Executive Board


Mel Henderson, MS, OTR/L, MBA

Mel has been a registered occupational therapist for 22 years and has worked in a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and educational settings, and 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 currently serves as the president of the Idaho Occupational Therapy Association, and is the founder and executive director of The Pebble Project, an organization that seeks to provide school and sports equipment to very poor and underserved children in Third World countries.

President Elect

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 20 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. Kari currently serves as President -Elect and is the Membership and Advocacy Committee Chairs of the Idaho Occupational Therapy Association (IOTA).

Vice President

Currently Vacant



Angela Zaugg, MS, OTR/L

Angela graduated from the Idaho State University Occupational Therapy Program in 2002 – the second graduating class from the program. Her emphasis in graduate school was pediatrics. However, after graduating, she found employment in the skilled nursing sector working with the geriatric population and never left. She greatly enjoys working with this demographic and has received additional training in dementia-capable care, lymphedema management, cardiac rehabilitation, wheelchair positioning, and splinting/contracture management, in order to better serve this population.


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/SIS Chair

Kim Hendrickson, OTR/L, DRS, CEAS

Kim Hendrickson earned her BS in Occupational Therapy from the University of North Dakota-Casper College in 2000.. She has practiced occupational therapy for 17 years, and has spent the last 15 years working in adult out-patient neuro-rehab. Kim recently joined the outpatient neuro rehab team at St.. Luke’s Rehabilitation Hospital in Boise and is part of an interdisciplinary, CARF accreditated team treating patients with neurological injuries/deficits. Kim specializes in treating patients recovering from traumatic brain injury, stroke, or other neurological diagnoses. Her passion for facilitating the highest levels of functional independence for patients and support for their families/caregivers provides ongoing opportunities for professional growth and application of evidence based practice in functional cognition, driving evaluations, based practice in functional cognition, driving evaluations, return to work planning and return to work facilitation.When Kim is not working she loves outdoor activities, traveling, and is passionate about gaining cultural experiences.

Legislative & Reimbursement Chair

Jessie Given, COTA/L

Jessie graduated from Brown Mackie College in 2014. She is a certified occupational therapist assistant and has worked at a pediatric sensory integration clinic, The Children's Therapy and Learning Center, in Eagle, Idaho. She provides therapeutic, skilled, and evidence-based treatment intervention to children with a variety of complex diagnoses, ranging from 2 to 17 years. She is currently working on becoming certified as an autism specialist. She is passionate and driven to advocate for our profession in the state of Idaho and feels that IOTA needs to be a strong voice in educating the public as to the importance of the services occupational therapy practitioners provide, as well as to defend and to protect against infringements to our scope of practice.

OT Student Representative

Catlin Jensen

Catlin Jensen is an occupational therapy student who graduated with a MSOT from Boston University in May 2017. She recently completed a level 2 fieldwork in rehabilitation and is currently working in pediatrics. Following her fieldwork experiences, she will complete her OTD through Boston University. As part of her coursework, she is creating an interdisciplinary course on motor development. In her free time, Catlin enjoys playing soccer, running, and watching baseball.

OTA Student Representative

Christina Jenkins, COTA/L

Christina recently graduated as OTA in July 2017. She is currently serving as an OTA student rep. She could not be more thrilled to be involved with such a wonderful organization. She is passionate about occupational therapy and how it empowers individuals of all ages to make real growth in the areas that matter to them. She also loves the outdoors. From hiking to cycling, Christina’s weekends often find her enjoying the beautiful landscape with her dog and friends.

OTA Student Representative

Ann Gazda, OTA/S

Ann Gazda is a resident of Idaho Falls, and is originally from Hyrum, Utah. She attended school at Bridgerland Applied Technology College in Logan, Utah; and worked as a CNA on the surgical floor of Logan Regional Hospital. After moving to Idaho in 2008, she held several positions in women’s health clinics and pain management centers in Idaho Falls. Ann has recently chosen to enter the Occupational Therapy field, and is currently studying to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant at Idaho State University. Ann married her husband Brian in 2014. She has two daughters, one stepdaughter, and two grandsons whom she adores. She enjoys traveling with her husband, particularly to warm climates; fitness and exercise, having recently finished the first of what she hopes will be many Spartan races; and singing with her church worship band.

Outreach Coordinator

Christina Warn, OTR/L

Christina Warn holds a master's of science in occupational therapy. She graduated in December of 2016 from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. Originally from Miles City, MT, she moved to Boise in December of 2017. Christina is currently working at The Lotus Tree Sensory Integration Center since February 2017 as a pediatric occupational therapist. She absolutely loves working with kids and they bring her joy everyday. She enjoys camping, hiking, playing sports- especially soccer and football, and just staying active. Christina also really enjoy arts and crafts and continuously look for new ideas for home improvements as well as crafts for work. She has a 1.5 year old chiweenie puppy named Penny Ann who is her constant companion.

Outreach Coordinator

Rebecca Strickler, OTR/L

Rebecca has been an occupational therapist for 8 years with the majority of that time spent in the pediatric world. Although she does love using play as a primary treatment method, she sometimes enjoys having an adult conversation which is rewarding when working in acute care and inpatient rehabilitation settings. Rebecca recently spent a year working as a traveling occupational therapist covering open positions in Northern California. While she enjoyed the beautiful scenery California has to offer, she missed her quiet home in the state of Idaho.