Executive Board

President

Kari Thompson, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, CAS

Kari Thompson is a pediatric occupational therapist and the owner of The Children’s Therapy & Learning Center in Eagle, ID. She holds a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, is AOTA Board Certified in Pediatrics, is Sensory Integration (SIPT) Certified, holds an Advanced Practice Certificate in Swallowing, and is a Certified Autism Specialist. Kari has been practicing for 21 years and has extensive experience working with children in acute and out-patient rehabilitative settings, sensory integration clinics, school and home-based settings and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Kari has lectured extensively at educational the association conferences, professional and teacher in-service trainings, and parenting groups locally, nationally, and internationally.

Vice President

Kelly Smith, MS,OTR/L

Kelly Smith has been an occupational therapist for over ten years. She has worked in a variety of practice backgrounds ranging from acute care to outpatient with an emphasis on work rehabilitation, but has found a deep love for pediatrics since having her own children. She is also passionate about the academic sector and has been teaching for Mount Mary University's OT graduate program for over five years, while focusing on teaching Medical Terminology and Introduction to Occupational Therapy to perspective OT students. Additionally, she focuses on helping perspective students decide if occupational therapy is the right career for them and helping students prepare for the graduate application process. She is excited about serving as IOTA's Vice President and helping to strongly advocate for the profession in the state!

President Elect

Currently Vacant

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Secretary

Christina Jenkins COTA/L

I could not be more thrilled to be involved with such a wonderful organization. I am passionate about occupational therapy and how it empowers individuals of all ages to make real growth in the areas that matter to them. I also love the outdoors. From hiking to cycling, my weekends often find me enjoying the beautiful landscape with my dog and friends.

Treasurer

Erika Neff, COTA/L

Erika has been a certified occupational therapy assistant for 20 years and has worked in a variety of pediatric and geriatric settings. Over the years, Erika has gained invaluable clinical, leadership, and teaching experience and it was a combination of all these that recently led her back to school to earn a degree in healthcare business management. Erika also volunteers her time on two non-profit boards. For the past 1.5 years, she has served as secretary for the Idaho Occupational Therapy Association. Currenry she is serving as the treasure for IOTA. Additionally, she is the treasurer for The Pebble Project, an organization that seeks to provide school and sports equipment to very poor and underserved children in Third World countries.

OTA Representative

Beki Baxter, COTA/L

Beki Baxter graduated with an AAS from Brown Mackie College. She has been working as a COTA/L for 7 years and currently works in a Transitional care facility that includes short stay rehab, long term care and assisted living facilities. She facilitated and helped to developed Kick Start program for OTAS to gain a better understanding of how OTP roles are beneficial in the geriatric setting with her center as the clinical site. Her passion is music of all kinds.

Continuing Education Chair

Julie Dinwiddie OTR/L

Julie Dinwiddie has a master’s degree in Occupational therapy and has been a registered OT since February 2007. In 2013 she received advanced training with a certificate in Neuro-Developmental Treatment. Julie works with adults and has worked many settings including: inpatient rehab, skilled nursing, home care and now outpatient neuro.

Membership Chair

Karla Brown

I have practiced as an Occupational Therapist in Idaho for over 21 years and have worked in nearly every practice setting (public and charter schools, home health, inpatient /outpatient rehabilitation, acute rehabilitation, rural practice, and travel practice) Currently, I independently contract to 4 schools, and work PRN in acute care. I have seen a lot of changes in 24 years of practice as our health care and education systems continually evolve. IOTA has been my foundation for resources, advocacy, and opportunities for leadership and professional growth. As Legislative and Reimbursement Chair- I hope to advocate for Occupational Therapy issues to our lawmakers and reimbursement sources by attending relevant meetings, sponsoring outreach activities, and educating our community about the practice of OT.

Legislative/Reimbursement Chair

Mel Henderson, MS,OTR/L,MBA

Mel has been a registered occupational therapist for 23 years and has worked in a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and educational settings. Currently, he is the program director for a developing OTA program at the College of Western Idaho. Mel holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in occupational therapy, as well as a master's degree in business administration with a focus in management. In addition to serving as the legislative and reimbursement liaison for the Idaho Occupational Therapy Association, he is a yoga instructor and the founder and executive director of The Pebble Project, a small non-profit organization that seeks to provide school and sports equipment to very poor and underserved children in Third World countries

OTA Student Representative

Cameo Curnett OTA/S

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OTA Student Representative

Ryan Ludwig OTA/S

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Outreach Coordinator

Sarah Neiwert OTR/L

Sarah has been an occupational therapist for over 6 years. She has worked in many settings including, skilled nursing, home health, private contracting, academia, and pediatrics. Pediatrics is where Sarah spends the majority of her time, but occasionally ventures out to another setting. Sarah graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Boise State University and her Master’s in Occupational Therapy from Idaho State University. Originally from Montana, Sarah loves spending time in the outdoors with her husband and 2 dogs, doing anything from fishing to riding dirt bikes to camping. She also enjoys flying around the area and over to Montana in their small airplane. Sarah is eager to be involved in this new role with IOTA and to bring occupational therapists together and foster a strong OT community in Idaho.

Outreach Coordinator

Jessica Given COTA/L

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Past President

Mel Henderson, MOTR/MBA

Mel has been a registered occupational therapist for 22 years and has worked in a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and educational settings. He currently works with adult patients in outpatient neuro. Mel holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in occupational therapy, as well as a master's degree in business administration with a focus in management. Mel has served as the president of the Idaho Occupational Therapy Association and is currently serving as the AOTA RA Representative for the state of Idaho. He is the founder and executive director of The Pebble Project, a non-profit organization that seeks to provide school and sports equipment to very poor and underserved children in Third World countries.