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If you are interested in knowing more about any of the open positions, please contact Lori Taylor.

Please refer to the 2021-2022 Board of Directors PDF for a quick way to see who is on the Board of Directors & Leadership Groups.

Primary Officers

Lori Taylor, OTR/L MBA 

otaopresident@gmail.com

Lori Taylor, OTR/L, MBA is a 2000 graduate of the Occupational Therapy program at Maryville University in St. Louis. Lori has worked in the hosiptal setting, outpatient hand therapy, and in post-acute care. She is most passionate about OT Life Balance Model and working to achieve that balance both personally and with others. Lori enjoys running, volunteering with Krayon Kids Children’s Theater, and spending time with her adventurous family. In her practice, Lori oversees 10 therapy post-acute care therapy programs. Being a board member of OTAO fulfills her dedication for life-long advocacy for her profession.

Elizabeth (Liz) Miller, OTR/L, CHT 

otaopastpresident@gmail.com

Liz works as an occupational therapist at Providence Sports Care Center and has been practicing occupational therapy since 2009. She has served on OTAO’s Board of Directors since 2015. She grew up in Minnesota and enjoys biking, yoga, skiing, and exploring the Pacific NW with her friends, husband, and dog. Areas of expertise: hand and upper extremity, concussion/mTBI.

Kristin Johnson, OTAO Director, NW OregonKristin Johnson, COTA/L 

otaovicepresident@gmail.com

Kristin is a COTA/L and an Aging in Place Coach. Practicing since 2000, she has experience in skilled nursing, home health and mental health. Kristin has served on the OTAO board since 2017. A native Oregonian, she enjoys gardening, backpacking, international travel, cooking and lingering over a good cup of coffee.

Kristy Fleming, OTR/L 

otaotreasurer@gmail.com 

Kristy is a graduate of Pacific University and has been working as an Occupational Therapist at Our House of Portland since graduating with her Master’s degree in 2005. Kristy has served on the OTAO Board of Directors since 2017, served on the Pacific University Advisory Council and on the OTAO conference planning committee for 2 years. Kristy is a Pacific Northwest Native that enjoys long distance cycling, spending time with friends and playing with her pup, Ozzy.

Laurie Spellman, OTR/L 

otaosecretary@gmail.com

I have been a OT for over 25 years graduating from Boston University in 1993 with a MSOT after receiving my BA in Psychology from the Univ of Oregon In 1990. I feel old now 😀

I have worked in a variety of settings including pediatric rehab and the NICU, schools, acute care, inpatient rehab and the last 12 years in home health and currently work as the Executive Director for Signature Healthcare at Home in Albany. I also teach part time in the OTA program at Linn Benton Community College.

I am a Oregon native growing up in Eugene. I love my Ducks and enjoy watching all sports especially basketball.
I enjoy reading, traveling with my family, and continuing to learn.

I previously served on the board as the treasurer and co-chair of our state conference.

Committees

Britt Behrendt MOT, OTR/L

OTAOmembership@gmail.com

Brit Behrendt is an occupational therapist in Portland, OR. She has been practicing for 10 years, primarily as a school-based OT. She was born and raised near Chicago, IL and studied occupational therapy at University of Indianapolis. This is her first year serving on OTAO’s Board of Directors after participating in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force and she looks forward to continuing this work with the organization. She is dedicated to many volunteer roles such as co-founding OTsForAction, delivering OT services and promoting sustainability of therapy programs in Belize, serving as a CASA, and advocating for workers’ rights through union representation. Outside of occupational therapy, Brit enjoys camping, kayaking, knitting, gardening, and expressing love through food.

Emily Lorang

OTAOmembership@gmail.com

Emily grew up in rural Arizona and received her Bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University. Upon graduation, she began working in K-12 school districts in Arizona, North Carolina, Baltimore, and finally Oregon. She returned to school to receive her A.A.S. to become an OTA, subsequently working in pediatric outpatient until a faculty position became available at Linn-Benton Community College’s OTA program. She will be starting her third academic year with the program and truly enjoys leading future practitioners and spreading her love for all things OT! When not OT-ing, she stays active through hiking, biking, yoga, travel, and dance. 

Nicole’ Pavenick, OTR/L 

OTAOmarketing@gmail.com

Nicolé Pavenick is a native Oregonian and has been practicing occupational therapy for 9 years. Nicolé currently works at Providence Portland Medical Center as the OT lead therapist. Prior to finding OT, she worked in a school district as an educational assistant and at a summer camp with children with special needs. She has served on the OTAO board since graduating in 2012. Her various roles have included; editor of the Viewpoint newsletter, Continuing Education Co-chair, president-elect, OTAO president and she just recently completed her past president role. She is now transitioning into a new role on the OTAO board and excited to get involved with OTAO Marketing. In her free time she enjoys traveling, playing with her puppy, snowboarding, hiking, razor clamming, and spending time with friends.

