location: Student Center Room #300

Presenter: Carolyn Ferrer MOT, OTR/L, CPAM & Kathleen Sell MS, OTR/L

Abstract: This presentation will discuss the development and implementation of an occupational therapy led interdisciplinary medication management program in an inpatient rehab setting. Following this presentation, participants will be able to describe the role of occupational therapy to address medication management as a part of a daily routine with clients who have chronic conditions. The presentation will include appropriate screening tools, interventions and documentation samples that were utilized in our program.

Workshop Materials Shared by Presenters:

Spelbring MMP Presentation .pptx - Google Slides


Occupational Therapy Across the Cancer Care Continuum

Session Location: Student Center Room #310B

Presenter: Sheila Longpré, PhD, MOT, OTR/L

Abstract: With the increased rate of cancer survivorship in the United States, more individuals are living with the effects of cancer and its treatment. Cancer is no longer thought of solely as a terminal disease, but rather a chronic condition. This session will provide information regarding the role of occupational therapy in relation to cancer, cancer treatment, late effects, and survivorship across the cancer care continuum.


The Long and Short of Long Covid

Session Location: Student Center Room #310A

Presenter: Renuka Roche, PhD, MS, OTR/L and Joseph A. Roche, BPT, PhD

Abstract: We will discuss what is Long COVID, its impact on health and quality of life and its implications for occupational therapy.

Workshop Materials Shared by Presenters:


Overcoming Therapeutic Impasses: The Intentional Relationship Model as an Evidence-based Practice Approach

Session Location: Student Center 2nd Floor Ballroom A

Endowed Lecturer: Dr. Renee Taylor

Abstract: The objective of this presentation is to reflect upon the historical literature on the therapeutic relationship, identify areas of weakness in knowledge about use of self in occupational therapy, and describe a conceptual practice model that addresses the practical skills necessary for successful therapeutic relationships, even with the most difficult of clients. Two published research studies contributing to model development will be described. Findings from the first study of 568 occupational therapy practitioners suggest that many practitioners are under-educated about issues pertaining to the client-therapist relationship. Irrespective of practitioners’ age, sex, experience level, setting, treatment intensity, and client impairment, those who placed higher value on use of self and had more training related to the therapeutic use of self were more likely to report interpersonal difficulties in clients. They were also more likely to report feelings of positive regard for their clients. Similarly, practitioners placing higher value on the therapeutic relationship and use of self were more likely to report concerns about clients.  The second study compared the use of different interpersonal styles (modes) across practitioners and found that the use of empathy was lower than other modes. A battery of empirically validated brief assessments of mode use and client interpersonal characteristics will be presented for application in didactic and clinical fieldwork education settings. The author will argue that the intentional relationship model provides a theoretical foundation for brief assessment use and practice-based outcomes research in occupational therapy.  Additionally, it provides new insight into problem-based and experiential educational approaches in this area. Finally, it may ultimately serve to improve clinical practices by providing new concepts and concrete, usable clinical skills to improve client-therapist relationships in occupational therapy.  


Building Toward Belonging: Implicit Bias Training

Session Location: Student Center 2nd Floor, Ballroom A

Presenters: Kristen M. Howard, Esq. | OHEI Senior Director and Blaire Tinker, M.Ed. | Special Programs Manager

Abstract: Building Toward Belonging: Implicit Bias Training is a continuous curriculum that is Michigan Medicine’s first step in educating our community on why inclusion matters, identifying key allyship behaviors that reduce the influence of implicit bias in decision-making, and integrating strategies for mitigating bias in our daily work. The Office for Health Equity and Inclusion (OHEI) is offering this 1-hour workshop, which meets the State of Michigan LARA implicit bias training requirements, to community members to expand reach to all organizations that aspire to develop mechanisms for inclusion, diversity and cultural sensitivity among faculty, students, and staff.


Private meeting with Dr. Renee Taylor,

Session Location: Student Center 2nd Floor, Ballroom B

Following lunch EMU students will have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Taylor for an hour-long Q & A and discussion. Don’t miss this rare opportunity! Come prepared to ask questions and share ideas.


Session Location 2nd Floor Mezzanine (outside Ballroom A)

A poster session will follow the afternoon workshops. Earn up to 2 PDUs.

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