Conference Speakers and Presentations

Browse the tabs below to learn about our exciting speakers and their presentations.

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After growing up in central Washington, Dr. Conlee moved to the Treasure Valley and attended Northwest Nazarene University, where she played intercollegiate  basketball and received a Bachelor of Science as a pre-medical major.  She earned her medical degree from the University of California, San Diego and from there, transitioned to a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation residency at the Mayo

Clinic in Rochester, MN. While there, she served as chief resident and subsequently completed a fellowship in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. She is passionate about caring for children and young adults, striving to meet needs across a variety of conditions and health care settings. She and her husband, also a graduate of NNU, are thrilled to come back home to Boise and raise their 2 young boys in the Northwest.

Cognitive Rehabilitation after Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Discussion of mild traumatic brain injury and concussion rehabilitation, with specific focus on persistent cognitive symptoms and the role of Occupational Therapists in guiding recovery.


  • List several examples of persistent cognitive symptoms resulting from concussion mTBI.
  • Describe examples of compensation/management strategies for managing cognitive symptoms of concussion/mTBI

Carol H Armann, OTR & Kathleen Wright, National Product Manager for Handwriting at Zaner-Bloser Publishing.

Carol H. Armann, OTR, has 32 years of experience and is employed by Marietta Memorial Hospital as a school-based OT. I have been training teachers and therapists on handwriting and a collaboration model for the last 6 years. I have contributed to the latest edition of Zaner-Bloser’s handwriting manuals as well as with presenting throughout the USA at state OT conferences and AOTA.

Kathleen Wright, National Product Manager for Handwriting at Zaner-Bloser Publishing, I have been working with classroom teachers and school-based occupational therapists for over 20 years to facilitate an effective partnership that better supports student-centered handwriting instruction. I have presented handwriting workshops with an OT throughout the USA at state OT conferences and AOTA.

Creating a Team Approach to Improve Handwriting Skills

Research shows that there is a clear link between handwriting and literacy development however the time spent on classroom instruction of this important skill is limited. Students who struggle to learn handwriting are often referred to occupational therapy for intervention. Research shows that an effective OT/Teacher partnership can help reduce unnecessary referrals to provide a best practice learning experience. During our hands-on session, we will explore this partnership, and provide participants with the most current research; fun, academic-based activities: and best practices along with the clear (academic) vocabulary necessary for classroom dialog and instruction.


Demonstrate a minimum of 5 strategies to be used in a pediatric setting with regard to the handwriting process.

  • Demonstrate a minimum of 5 strategies that have an academic component to be used in a pediatric setting with regard to the development of fine motor skills necessary for effective handwriting.
  • Demonstrate a minimum of 5 strategies to develop effective OTP/Educator partnerships.

Krista Kramer 

Krista Kramer works for the Idaho Assistive Technology Project (IATP) in Moscow, providing information and technical assistance on a broad spectrum of assistive technology and the pathways to acquire that technology.  She coordinates Idaho’s low-interest financial loan program to help people purchase assistive technology.  She also coordinates iCanConnect, Idaho’s Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Project, conducting assessments, and providing individualized training on distance communication technology for people with combined vision & hearing loss.  
Krista is passionate about helping people with disabilities find the right tools to accomplish their goals.  She has been certified as an Assistive Technology Professional since 2001, has a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, and worked for 23 years as an Independent Living Coordinator for Disability Action Center – NW.  She has also provided in-home care for people with spinal cord injuries, worked for Vocational Rehabilitation, provided support services to students with disabilities in education settings, and helped people transition from institutional care back into their own homes with the Idaho Home Choice Program.
Assistive Technology Solutions: the new, the old, and the do-it-yourself (and how to get them)

Join us to learn about the plethora of assistive technology solutions available to people with disabilities and their caregivers, from communication devices to home automation, and everything in between. We will look at newly released AT devices, tried-and-true options, low-cost “do-it-yourself” solutions, and discuss ways to acquire assistive technology through the Idaho Assistive Technology Project. This presentation will also include a make-and-take activity.


