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OT International

OT International
Manning an information table at a college gathering, OT Class of 2013 OT students Megan Stabler, Katie Pannebecker, and Christine Gustafson smile for the camera.
Occupational Therapy International Club (OTI) is “dedicated to increasing knowledge and understanding of occupational therapy in diverse cultures and countries”. Its goal is to educate students about occupational therapy both locally and internationally, as well as, participate in service projects. The club’s previous service projects included volunteering at the Children Hospital of Philadelphia where OTSs worked alongside OTRs with internationally adopted children and their parents. Our current service projects involved working with a faith based organization to collect donations for individuals in Haiti. We also helped the Hazelton area school district by providing Spanish translation for better communication between the OTR and parents regarding medical terminology. Throughout the year, we continuously provided shirts, bracelets, koozies, pizza, drinks, and desserts to the weekend students for a minimal fee as a service project. For the upcoming academic school year, our plan is to send a group of 8 OTSs to Honduras during Spring Break 2014. We also hope to work with the weekend college and post-professionals concerning service projects and fundraising opportunities.

Members of the research team included, first row from left, Maureen Roche, Tabitha Marquardt and Michelle Bender; second row, Judy Myers, Dr. Grace Fisher, chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy, Misericordia University, and Jane Zak.

Spring Semester, 2013

A Misericordia University occupational therapy group’s research project was recently presented at the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland’s Annual Conference, “Occupational Therapy: Evidence and Innovation,’’ that was held at the Mullingar Park Hotel, Mullingar, Ireland in April 2013.

Judy Myers, O.T.S., of South Williamsport, Pa., is scheduled to graduate from the Misericordia University Department of Occupational Therapy’s Weekend Program in December 2013. She presented her team’s research, “Occupational Balance in Religious Sisters of Mercy using Matuska and Christiansen’s Life Balance Model,’’ at the conference that was held April 19 and 20. She completed the research with her colleagues, Michelle Bender, O.T.S., of Dillsburg, Pa.; Tabitha Marquardt, O.T.S., Mount Wolf, Pa.; Maureen Roche, O.T.S., of New York, N.Y., and Jane Zak, O.T.S., of Dallas, Pa.

The Misericordia University occupational therapy research project examined how increased stress in today’s lifestyles contributes to dissatisfaction with life and diminished well-being. Researchers examined how the Religious Sisters of Mercy mentor people on achieving life satisfaction and spiritual peace, and compared it to the occupational balance as defined by the Matuska and Chyristiansen’s models. Fifteen Sisters of Mercy participated in the study.

The prominent findings showed the value of reflection, acceptance of life changes, supportive relationships in community, accountability, owning the quest for life balance, and gratitude. All of the participants, according to the study, reported satisfaction with their personal life balance.