The pandemic may have forced it to take place over a video conference instead of in person, but the physical distance didn’t prevent Thursday’s Kosair Charities and enTECH Virtual Day of Celebration from living up to its name in the joyful, celebratory spirit of the holiday season.

Leaders from Spalding University and Kosair Charities joined the online call to meet the families that are receiving gifts of assistive technology for their children who face physical challenges and cognitive differences.

The gifts, to be distributed in the coming weeks through enTECH and its Kosair Charities Financial Assistance Program, will provide the children with therapeutic, educational and sensory benefits and help them with communication, speech, mobility and play.

enTECH Overview| Visit home page of the assistive technology resource center

The gifts included Apple iPads with the latest assistive-technology apps and accessories, switch toys, floatation devices that help with bathing, and communication and writing tools. The devices and apps are often not covered by insurance and can very expensive if purchased out of pocket.

Brittany Farris was thankful that her 23-month-old daughter, Leah, would being receiving a series of specialized switch toys to help her play.

“Most toys that are typical for a child her age, she just cannot play with,” Brittany Farris said. “It’s been one of those things where we’re like, ‘How can we get her switch toys?’ Insurance does not want to pay for play things for children sometimes. So it’s been quite difficult to get some of these items, and we’re just truly so appreciative of each and every item. And I promise we will utilize them and really appreciate what you guys are doing.”

Shamenda Harper Livingston said her sixth-grade son Kinjay would benefit from the LAMP Words for Life communications app he’d be receiving, adding that he has been thriving as an honor-roll student at Johnson Traditional Middle School. Additionally, Kinjay’s new Apple Pencil “will really help him make his letters and writing a little better and more legible,” his mom said.

The Kosair Charities Enabling Technologies of Kentuckiana assistive technology resource center – or enTECH, for short – is a division of Spalding’s Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy and is located on Spalding’s campus at 812 S. Second St. in the former Kosair Shrine Temple. It is one of five state-designated assistive technology resource centers in Kentucky, and it offers a range of therapy services. Kosair Charities is a major supporter of its programs and facilities.

“This partnership with Spalding is so important because Spalding is not afraid to think big and bold, and that’s what we need in this world: big and bold thinking,” Kosair Charities President Keith Inman said. “So this is going to be a partnership that’s going to last a long, long time.

“… We’re just honored that we we have the ability to do the little piece that we can do because what you do at Spalding and enTECH, top to bottom, that’s hard work. For 97 years, we have had one goal, and that’s to help children overcome some significant obstacles to reach their full potential. And nowhere is this more evident than on this call.”

Spalding President Tori Murden McClure said that in a year in which the pandemic had limited the joy of so much, Thursday’s virtual celebration with Kosair Charities and enTECH was a return to fun.

“This event (is an occasion in which) we give really important technology and mobility tools to the young ones in a setting where you’re just thrilled to see them, and see the families and the joy and the relief and the fun,” McClure said. “And so I just want to, say, I really love our Kosair Charities partners, and I love enTECH.”

Watch the video of the full Kosair Charities and enTECH Day of Celebration below:

With one of Kentucky’s premier certified hand therapists serving as a lead instructor, Spalding University’s Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy is offering a new graduate certificate and post-professional doctoral track in Upper Extremity Rehabilitation. Unique to this region, the programs will provide occupational therapists with advanced knowledge of the complex physiology and occupations of the hand and arm as well as training in how to evaluate and treat upper-limb injuries.

Spalding is now accepting applications for Fall 2020 at for both the certificate and the post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) track. Assistant Professor Dr. Greg Pitts, a licensed OT and certified hand therapist who owns and operates Commonwealth Hand Therapy clinic in Lexington, will teach multiple courses.

The 15-credit-hour certificate program in Upper Extremity Rehabilitation consists of three five-hour courses presented in a hybrid format of online instruction and face-to-face skill development. Applicants must have a professional degree along with certification or licensing in occupational therapy or physical therapy.