  • Identify assistive technology that can support people with disabilities and/or their caregivers
  • Identify assistive technology programs that supports in the state of Idaho, including funding options
  • Demonstrate “DIY” assistive technology solutions


Nicholas Stallings, AT Specialist, Idaho Assistive Technology Project

 Nicholas Stallings is an Assistive Technology Specialist for the Idaho Assistive Technology Project in Boise. His interests include education for students with low-incidence disabilities, DIY assistive technology solutions, and website design/document accessibility. He was one of the first students to complete an undergraduate internship for Idaho’s University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), and has been involved with the disability community in various capacities for most of his life. He has experience working for multiple non-profit projects across the state, including Idaho’s Self-Advocacy Leadership Network, the Statewide Coalition for Technology Accessibility, and the Consortium for Idahoans with Disabilities. Nicholas is currently working on a Masters in Special Education with an emphasis in assistive technology, and patiently waiting to apply for the RESNA Assistive Technology Professional exam.

Debra (Desh) Anderson, Certified Orthotist, C.O. & owner of Sawtooth Orthotics & Prosthetics

Desh is the owner of Sawtooth Orthotics & Prosthetics. She is the principle orthotic practitioner. Her other duties include overseeing business management as well as setting the cultural tone of Sawtooth Orthotics. Desh received her undergraduate degree from Bethel University in 1978 in Biology as well as Psychology. From there she graduated in 1980 from the Northwestern Medical School Orthotics & Prosthetics program with a post-graduate degree in clinical orthotics. Her residency was in pediatrics at Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota and in spinal orthotic management at Fairview Hospital’s Twin Cities Scoliosis Center. Des has practiced clinically at Fairview O&P Laboratories in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she specialized in biomechanics of gait as it relates to lower extremity bracing and custom fabricated complex spinal bracing. She was then employed at Wright & Filippis in Detroit, Michigan, where she gained experience in polio management, the Boston Scoliosis system and orthotic trauma intervention. From there, she worked at the University of Michigan Medical Center O&P division as Interim director of the Orthotics and Prosthetics Program where she gained knowledge in administrative management  melded with clinical interventions. Des was brought on as co-owner of Sawtooth Orthotics in 1989 where her skill set in fabricating custom orthotic devices for the entire body grew exponentially. She enjoys fly fishing, reading, travel, volleyball and spicy food. She is married to Dave Anderson, M.D. and they have two adult children.

Heather has been practicing occupational therapy for 27 years.  She has had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings throughout the treasure valley including inpatient and outpatient neurological rehabilitation, pediatrics clinic and school based.  She specializes in treating people who are recovering from traumatic brain injury, stroke or other neurological diagnoses. Heather has completed multiple hours of continuing education to gain the following certifications:

  • Neuro-Ifrah Certification Course in the Treatment and Management of Adults with Hemiplegia from a Stroke or Brain Injury: November 2011 (98 hours)
  • Neuro-Ifrah Advanced Upper Extremity: 2012
    (Neuro-Integrative Functional Rehabilitation and Habilitation (NEURO-IFRAH®) is an approach originated by Waleed Al-Oboudi, MOT, OTR/L)
  • Saebo Certified Therapist with advanced status as a SaeboStar therapist. She has extensive training with fitting and teaching patients to use all of the Saebo wrist hand orthotics.
From Stars Wars to Assisted Living

This course will provide the OTP with an update on the newest upper extremity bracing available for the adult population. Instruction will be provided in contracture prevention strategies and preparing the hand for function. OTP will learn information about functional upper extremity orthoses that may be considered to address patient’s upper extremity deficits.


  • Identify patient candidates for orthotic strategies for anatomically achieving as aligned wrist/hand.
  • Evaluate candidates for functional upper extremity orthoses.
  • List 2 ways to identify patients who are appropriate for an “aligned upper extremity” goal.
  • List 2-3 orthotic devices OTP’s use & when?
  • Identify 2 reasons why it’s important to utilized/embedded orthoses within a treatment plan guided by an OTP.