Natalie Butz, OTR/L

OTAOmarketing@gmail.com

Natalie Butz is a native Idahoan, but birth as an Oregonian via Pacific University OT program. She has explored the world of OT working with the life spans from birth to death and all injuries in between throughout Idaho, Oregon, and Montana. Natalie has nestled into life in Joseph Oregon working in the rural setting to allow her to continue treating 9 months to 90 years all before sunset views on mountain tops and midnight lake paddles. Marketing is a new interest but OT is a long term passion so let’s hope Natalie can help us rule the world with her energy behind it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Harris, COTA/L 

OTAOlegislative@gmail.com

I am a licensed occupational therapy assistant, currently involved with the PACE program Providence. I am a 22-year veteran of the field with 35 years of health care experience. First generation college grad and overall fun guy (that’s me)! I love occupational therapy and I hope that in some ways I can help to advance the field. I believe practitioners of this field are often undervalued and unappreciated. I am hoping that my limited expertise will be overshadowed by my enthusiasm to help and that I will be and asset to the Legislative Team.

Katie O’Day, OTR/L

OTAOlegislative@gmail.com

Katie O’Day graduated with honors from Pacific University with a masters degree in occupational therapy in 2011. Since then she has worked in a variety of settings as an occupational therapist including school based and medical in multiple hospitals and outpatient pediatrics. While attending Pacific University she developed the Visual Activity Sort which is an assessment & intervention tool to use with adolescents through adulthood. It is currently being used in large grant-funded studies as a strengths based approach to increase participation in activities. This is a comprehensive, top-down, client-centered tool used to measure interest, motivations and changes in participation of activities due to an event. It also helps gather information regarding barriers to participation including pain, independence level and emotion.  Initially this tool was developed as part of a capstone project where she was partnered with a community organization called Outside In which provides housing, health and career services for homeless youth. While partnered with this organization she found there were limited assessment tools available to use in this community setting. The need has been identified in other areas as well including transition school services, mental health, and physical rehabilitation. Outside of work and her entrepreneurial efforts Katie loves to travel and experience different cultures. She also has strong interests in the outdoors including hiking and long walks with her two dogs, Einstein & Darwin.

Brianne Salvati, OTAO Marketing Chair

Brianne Salvati, OTR/L MOT

OTAOcontinuinged@gmail.com

Brianne Salvati, OTR/L, MOT is a graduate of Oregon State University and Loma Linda University. She currently works for Infinity Rehab as the Director of Professional Development. Bre is adjunct lab instructor for Linn-Benton Occupational Therapy Assistant program and serves as their Advisory Board Chair. Bre is an Oregon native and a big Portland Timbers fan. When she’s not working, she enjoys kickboxing and spending time with her husband and son.

Shruti Gadkari, OTD, OTR/L

OTAOcontinuinged@gmail.com

Shruti has been an occupational therapist for over 10 years. She is originally from Mumbai, India, where she did her entry level occupational therapy training. She moved to the US in 2010, where she competed her post professional education from the University of Southern California and Thomas Jefferson University.

Shruti currently works as a faculty member at Pacific University in the School of Occupational Therapy. Shruti has extensive clinical experience in pediatric therapy and an advanced certification in teaching, and she is especially passionate about promoting Evidence Based Practice in occupational therapy.

Shruti moved to the Pacific NW in 2018 and has immensely enjoyed the outdoor opportunities that Oregon has to offer.

Regional Directors

OPEN POSITION 

Contact Lori Taylor at otaopresident@gmail.com if you’re interest in being a part of the OTAO team.

OPEN POSITION 

Contact Lori Taylor at otaopresident@gmail.com if you’re interest in being a part of the OTAO team.

Heather Thomas 

OTAOdirector.midwillamettevalley@gmail.com

Dr. Heather Thomas is the new chair of the Doctor Occupational Therapy program at Western University of Health Sciences in Lebanon, Oregon. She has a long history of working in occupational therapy education, starting at Loma Linda University where she served as full time faculty for 10 years and then in 2013 she transitioned over to West Coast University in Los Angeles where she helped develop the MSOT program and served as professor and curriculum coordinator. She was the program director for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at American Career College from 2016-2017. Most recently, she was a full time professor at the University of St. Augustine in San Marcos, California. She has presented at international, national and state conferences, and was involved in providing OT services in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. She has served in a variety of leadership positions within the California state OT association, Los Angeles OT Leadership Forum, Los Angeles City, and the American Occupational Therapy Association. She is the author of the top selling activity analysis text book “Occupation-Based Activity Analysis” which is used across the world.  She was the winner of the 2016 Occupational Therapy Association of California Award of Excellence. Her practice background includes working in acute rehabilitation and acute settings, with those who have sustained traumatic and progressive neurological disorders.