The 30-hour post-professional OTD track, meanwhile, is designed for licensed occupational therapy practitioners who want to progress to the full doctoral degree. It involves five 13-week courses of online instruction blended once a trimester with in-person testing. It includes a three-hour course in upper-extremity wound care. A self-directed capstone is the final requirement.

OVERVIEW | Graduate certificate in Upper Extremity Rehab
OVERVIEW | Post-professional OTD track in Upper Extremity Rehab
CURRICULUM | Courses for the post-professional OTD
RELATED | All Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy programs

“These Upper Extremity Rehabilitation programs are really going fit a need – and not only in the Louisville area,” said Dr. Rob McAlister, Chair of the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy. “Because the classes are primarily online, we can also serve the rest of the country and even beyond the limits of our country if a person can come to Louisville once every three months for a weekend. Then that person can attain a credential that really makes them more marketable in their profession.”

Greg Pitts, OT faculty
Dr. Greg Pitts

In addition to teaching the scientific principles related to upper extremities and injuries, Spalding’s new programs will also place an emphasis on teaching management skills and business applications in an upper extremity rehab clinic.

“Our dream was to develop a program where a post-professional occupational therapist could come to Spalding and learn real-world applications for both basic and complex orthotics and develop skills that will help perpetuate their careers,” Pitts said. “Students will also develop an understanding of the value of mentorship and the value of science as they apply it to the treatment of patients. You can become a very valuable employee because you can learn to help manage therapists and help provide good functional outcomes. You can become a leader in upper extremity rehab.”

Pitts is well-established as a leader in the field. He is the past chair of the American Hand Therapy Foundation, and he is currently on the board of the Hand Therapy Certification Commission. For years, Pitts has served as Clinical Director for On-Site Rehabilitation for Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, and he is a past recipient of Kentucky’s Outstanding Occupational Therapist of the Year Award.

“Dr. Pitts is so passionate and so knowledgeable,” McAlister said. “He is a nationally recognized authority on upper-extremity care, and he is one of the foremost practitioners in the country. He owns his own business, so from a practitioner’s standpoint and from a business standpoint, he knows what it takes to succeed, and he can communicate that knowledge really well to students. The faculty teaching in these programs are world-class.”

Spalding Dean of Graduate Education Dr. Kurt Jefferson said the Upper Extremity Rehabilitation certificate and post-professional OTD track “continue the important tradition of Spalding’s occupational therapy program expanding its footprint both academically and clinically in Louisville and beyond.”

He continued: “The opportunity for healthcare professionals to gain continual knowledge and expertise in this area will benefit practitioners in important intellectual and professional ways.”

Visit or for more information. Email [email protected] or call (502) 588-7196 with questions.

Telehealth uses information and communication technologies to enable healthcare providers to connect with patients at a distance. While telehealth has been slowly gaining traction in healthcare for more than two decades, the Coronavirus is proving to be a tipping point. Social distancing, along with school and clinic closures, has necessitated the use of telehealth to provide health-related services.

Spalding University is nurturing innovation in the areas of both telehealth and distance education.

In 2008, I partnered with Kosair Charities’ Enabling Technologies of Kentuckiana (enTECH) assistive technology resource center, a state-designated assistive technology resource center located on Spalding’s campus,  to develop a pilot telehealth program that provided occupational therapy services to young children in rural Kentucky. This was funded through a grant by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.  I’m proud that this early research, as well as my work with national and international organizations, has contributed to the global advancement of telehealth.