Megan Osgood Doyle, MS, OTR/L, TPS, Cert-APHPT

Megan grew up in the Chicago Suburb of Elmhurst, IL, graduating from Marquette University, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2010, with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Psychology Minor, and then pursuing a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Indiana University, in Indianapolis, Indiana, graduating in 2012.  Due to her husband’s prior Active Duty Army career, Megan has had the opportunity to work in many settings in a multitude of locations, including acute care, inpatient rehab, and outpatient. It was while she was practicing primarily in outpatient in El Paso, TX in early 2017 that she obtained her Therapeutic Pain Specialist Certification through the International Spine & Pain Institute under Evidence in Motion, in order to better address her clients’ acute and chronic pain from a biopsychosocial model via incorporation of pain neuroscience education, immediately seeing the life-altering difference it made.

She relocated to Boise in Fall of 2017 and began working for St. Luke’s Health System in their inpatient rehab department, where now in addition to providing pain neuroscience education one on one to patients, she is providing guidance towards comprehensively integrating non-pharmacological pain treatment for all inpatients. She has also provided in-services and guest lectures on pain neuroscience education and graded motor imagery to both staff and patient groups alike. Megan is an active member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, the Idaho Occupational Therapy Association, and has also obtained her certification as an Applied Prevention Health Promotion Therapist through the Academy of Applied Prevention Health Promotion under the Institute of Clinical Excellence. She is currently pursuing her Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation through AOTA.

“No, it’s NOT ‘All in Your Head’, But That IS Where We Need to Start”: Pain Neuroscience Education, Graded Motor Imagery, and the Power of Neuroplasticity  

This course will provide participants with the latest research on the neurobiology and neurophysiology of pain, promoting positive pain cognitions via a biopsychosocial model. Case studies of acute and chronic pain conditions will then be presented. The use of metaphors to explain pain effectively to clients, non-pharmacological treatment interventions, occupational engagement and therapeutic use of self will be entwined to provide the participant with best-practice in the treatment of pain. The intervention of graded motor imagery (GMI) for treating pain and neurologic conditions, using neuroplasticity for optimal function, will then be introduced in conjunction with the essential tenants of pain neuroscience. The use of GMI (pain neuroscience education, left right discrimination, visualization, sensory retraining, and mirror therapy) will be defined and practiced in a hands on lab, and will also be applied to various OT practices including acute, chronic, and in/outpatient settings, including how to determine which patients will benefit most from this approach.


  • Identify at least 3 metaphors to be utilized to explain pain neuroscience concepts to clients, as well as at least 5 evidence-based non-pharmacologic treatment options/strategies and their use in relation to the pain neuroscience concepts discussed.
  • Describe the background of graded motor imagery (GMI) in practice, verbalizing a basic understanding of the role of pain neuroscience education and the core stages of GMI through description of the rationale and clinical applications.
  • Demonstrate through hands on lab and group discussion/ case studies the basic skills and tools involved in implementation of GMI to various pain and neurological conditions across the rehab spectrum in both outpatient and inpatient settings.

Brenda Simon, OTR/L, CLT, Neuro-IFRAH Instructor ®

Brenda Simon is a licensed Occupational Therapist.  She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Occupational Therapy in 1996.  Since then, she has received extensive clinical and educational experience working with individuals who have had a Neurological involvement, such as Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke and Brain Injury.

She has worked in a variety of settings including acute care, skilled nursing, acute inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, long term acute care, and private home- health care.  Brenda has been a Neuro-IFRAH® Instructor since 2005 and has taught courses nationally and internationally as well as at several state therapy conferences. She is currently employed as the National Director of Therapy Operations for Ernest Health.

