ISU SOTA Club Update

Submitted by Jason Balls, IOTA MOTS

The Idaho State University MOT SOTA club has had great pleasure to have several opportunities to learn from experts in the field of occupational therapy. Shannon Paulson, an OT with the Pocatello School District. She presented on therapy and service dogs, and emotional-support animals. The club also heard from Dr. Natalie Leland, PhD, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA, assistant professor at the University of Southern California. Dr. Leland’s research focuses on gerontology and improving post-acute care services for older adults. She spoke about the importance and value of research and evidence-based practice.

Bailey Porter, a behavioral health and pediatric OT at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, spoke on the transition from student to practitioner, including mentorship, searching for resources, working with a recruiter, and how to find the right professional fit. Aaron Pierce, MOTR/L, a pediatric therapist at Speech Therapy Services in Pocatello, presented with his wife Ashley Pierce, CCC-SLP, on the treatment of feeding disorders.

Additionally, the ISU MOT SOTA club has engaged in many activities to benefit the communities in Southeastern Idaho as well as to spread OT awareness. These activities included volunteering at the Humpty Dumpty Fall Prevention event, participating in the walk to end Alzheimer’s, a backpack awareness event at ISU, a float in the ISU homecoming parade, and ISU fun runs.  The SOTA club plans to participate in an upcoming all EggCessible Easter Egg Hunt.

They have also held several brown bag lunches on different topics pertinent to OT. The club engages in routine fundraising to help fund various activities, including scholarships for students to attend the annual AOTA conference. The scholarship recipients then return and share the knowledge and experience that they gained at our national conference.  This year the club provided over $3,000 in scholarships for students to attend.