RELATED | Faculty Focus Friday Q&A with Dr. Jana Cason
RELATED | Dr. Cason, expert on telehealth, honored for innovative practice in OT
VIDEO | Watch one of Dr. Cason’s recent lectures on telehealth

Other Spalding faculty and staff who are fluent in telehealth are preparing students “to meet the needs of the times” – a tenet of Spalding’s mission. Here are examples of other ways the university is embracing telehealth delivery and educating students about it:

  • Dr. Norah Chapman, Associate Professor in the School of Professional Psychology, has evaluated evidence-based telepsychology interventions.
  • Students pursuing the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy’s Assistive and Adaptive Technology Certificate or post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree can acquire telehealth competencies through an interdisciplinary online course – Introduction to Telehealth.  Students learn about telehealth terminology, technologies, standards and guidelines, practice considerations, clinical applications and telehealth outcome research.
  • All Spalding graduate students in a health-related field will have the opportunity to take the course, Introduction to Telehealth, as an elective beginning in Fall 2020. In addition, telehealth-related educational content for healthcare administrators, clinical directors, and undergraduate students is on a fast-track development.
  • Spalding is also meeting the needs of the times via its on-campus Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility (CORF), which provides coordinated, multidisciplinary rehabilitation services. In response to the coronavirus and need for social distancing, CORF administrators are exploring telehealth as a way to continue to provide high-quality physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and social work services.
  • The School of Professional Psychology’s Center for Behavioral Health is also implementing telehealth services.  Additionally, the School of Professional Psychology is making telehealth delivery available to all practicum students for continuity of care.

The coronavirus has necessitated the rapid adoption of telehealth across all healthcare sectors.  As a result, it has forever changed the landscape of how health-related services are delivered.

Spalding University is proud to live its mission as “a diverse community of learners dedicated to meeting the needs of the times.” Assuring that our students in health-related fields are provided with opportunities to graduate as competent users of telehealth is just one of the many ways we are fulfilling our mission and meeting the needs of the times.

The future is now, and Spalding is leading the way.

Dr. Jana Cason, DHSc, OTR/L, FAOTA, is a professor in the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy. She was the recipient of the 2019 Emerging and Innovative Practice Award by the American Occupational Therapy Association for her work and research on telehealth in OT.

Spalding University’s enTECH center, Kosair Charities and the families of nine children enjoyed a happy holiday gathering on Wednesday during the second annual enTECH Day of Celebration. Gifts of assistive-technology devices and toys were distributed to the children, who range from 2 to 16 years old and who all face physical or cognitive challenges.

The gift distribution was made possible through the support of Kosair Charities. After enTECH therapist Alison Amschoff announced the recipients and explained how the children would benefit from the devices, Kosair Charities President Keith Inman and Board Chair Hugh I “H.” Stroth were on hand at enTECH to deliver the gifts.

The participating families applied for the devices through enTECH and its Kosair Charities Lending Library and Financial Assistance Program. The assistive-technology gifts, which included iPads and iPad accessories and various other switch toys, provide therapeutic, educational and sensory benefits and help with communication and play.

“I just want people to know that enTECH is a really significant part of this community for families who have kids with disabilities,” said Eric Wright, whose teenage daughters, Ella and Elsie, received an iPad and Apple Pencil on Wednesday. “Their advocacy and what they do for parents in the realm of therapy and the realm of assistive technology is truly amazing. I’ve been blessed to be able to have this for my family. We love the therapists we’ve worked with, particularly Alison, who we’ve known since Ella (who’s now 16) was 2 years old.”


Wright said assistive-technology devices like the ones that were distributed on Wednesday can be expensive for families to purchase and may be difficult or impossible to acquire through insurance.

He said Ella’s old iPad, which she relies on to communicate because she is nonverbal, constantly freezes up but that it was unlikely the family would have replaced it anytime soon.

“To have Kosair Charities partner up with Spalding and enTECH to make this gift happen is really amazing,” he said. “This makes a big difference for us, particularly as we move into the new year.”

The Kosair Charities Enabling Technologies of Kentuckiana (or enTECH) assistive technology resource center is a division of the Spalding University Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy. EnTECH is one of five state-designated assistive technology resource centers in Kentucky. Its mission is to create assistive technology solutions to meet the needs of the times through the enhancement of all people’s participation in everyday life activities. Its Lending Library provides families or individuals the opportunity to rent or be loaned pieces of assistive technology.

Spalding, Kosair Charities and enTECH officials posed families at enTECH
Officials from Spalding, Kosair Charities and enTECH gathered with the families who received gifts at the enTECH Day of Celebration, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019.