OPEN POSITION 

Contact Lori Taylor at otaopresident@gmail.com if you’re interest in being a part of the OTAO team.

Rachel Wolfe, OTR/L 

OTAOdirector.southernoregon@gmail.com

Rachel graduated with her Masters in occupational therapy from Idaho State University in 2006. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and is currently working in acute orthopedics at Providence Medford Medical Center. Her professional interests include acute and chronic pain, concussions, and working with interdisciplinary teams. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two children traveling, camping and backpacking. She also enjoys cooking, baking and learning to play the ukulele.

Fiona Mains, OTAO Director, Central OregonFiona Mains, MS, OTR/L

OTAOdirector.centraloregon@gmail.com

Fiona graduated as an occupational therapist in 1989 in Scotland where she practiced in various clinical settings before immigrating to New Zealand in 1996, and then relocating to the USA in 2012 with her husband’s job relocation. Fiona has worked within a wide range of populations; in hospitals, community services, medical research, and taught occupational therapy students at college for a number of years. Since moving to the USA, Fiona has upgraded her occupational therapy knowledge to fit the American healthcare culture and is now working in a specialist consulting role within the High Desert Education Service District, and as an independent practitioner for Treehouse Therapies. Fiona has past experience in NZ where she was elected, by her peers, to hold the professional portfolio as part of the Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa executive; working on position papers in response to proposed government law changes. Fiona was later appointed as a professional board member to The Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand, working hard to ensure that best practice was in compliance with New Zealand health law. Fiona and her family love their new home in Bend and are taking advantage of all the fun outdoor activities available so close to home.

Jeannise Nichols, OTR/L, MOT

OTAOdirector.easternoregon@gmail.com

Jeannise, OTR/L is an Eastern Oregon native, raised in the small town of Athena. Jeannise graduated with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy from the University of British Columbia located in Vancouver, BC in 2017. Jeannise has since returned home and begun working at Providence St. Mary’s Home Health based out of Walla Walla, WA. Jeannise is the OT that serves the communities of Milton-Freewater, Weston, Athena, and Adams in Eastern Oregon. In her free time you will find Jeannise singing with the local choir, playing in the local jazz and concert bands, travelling, or playing with her German Shepherd, Sage.

Oregon OT & OTA School Representatives

Alisa Sheth, PhD, OTR/L

OTAOpacificfacultyrep@gmail.com

Alisa is an assistant professor and the doctoral capstone coordinator at the School of Occupational Therapy at Pacific University. She has a PhD in Disability Studies and is interested in studying the ways in which the field of disability studies can be effectively incorporated into occupational therapy education, practice, and research to foster critical reflection and responsiveness to the needs of the communities we serve. As an occupational therapist for over 15 years, her primary focus has been working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), their families, and other caregivers across the lifespan, from school-based services to end of life care. 

 

Katrina Smith, OTS

OTAOpacificstudentreps@gmail.com

Katrina Smith is an occupational therapy student at Pacific University. Katrina goes by she/her pronouns and is originally from Denver, CO but spent the last three years in Oakland, CA. While in CA she worked as a licensed OTA where she gained a deeper interest and passion for occupational therapy. She is specifically interested in acute care, women’s health, and mental health. In her free time, she enjoys seeing live music, yoga, exercising, and spending time with her husband and cat.

Samara Phillips, OTS

OTAOpacificstudentreps@gmail.com

Jamie Hahn, OTAS
 

OTAOlinnbentonstudentreps@gmail.com

My name is Jamie, I am currently an OTAS at LBCC. I am a wife, mom of 4, advocate, gardener, saved by Grace, enjoys the sun, coffee and chocolate lover. I am deeply interested in OT/OTA advocacy regarding state and federal policies that affect OT/OTA practitioners. Here is my elevator speech to why Occupational Therapy is important to me.

Occupational Therapy has a goal to focus on individuals across the lifespan with a variety of diagnoses in promoting their independence. Promoting independence means helping find ways for individuals’ to successfully accomplish their day-to-day activities that are meaningful, purposeful, and brings value to their lives despite obstacles. Our role as OTAs consists of providing opportunities of independence in a holistic way. As an OTA student, I am concerned about DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) measures advocating for disadvantaged individuals with diagnosis/disabilities. Though DEI may seem trivial to some, I feel from my experience working with disadvantaged individuals that these measures would have a positive, overall impact on our communities’ quality of life through Occupational Therapy.