Post-Acute Care Management and Rehabilitation of Persons with Spinal Cord Injury

This course is designed to take Occupational Therapists with developing rehab clinical experience in post-acute care SCI rehabilitation to the next level of therapeutic management and progression.  This will be achieved through a presented comprehensive approach that will highlight and detail specific physiological changes, medical related difficulties, and specific SCI assessment and plan of care progression.  The goal of this course is to assist the rehab clinician in developing a SCI specific plan of care within their scope of practice given the complexity of this neurological diagnosis. The aim is to promote and develop a clinical plan for early mobilization, ADL training, education and a strategy to progress the patient towards functional and mobility independence within the post-acute care setting with focus on discharge to home and reintegration to the community.


  • Identify the basic anatomy and physiological levels of the spinal cord.
  • Demonstrate manual transfer techniques and transfer training for patients with SCI.
  • Identify and demonstrate ADL training techniques for patients with SCI.
  • Demonstrate use of ROM and strength training program and development of home program for carryover of care.
  • Demonstrate understanding and interdisciplinary participation in bowel and bladder needs and skin care for individuals with SCI.

Shaun Conway, OTR—Senior Director, External and Regulatory Services National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. NBCOT®

Shaun Conway is a certified occupational therapist who currently serves as Senior Director of External and Regulatory Affairs for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT®) where he has worked for over 24 years. In this capacity, he is currently responsible for the oversight of organizational functions related to state regulation, international regulatory services and community outreach.

NBCOT®: Strategies for Certification Success

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. NBCOT demonstrates these practices by developing, administering, and continually reviewing the certification process based on current and valid standards that provide reliable indicators of competence of the practice of occupational therapy. Connect with NBCOT and hear about the best approaches to achieve your goal for Occupational Therapy Certification.


  • Verbalize understanding of the certification examination application process
  • Identify exam preparation strategies and how to use the NBCOT Aspire® Study Tools.
  • Verbalize awareness of NBCOT and why certification and competency matters
NBCOT Navigator®: The Next Era in Continuing Competency

The NBCOT has created a virtual platform, the Navigator, for OTR® and COTA® certificants to engage in continuing competency assessment throughout their professional careers. Based upon a national practice analysis study, as well as current evidence, this innovative and dynamic virtual technology platform is designed to support OT certificants by providing feedback on current practice skills and introducing evidence-based resources. Nationally recognized and award winning, the Navigator tools are groundbreaking within the OT profession as well as the national certification industry. This presentation is a prime opportunity to learn about the NBCOT Navigator® evidence based continuing competency assessment tools which can be used by OTR® and COTA® certificants to verify practice strengths and gauge continuing competency needs across all areas of practice.


  • Identify various competency assessment tools available on the NBCOT Navigator®
  • Identify how the NBCOT Navigator® online continuing competency assessment tools can be used to identify practice areas for continuing competency needs
  • Identify evidence-based resources for ongoing continuing competency

Cherie Strand

Cherie is a graduate of the University of Florida (BHS 92) and also is a Certified Hand Therapist (HTCC December 2000). After moving to Challis in 1998, she served on the IOTA board as a vice president and was the representative from Idaho to the AOTA Representative’s Assembly. Cherie was instrumental in Occupational Therapists obtaining the ability to bill Medicaid in outpatient practice and was awarded the “Over the Top Award” by IOTA in October 2008 for those efforts to the profession. Cherie currently sees outpatienst in private practice as well as working for the Challis School District. She has also lectured at Idaho State University as well as multiple conferences. Cherie has two wonderful teenage daughters, a supportive and understanding husband who is a Challis local and she enjoys trail running, theater, good food and travel.

Idaho Occupational Licensure Board General Informational Session

An overview of what the licensure board is, how things change with respect to practice in Idaho per the law, how to contact the board or find the most up to date information.


  • Attendees with describe at least 2 functions of the Idaho Occupational Licensure Board
  • Attendees will identify how to communicate with the board and obtain the most current information regarding board proceedings.