Five years ago as a college freshman, Miranda Wray attended a student activities fair – the kind of event that occurs every day on university campuses across the country. She walked around checking out  tables and booths for information, including a table promoting bone marrow and blood stem cell donations.

Without thinking much of it and figuring nothing would ever come of it, Wray said agreed to register as a potential stem cell donor. After providing a quick cheek swab, Wray left and didn’t think about it again.  It wasn’t long until she completely forgot that she’d even signed up.

As it turns out, a half-decade later, that afterthought of an afternoon put Wray in position to save a person’s life.

This May, Wray, who is now a second-year graduate student in Spalding’s Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy, was contacted seemingly out of the blue by the donation service, DKMS, and informed that the sample she’d given five years earlier was a perfect match for an anonymous young woman with leukemia who was in need of a transplant.

At first, Wray didn’t remember that she’d ever registered to be a donor, and it took her a while to process it all.

“I was like, ‘Wow, what is this?'” she said.

Wray followed up with a long phone call with DKMS, which carefully explained the process to her and left her time to make a decision on if she wanted to move forward.

“I knew I wanted to do it, but I’d never even given blood before or anything like that,” she said. “So I was nervous. But (DKMS coordinators) were amazing, and there was no way I wasn’t going to do it.”

Wray was eager to participate, but making a stem cell donation is no simple task. It was a four-month process, with an arduous final week.

Wray doesn’t like needles, but she had to have her blood drawn five times over the course of several months. She said she nearly passed out the first couple times. Then, in the week leading up to the donation, she received 10 injections in order to boost her stem-cell production. The injections made Wray feel like she had the flu, but they worked. She entered the donation day with stem cell levels triple their normal amount.

Finally, early last month after undergoing a full physical, Wray traveled to a medical facility to complete the donation, called peripheral blood stem cell collection. The method required Wray to lay still in a chair for six hours with a tube in each arm while her entire blood supply was cycled five times. The blood exited through one arm and was sent to a machine, where millions of stem cells were separated out and collected. Then, the blood reentered her body through the other arm.

On the day of the donation, Wray so nervous that she needed about an hour before the donation began to calm down and get her heart rate down. But she never had second thoughts, and the donation was successfully collected.


“To be a perfect match with a stranger is so rare, so I just thought it was really awesome,” she said. “I knew there was a living, breathing person somewhere out in the world who needed it. If I didn’t do this, she eventually could have passed away.”

DKMS operates on a system of strict donor-recipient confidentiality and anonymity. Wray doesn’t know the name of the woman who received her stem cells and has been given almost no information about her. But it’s possible that if the transplant ends up successful and both parties agree to it, that they could meet in a year.

Wray hopes to meet the woman someday and said she has thought a lot about what a potential meeting might be like.

“I would definitely cry a lot,” Wray said with a laugh. “Just knowing that that person maybe could build a new healthy body with my cells is the most rewarding feeling I think you could ever have.”

Wray said Spalding’s occupational therapy faculty has been fully supportive during her donation process and excused her absences she needed to miss class.

Coincidentally, DKMS’s first contact with Wray came about a week after Dr. Laura Stimler gave a lecture in her pediatrics class about blood cancers and the work of occupational therapists in oncology settings.

Wray said Stimler lectured about the exact same transplant process in which Wray ended up participating, and Wray said that her Spalding coursework had helped inform her as she moved ahead in the process.

“I was inspired to hear that Miranda was going to be a stem cell donor,” Stimler said. “Her choice to step up and help someone with complex needs is consistent with the generous spirit among our ASOT students. Miranda put her busy life on hold to give a stranger a second chance at life. This is one of the most authentic demonstrations of compassion that I have observed while teaching at Spalding.”

Stimler, who spent most of her clinical career working in pediatric oncology rehabilitation, said that in practice, the focus is primarily on the stem-cell transplant recipient, not the donor. However, Stimler said, “Miranda’s journey reminded us to consider the perspectives of all individuals involved in the transplant process.”

