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 and is AOTA Board Certified in Pediatrics (BCP). Kari is Sensory Integration (SIPT) Certified, holds an Advanced Practice Certificate in Swallowing (SWC), is a Certified Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist (OMT), a Certified Infant Massage Therapist (CIMI), Certified Autism Specialist (CAS) and Dyslexia teacher. Kari is beyond passionate about learning and holds many other certifications relating to various programs to help her clients achieve their goals. Kari has been practicing for 25 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's strong passion for occupational therapy and advocacy for our profession is what has led her to serve on the IOTA Executive Board as Vice President, President-Elect, and most recently as President for the past 4 years. She has lectured extensively at educational and association conferences locally, nationally, and internationally, professional and teacher in-service trainings, and parenting groups. Kari enjoys spending time with her husband and 4-year-old son, eating good food, camping, and traveling to gain more insight into other cultures around the world!

President Elect

Megan Doyle, MS, OTR/L, FPS, Cert-APHPT

Megan graduated from Marquette University, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2010, with a BS in Exercise Science and Psychology Minor, then obtaining a MS in Occupational Therapy from Indiana University, in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2012. In her initial years as an OT practitioner, she worked in a multitude of settings focused on adult populations, including acute care, long term care, work site injury prevention, and outpatient ortho/neuro/post-concussion. She sought out more specialized skills as an OT and found herself drawn to focusing on holistic pain intervention from an occupation-based perspective, health and wellness, and mental health. In 2017, Megan obtained her Therapeutic Pain Specialist Certification through the International Spine & Pain Institute (ISPI), one of the first OTs to do so, and eventually she sought out Fellowship in Pain Sciences, graduating from this program as the second OT practitioner to achieve this designation in 2020. She has also achieved her Applied Prevention Health Promotion Therapist Certification through The Academy of Prevention and Health Promotion Therapies, the first occupational therapy practitioner to do so, in 2018. It was during this time that Megan also moved to Boise, taking a position at St. Luke’s Health System’s Elks Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital, working full time as an inpatient therapist. In her position at St. Luke’s, Megan also provides guidance towards comprehensively integrating non-pharmacological pain treatment for all patients via an inter-disciplinary perspective, especially in the treatment of acute pain in her health system, while simultaneously advocating for occupational therapy’s scope of practice in the treatment of pain. Megan thrives on being a mentor and educator to others, hosting level II fieldwork students every chance she gets, and routinely presents locally and nationally on pain and wellness topics within the scope of both occupational therapy and a broader healthcare audience. She is also INCREDIBLY passionate and truly in love with the scope of practice that occupational therapy provides, and this is exactly why she became involved with IOTA, first via the Tech Committee to support the creation of the first multi-state virtual conference IOTA has ever put on, and now as President-Elect. Her passion is fueled each and every day by her husband, Joe who works full time as a Major in the National Guard, and her two children, 7 year old James and 3 year old Morgan.

Vice President

Currently Open

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Secretary

Lexi Searle, OTR/L

Lexi Searle is a native of Idaho and a graduate of Idaho State University, receiving a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy. As a new practitioner, Lexi is committed to continuing and broadening her education with an emphasis in the treatment of a neurodiverse pediatric population, and currently works at the Children's Therapy & Learning Center in Eagle, Idaho. As a student, Lexi served as the Social Media / Publicity Chairperson for ISU's Master of Occupational Therapy Association and now serves on the Idaho Occupational Therapy Association board as Secretary. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, Zach, and her therapy-dog-in-training, Duke. She also enjoys snow skiing, hiking, wakeboarding, paddle-boarding, baking, volunteering with her church, and spending time with family. Lexi is eager to learn, serve, and advocate!

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.

MOT Student Representative

Abigail Schwarte

Abby is currently a second year Master of Occupational Therapy student at Idaho State University. Over the past two years, she has enjoyed learning about the intricacies of OT and the extensive benefits of the services that OT's can provide. Abby is looking forward to learning and serving alongside practicioners in our wonderful state of Idaho!

OTA Representative

Andrea Belcoe

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Continuing Education Chair

Currently Open

Legislative/Reimbursement Chair

Lisa Hong

Lisa Baxter Hong is a native of Eastern Idaho. She graduated from Idaho State University’s MOT program and has worked in the area since then in several areas including skilled nursing, home health and outpatient. She started an OT contracting business, Generations Occupational Therapy in 2010 and has developed it into a solid member of the OT community. Lisa worked previously in ISU’s MOT program teaching and providing outpatient services. While there, she earned her doctorate in OT from Eastern Kentucky University. Her passion area within OT has been dementia care, especially caregiver support and education. She has enjoyed giving presentations with the Alzheimer's Association in the area, and presenting to OT and other practitioners on the state and national level. While studying in the OTD program, she realized the need for more advocacy within the profession and has been getting her feet wet in that area. Aside from OT, Lisa loves spending time with her family, including her three adorable grandchildren, playing volleyball and oboe, and traveling.

OTA Student Representative

Lindsay Barlow

Lindsay is currently a student in the Occupation Therapy Assisting Program at ISU. I have always had a desire to serve and help those around me, and becoming an OTA will allow me to do that. I am excited, passionate, and optimistic about occupational therapy and how it allows individuals to become more independent. Occupational therapy is empowering to all involved. A little more about myself is that I love to spend time outdoors in the sun. Camping, boating,and swimming are some of my favorite hobbies. I also love to spend time with friends and family. I love to adventure and to be creative.

Outreach Coordinator

Currently Open

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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.

Outreach Coordinator

Jessica Given COTA/L

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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.