Annual State of OT Forum: Inspiring OT: Best Practice in Action

Saturday, March 18, 2017 -
4:00pm to 9:00pm

Weisman Art Museum, Riverview Gallery, University of Minnesota East Bank campus. Parking is available in the Weisman parking garage.


ot forum

As Occupational Therapists, we help our clients to become "authors of their own stories". Story telling is a time honored tradition that helps us learn from and inspire each other toward 'best practice'. Come hear stories of innovation, problem solving and occupational therapy at its best across a variety of practice areas. You'll have opportunities to listen and share ideas with others in your area of practice, plus get an update of whats going on locally and nationally in the profession. Please join us for these conversations and get dinner and continuing education credit as well in a lovely venue!

The Annual State of OT Forum will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017.

Featured Speaker
kary gillenwatersKary Gillenwaters, MA, OTR/L 
Client Coordinator and a facilitator with the See Me as a Person service line at Creative Health Care Management. Her first career as an addiction counselor was foundational to her view that understanding how people make meaning during health challenges is essential when partnering with them to create effective care plans. As an occupational therapist, she has provided services in independent and assisted living, memory care, home health, hospice, long-term care, and school settings. From rural to urban, from pediatrics to geriatrics, and in direct and indirect care, Kary has a passion for identifying and meeting unmet needs and bridging mental and physical health care. Her academic activities include facilitating Problem-Based Learning with beginning OT students. Her guiding belief in working with “challenging” people and situations is that if we are not making progress, we just don’t know enough about them yet.

Legislative Update
peggy mueller brandenburgPeggy Mueller Brandenburg, BA, OTR/L, MAOL
Peggy Mueller Brandenburg is a Rehabilitation Director for Fairview Health Services. Peggy has practiced in adult inpatient, outpatient and post-acute settings throughout her career.  Her current role allows her to support occupational therapists in diverse practice settings to ensure competency, mentorship opportunities and standardized best practice care across a continuum.  She has been active in MOTA serving as the program co-chair for state conferences and currently as the Vice President of Advocacy for MOTA.

Panelist Bio
laura sopeth Laura Sopeth, MA, OTR/L has over 25 years of experience working with children. She is currently employed at  Children's  Hospitals and Clinics and is also a  part time faculty member at the University of Minnesota Program in OT.  Laura finds pediatric practice challenging yet inspiring; light-hearted yet heart-wrenching; fast paced yet requiring extreme patience.  She finds the days are never the same and that she learns  something new from the children, their parents, and her colleagues each day.

hannah oldenburg

Hannah Y. Oldenburg, MA, OTR/L is an acute care clinical educator at Mayo Clinic – Rochester. In the past year, she has developed and currently implements a 3:1 collaborative model with Level II students in acute care setting.  Hannah is currently completing course work in a Doctorate in Education program at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Her dissertation interest is to examine objective measures for clinical reasoning development for occupational and physical therapy interns participating in collaborative fieldwork model. Her clinical interests are cardiac rehabilitation specific to patients implanted with a cardiac mechanical device.
beth zabel

Beth Zabel, OTR/L has worked as an OT in a variety of settings: school, community, adult rehab and mental health. She enjoyed her time in nontraditional settings as a nonprofit manager focusing on leadership and community development and a city administrative assistant focusing on grant management and emergency management. She is currently employed as an OT Sr at the Minnesota Security Hospital, St Peter and enjoys the challenge of leading groups to build skills for life-long, post-institutionalization success.

julia peterson

 Julia Peterson,  MS, OTR/L  has worked with the Lakeville Area Public Schools for the past 11 years in the Early Childhood, elementary, middle school, and assistive technology programs.  Within that time, Mrs. Peterson has helped re-evaluate and employ a variety of strategies to assist with the increasing demands and changing technology, motor needs, behavioral needs, and social/emotional health needs of students and families in a variety of school-related settings.  Her emphasis is on building relationships and rapport with students, staff, and family to identify the inherent strengths and interests of students and therefore enhance the successful participation and increased independence of students at school, home, and in the community.

patti morelli

Patti Morelli Teachout, OTR/L is  currently employed at STEP Therapies in Little Canada, MN. She brought OT into a PT clinic that has been providing therapy to client's with neurological disorders. She has been in the clinic for one year and has been developing the OT program in response to the needs of the client's. The challenges she has encountered include educating the PT staff on the role of OT with this population and educating the client base on how OT fits into their lives. She has 25+ years experience in OT including home care and TCU

Event Schedule

    4:00 Check-in and Social Hour
    5:00 Program
    6:30 Dinner
    7:00 Discussion
    8:00 - 9:00 Networking

Price packages

$65 per person; price includes three course dinner, and 2.0 AOTA-approved continuing education contact hours.

Special $10 discount for Level II FW educators - watch your email for this special offer if you have taken a Level II U of M OT in 2016 and 2017!

Food options
  • Grilled chicken breast with cider marinade, seasonal garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette, pan roasted vegetables, marinated roasted red potatoes, dessert*
  • Baked Tilapia with mango salsa, seasonal garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette, pan roasted vegetables, marinated roasted red potatoes, dessert*
  • Vegetable Napoleon, seasonal garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette, pan roasted vegetables, marinated roasted red potatoes, dessert*

* New York Style Cheesecake OR Mini Brownie and Cappuccino Mousse Parfait

register now 

MLS Alumni Banquet

campus club
Saturday, April 22, 2017 -
5:00pm to 9:00pm

Coffmann Union Campus Club

View parking directions.

Medical Laboratory Sciences Alumni Banquet

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm


University of Minnesota Campus Club
403 Coffman Memorial Union
300 Washington Avenue SE Minneapolis MN 55455

Special Recognition of Anniversary Classes:
  • Class of 1992
  • Class of 1967
  • Class of 1942
  • Social Time: 5:00 p.m. 
  • Dinner: 6:00 p.m. 
  • MLS Program Updates: Dr. Janice Conway-Klaassen 
  • Presentation of Alumni of the Year

register now



Course: Introduction to School-Based Practice

ot activity

This course is being offered on a continuous on-demand open schedule. Online registration at

This course is designed for occupational therapists interested in expanding their knowledge about the role of OT in school-based settings. It provides information about current legislation affecting practice including IDEA and the evolution of NCLB (No Child Left Behind) to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The course includes information about best practice including the updated OT Practice Framework 3rd Edition and practice strategies with children with autism, learning disability, and behavioral disorders. Cultural diversity and issues of ethical practice are included in the review of the referral process from screening to evaluation to IEP planning.

Home Accessibility & Safety Opportunity

home accessibility

What is Home Accessibility and Safety?

The Home Accessibility and Safety Assessment Project is a single visit by occupational therapy students to your home to assess its accessibility and safety. People live full lives when they can participate in meaningful activities at home. Occupational therapy students, under the direction of OT faculty, can help ‘fit’ your home to you. As part of their practice, occupational therapists evaluate homes to promote safe and independent living. This is particularly important for people whose abilities are impacted by disability or normal aging. A home evaluation requires that you be present and can take up to 2 hours of your time. View the Home Accessibility & Safety Flier.

Who is Eligible?

We seek people who live in the Twin Cities or the Rochester area, who have a physical condition or a physical limitation that impacts participation at home and in daily life routines, and would like a home accessibility and safety assignment performed by a small group of graduate occupational therapy students from the University of Minnesota. You will receive a faculty-reviewed report of findings and recommendations and a $25 gift card to compensate for your time.


Spring Semester, 2017

How to Volunteer

Email Laura Sopeth, MA, OTR/L, faculty, at or call 612-280-3514 for more information about the Home Accessibility and Safety opportunity.

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