Stimler added that she was thrilled to hear that the class at Spalding had helped her recognize some of the complex terminology and diagnoses that came up during her donation experience.

“Miranda’s story is inspiring,” Stimler said. “We are proud to have her in ASOT.”

In another coincidence, Wray gave the donation during September, which is Blood Cancer Awareness Month.

Now she hopes that sharing her story will inspire others to register to become stem cell or bone marrow donors.

“It’s so crazy and so rare that you may get the chance to give someone a second chance at life,” she said. “I don’t know anyone else who’s ever had the chance to do this and ever matched with someone who needed a life-saving procedure like that. It was definitely one of the coolest days of my life.”


Spalding student Miranda Wray sitting chair with arm connected to a machine that is extracting stem cells she was donating
Miranda Wray spent several hours connected to a machine while her stem cells were collected for donation.


With Commencement approaching on June 1, Spalding is publishing a series of stories and Q&A’s that highlight students from a range of degree programs who are set to graduate. Next up is Devyn Tompkins, who is earning the degree of Bachelor of Science in Health Science as part of a longer occupational therapy graduate program.

What is your favorite Spalding memory?
My favorite Spalding memory is being on the volleyball team for two years and making lifelong friends as well as being accepted into Spalding’s OT program my sophomore year.

Which accomplishments are you most proud of during your time at Spalding?
My biggest accomplishment that I am proud of is graduating with my Bachelors of Science in Health Science in three years and working on my master’s in occupational therapy.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
Being at the Pod with my friends.

At Spalding, we like to say that, “Today is a great day to change the world.” For many of our students, Commencement is a world changing experience. After graduation, how do you plan to change the world, big or small, and who inspires you to be a #spaldingworldchanger?
My family inspires me to be a #SpaldingWorldChanger. They push me to do my best and have supported me throughout my college journey. I plan to change the world by being the best occupational therapist I can be and provide exceptional services to my future clients.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your Spalding experience?
I am so grateful for the endless opportunities Spalding has given me.

Spalding University faculty member Dr. Jana Cason, who is regarded as a leader and expert in the implementation of telehealth services in occupational therapy, has received a national honor recognizing her contributions to innovation in the field of OT.

Cason, a professor in Spalding’s Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy since 2005, has been named the recipient of the 2019 Emerging and Innovative Practice Award by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She will be honored at the AOTA’s annual conference in New Orleans in April.

The award recognizes occupational therapy practitioners who have developed innovative or non-traditional OT practices for underserved populations or utilized their expertise in visionary ways that help clients while keeping the profession relevant and responsive to changes occurring in health care.

Over the last decade, particularly, Cason has been heavily involved in practicing, researching, teaching and advocating telehealth, which involves delivering therapy or health care services remotely through technology. Cason’s work has included advocating for the implementation of telehealth OT in underserved areas.

She has written or co-written many documents and articles related to telehealth standards, guidelines and principles in occupational therapy, and she has held leadership roles with AOTA and the American Telemedicine Association (ATA).

RELATED: Faculty Focus Q&A with Dr. Cason about her experience teaching at Spalding

Cason got interested in telehealth several years ago through her OT practice that focused on early intervention for children with developmental delays. She noticed a major need for therapists for children in rural areas who didn’t have access to services.

Cason said she took over the caseload of one therapist who was driving two hours each way to see her pediatric clients.

“And without her doing that, they just wouldn’t have had a service,” Cason said.

At the same time, Cason said, she was routinely speaking over the phone with other therapists who sought her recommendation about services for children they were seeing.

“I thought, ‘How much more effective would this be if I could actually see them through video conferencing?'” Cason recalled. “From there, it just became an effort to fill a need for underserved populations.”

RELATED: More info on Spalding’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program

Cason developed a pilot telehealth program through Spalding’s Kosair Charities Enabling Technologies of Kentuckiana (enTECH) assistive technology resource center, which is a division of the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy.