Jodie Smalley, OTAS

OTAOlinnbentonstudentreps@gmail.com

Special Interest Section Liaisons

Paul Zulak, OTR/L, QMHP

otaosis.productiveaging@gmail.com

Paul is an occupational therapist at Providence St Vincent Hospital.
He grew up in Upstate NY, is a Navy Vet and enjoys grandkids, gardening, running, biking, lions, tigers and bears, and exploring the Pacific NW with family & friends. Areas of expertise: Old folks, Aging in Place, Behavioural Health / Cognition

Jackie Fullerton, OTAO SecretaryJackie Fullerton, OTR/L 

otaosis.mentalhealth@gmail.com

Jackie works as an occupational therapist at Oregon State Hospital. She is passionate about the role of OT in promoting participation and quality of life among individuals who are facing criminalization, often resulting from untreated illness. At the hospital, she has the opportunity to help patients stabilize and learn new skills to support health, safety, and lifelong recovery.

Jackie grew up on a horse farm in Maryland. She enjoys hiking, camping, yoga, learning new things, and spending time with her fiance and three furry family members. She is currently working towards becoming a certified yoga teacher. Areas of expertise: mental health, mindfulness, pain management.

Erin Cochran, OTAO SIS Liaison, PediatricsErin Cochran, OTR/L 

otaosis.childrenyouth@gmail.com

Erin has been working as an occupational therapist since 2008 after graduating from Tufts University. She has worked in many pediatric settings including inpatient rehab, hospital based outpatient clinics, acute inpatient including NICU, and school based programs. She currently works at the Institute on Development and Disability at OHSU and specializes in feeding, assistive technology, Down syndrome, and NICU follow up. Erin hails from Cleveland, OH yet has enjoyed living in Oregon since 2012 and loves running, cooking, knitting, hiking, and exploring the outdoors with her husband and daughters.

Margaret Wolf, OTAO SIS Liaison, Developmental DisabilitiesMargaret Wolf, OTR/L

otaosis.developmentaldisability@gmail.com

Margaret is an Assistant Professor and occupational therapist at the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center at Oregon Health and Science University, where she has worked since graduating from Colorado State University in 2007. She directs the student program and works in a variety of clinical settings, including Spina Bifida, Autism and Neurodevelopment, Constraint Induced Movement Therapy, Down syndrome and splinting programs. She grew up in Oregon and loves spending time with her family and friends outdoors.

Mary Greer, PhD, OTR/L

otaosis.academiceducation@gmail.com

Mary has worked in an academic environment for most of her career; as an instructor in an OTA program, as an academic fieldwork coordinator and assistant professor in a master’s level OT program and currently in the OTD program at Pacific University. Prior to working in academia, she worked as a staff OT and supervisor in psychosocial and pediatric settings. She also served as an accreditation evaluator of OT education programs for ACOTE. She looks forward to being involved with OTAO and contributing to the OT community.

Paul Zulak, OTR/L, QMHP 

otaosis.emergingpractice@gmail.com

Paul is an occupational therapist at Providence St Vincent Hospital.
He grew up in Upstate NY, is a Navy Vet and enjoys grandkids, gardening, running, biking, lions, tigers and bears, and exploring the Pacific NW with family & friends. Areas of expertise: Old folks, Aging in Place, Behavioural Health / Cognition

Charlotte Maloney, BS

otaosis.retirees@gmail.com

Charlotte Maloney Retired in 2011, after 38 year career. First position was as the sole OTR at what is now called a skilled nursing facility; published an article with a case study about development of long term care team- AJOT 1976 (26) 300-304. Subsequent experience: acute inpatient rehab, home health, consultant at SNFs, consultant team member for developmentally disabled individuals and their families, and several outpatient settings: community and vocational reentry after TBI, work site injury prevention, work hardening, upper extremity rehab after on-the-job-injury, and biofeedback for pain management.

Published two articles in Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics and co-authored a chapter on discharge planning in Occupational Therapy for the Older Adult: A Clinical Manual.

Presented at numerous OTAO and AOTA conferences on topics of biofeedback for relaxation, chronic pain and neuromuscular reeducation; age-related sensory loss and compensation; health care reform; and other topics. She served over 10 years on the state board of Health Care for All- Oregon, a term on the Oregon Occupational Therapy Licensing Board, over 5 years on the Editorial Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, and various community and OTAO committees. Currently, coordinates OTAO Retiree SIS, while persuing many diverse interests.