With the need for occupational therapists expected to grow 23 percent in the next 10 years, Dr. Paula Kramer will have an opportunity to help shape her profession from the national level. In April, she was sworn in as an elected member of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) board. Dr. Kramer, who serves as a chair of the OT department, was one of two new elected board directors.
This is an exciting time for the occupational therapy profession and USP: the U.S. Department of Labor is anticipating large job growth potential and the AOTA has embraced a roadmap called “2017 Centennial Vision” as the profession moves towards its 100th anniversary.
Dr. Kramer hopes to focus on several key points during her tenure:
Making occupational therapy well recognized by the general public
Bridging the gap between practice and education
Validating the profession through research, including the study of our theoretical base
Developing new practice arenas in the community to reach people in their natural environments
Collaborating with the various organizations that serve our profession.
Many of these areas are strengths within USP’s OT curriculum.
Dr. Kramer served as a member of the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) from 1993 through 2005, serving as Chair from 2001-06. Her area of clinical practice has been predominantly in pediatric occupational therapy and building links betweent theory and practice. She has co-authored five books and has written extensively on the relationship between theory and practice, particularly in the area of pediatrics and frames of reference. In 1985, Dr. Kramer received the prestigious Fellow (FAOTA) designation from AOTA for her service and scholarly contributions to the profession in the area of pediatrics. In 2005, she received the A. Jean Ayres Award from the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, for exemplary contributions to scholarship in practice, education, and research.