She published research about the implementation of that pilot enTECH program, then in subsequent years, continued to spread the word and support the integration of telehealth in a range of OT settings, as well as other health care disciplines.

“It’s really coming along in all the fields,” Cason said.

In OT, Cason said telehealth can help a client more easily connect with a therapist who has specialized knowledge – such as feeding skills or some other specific discipline. Also, it avoids transportation conflicts caused by inclement weather.

“It’s helping people to have access who might otherwise not have access,” she said.

From an educational perspective, Cason is regarded as a prominent scholar on telehealth.

Cason, who is senior associate editor of the International Journal of Telerehabilitation, has authored seven book chapters, including ones used in OT textbooks, and her scholarly work related to telehealth has been cited more than 400 times in various articles and books.

RELATED: enTECH, Kosair Charities distribute assistive-technology gifts to kids

An article titled “An Introduction to Telehealth for Occupational Therapy” that she wrote for OT Practice magazine, which is published by the AOTA, that has been assigned reading for students in several OT programs.

She also represented occupational therapists in contributing to the writing of an interprofessional standards and guidelines document called “A Blueprint for Telerehabilitation Guidelines,” as well as a 2017 updated document called the “Principles for Delivering Telerehabilitation Services.”

She also has led efforts to overcome barriers to the implementation of telehealth that are caused by regulations related to license portability.

Through it all, Cason said, she’s been proud to work for and represent Spalding.

“I absolutely love Spalding and the mission, and I think we live our mission,” she said. “It’s really student-centered, and the emphasis for faculty is really on teaching excellence. All of our faculty in the OT program are leaders in the field in different areas of practice, and there is a commitment to continually improve our craft of teaching.”



Spalding University, enTECH and Kosair Charities helped make this early part of the holiday season bright on Tuesday for the families of six children who face special challenges.

Surrounded by holiday decorations and gathered by the tree at the Kosair Charities Enabling Technologies of Kentuckiana (enTECH) Assistive Technology Resource Center, those families received gifts of assistive technology that will help the children learn, play and communicate. The devices were distributed to families who applied through the enTECH and Kosair Charities Financial Assistance Program, which is supported by a grant from Kosair Charities.

Kosair Charities President Keith Inman was on hand to deliver the devices to a thankful group of kids and their parents.

“Any kind of help we can get is a true blessing,” said Heather Vanover, whose 9-year-old son, Hunter, who has Poland syndrome and autism, received a Buddy Bike tandem bicycle that he can ride with a parent.

Hunter has been coming to enTECH and Kosair Charities Integrated Technology Experience (KITE) camps for most of his life and has worked with enTECH therapist Alison Amshoff since he was an infant.

“Good job, bud!” Amshoff told Hunter as he climbed on the bike. “Look at you go!”

The bicycle will help Hunter work on his balance and develop his core strength while, above all, enabling him to interact with his family and experience the joy of bike rides with them, Heather Vanover said.

“Every parent wants their child to gain access to as much as they can or to learn as much as they can,” Amshoff said. “Through the support from Kosair Charities, we’re able to have materials and to have technology to offer these families so that their children can have the maximum potential.”

Brantly Grienenberger, 5, received a Tobii Dynavox Indi speech tablet device that will help him communicate with his family. Brantly has been nonverbal his whole life and has a neurological disability, his father, John, said, though doctors have so far not been able to give an exact diagnosis. That has led to limitations in the family’s insurance as far as obtaining assistive technology.

Using the gift from enTECH and Kosair Charities, Brantly is able to make gestures or point to images or buttons on the device to help express that he’s hungry, thirsty, wants to play or has another desire.

The device “has advanced our son’s quality of life by giving him a voice,” John Grienenberger wrote in his application for the program.

“It’s awesome,” John Grienenberger added on Tuesday. “We’re so happy about it. It’ll help us out a lot.”

Other families received Apple iPads that can be installed with an array of apps that are designed for children who face special challenges.

The enTECH Kosair Charities Financial Assistance Program is part of an outreach program from the enTECH Lending Library. The Lending Library provides families or individuals the opportunity to rent or be loaned pieces of assistive technology and give them a try, helping inform their decision before they make what is usually a significant purchase.

Spalding and enTECH encourage members of the public who need assistive technology to give the Lending Library a look.

“It allows families to see if a certain type of technology will benefit their child and how it can improve skills in their life and benefit the family,” Amshoff said.

Related: Find out more about the Lending Library and other enTECH services

enTECH, located at 812 S. Second St., is a division of Spalding’s Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy (ASOT) and is one of five state-designated assistive technology resource centers in Kentucky. Last spring, enTECH expanded with the unveiling of the Kosair Charities Virtual Immersive Playground, a clean, open space that’s loaded with assistive technology and sensory devices that are therapeutic, entertaining and educational for children with special needs.

Related: Spalding, enTECH unveil ‘stunning’ Virtual Immersive Playground

Spalding’s graduate-level occupational therapy students use enTECH and the three-times-a-year KITE camps as a training ground for interacting with pediatric clients.

The Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy graduate program now offers an entry-level doctorate in occupational therapy (OTD). It is accessible to any student with a bachelor’s degree in any field.

Related: Learn more about the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy

A young boy holding a gift bag smiles while standing next to a Christmas tree, Kosair Charities President Keith Inman, enTECH therapist Alison Amshoff and Spalding Advancement Chief Bert Griffin
Kosair Charities President Keith Inman distributed assistive technology gifts to youngsters during the enTECH Lending Library celebration as Spalding Chief Advancement Officer Bert Griffin and enTECH therapist Alison Amshoff look on.

Faculty Focus Friday is a Q&A series that highlights individual faculty members in various academic programs around Spalding University. This week’s featured faculty member is Dr. Jana Cason, Associate Professor in the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy. Cason joined the occupational therapy faculty in 2004 and specializes in pediatrics and telehealth. For her leadership in telehealth, she was honored as the recipient of the 2019 Emerging and Innovative Practice Award by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She holds doctoral and master’s degrees from the University of Indianapolis and a bachelor’s from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?

One of the things I like best about working at Spalding is the emphasis on teaching. At many large research institutions, a professor’s focus is on research and grant acquisition and teaching is secondary. At Spalding, the primary focus is teaching excellence. Through Spalding’s Center for Teaching & Learning and professional development opportunities specific to teaching excellence, I continue to learn best practices to support student learning. I’ve had the pleasure of presenting at and participating in premier teaching conferences, including the International Lilly Conference on College Teaching and the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Education Summit.

What is your academic specialty, areas of expertise or research?

My academic specialty is occupational therapy. I’ve been an occupational therapy practitioner for 20 years, primarily in the area of pediatrics. I’ve also been a faculty member at Spalding for 14 years. My area of research is telehealth, which is the use of information and communication technology to deliver health-related services when the provider and client are in different physical locations. I pioneered the use of telehealth within occupational therapy and co-authored a number of interprofessional and occupational therapy-specific standards and guidelines documents.

RELATED | Cason, expert on telehealth, receives national innovative practice award from AOTA

Why is the academic program/school in which you teach a good option for new students to consider for their degree?

The Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy (ASOT) is an excellent option for students considering a career in occupational therapy. The faculty are respected experts in the field and continue to remain active in practice and in professional associations, including service on the Kentucky Board of Licensure for Occupational Therapy (KBLOT), the Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association (KOTA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and/or the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The faculty work collectively to assure students gain entry-level competencies and are well prepared to pass the NBCOT exam upon graduation.

What is an interesting thing that you keep in your office?

An interesting thing I keep in my office is a Luminara candle (electric candle) that has a real-life flickering flame effect.

RELATED | More Faculty Focus Friday Q&A’s

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is having a positive impact on students’ educational journey. Seeing students graduate and enter the field and positively impact their clients and communities through their work is very rewarding.

LEARN MORE | Spalding Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) programs
LEARN MORE | Bios of the faculty of the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy