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Occupational Therapy

Staff

Bonnie Hodsdon, BS, OTR/L
Ms. Hodsdon joined the staff of the Clinical Center in 1974. She is a retired captain in the U.S. Public Health Service and has been chief of the Rehabilitation Medicine Department's Occupational Therapy Section since 1995. She is a long-term specialist in the clinical care of people with arthritis, and an associate investigator in multiple research protocols involving focal hand dystonia, women's health, congenital muscular dystrophy and chronic fatigue syndrome. Her early research focused on the effects of orthotics on hand-joint deformity. She developed the NIH training curriculum for understanding the role of occupational therapy in rehabilitation and the critical elements for timely referrals for rheumatology fellows of Georgetown University, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Johns Hopkins University. She also developed the format for the NIH Clinical Center's Upper Extremity Clinic, which served all NIH institutes, and then managed the clinic's administrative and clinical program, including coordination of services between orthopedic surgeons and NIH rheumatologists. She was a former member of the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals where she helped produce an online learning seminar to understand the role of occupational therapy in rehab rheumatology care. Ms. Hodsdon introduced neurodevelopmental treatment concepts to the Rehabilitation Medicine Department to support the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Child Health and Human Development Institute and coordinated collaborative work between occupational and physical therapy in combining biomechanical and neurodevelopmental concepts. She and her staff are currently involved in advancing the field of occupational therapy through research that focuses on Women's Health Initiatives and understanding the functional effects of rare or undiagnosed diseases. She independently developed a hand rehabilitation management program, which focused on the pathomechanics of arthritis and neuromuscular disease. To date, more than 1,000 patients have been treated, helping the staff to evolve innovations for orthotics, treatment assessments and research. At NIH, Ms. Hodsdon is a board member for the credentialing of new staff therapists in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department and a board member of the Peer Resolution Panel available to evaluate disparate issues involving staff and administration. Ms. Hodsdon is also a member of the task force for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy to determine national policy for competency renewal. As a consultant to the institutes, Ms. Hodsdon designed the following inventions: a finger orthotic (commercially available) to control joint stability; a now patented hand device that protects the hand from accidental needle sticks; a device to hold a computerized sensor that measures pruritus responses in patients with chronic liver dysfunction (used by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases); a hand and forearm stabilizer that allows for collection of repeated x-ray data using subtraction radiology (used by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research); and a device to prevent leakage from an external condom catheter. She currently designs custom finger and hand orthotics for people with writer's cramp and musician's dystonia.

Leora Ellen Comis, MPA, OTR/L, BCPR, LCT, FAOTA, CLT-LANA
Leora Ellen Comis is a senior staff occupational therapist in the Occupational Therapy section of the NIH Clinical Center. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indiana and a Master's in Public Health Administration from The City University of New York at Baruch College. She is a certified lymphedema therapist and has Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation. Her clinical and research interests include the development of advanced standards of care for people with chronic, rare and/or complex medical conditions with a specialization in graft versus host disease (GVHD), oncology and lymphedema management. Currently Leora serves as Associate Investigator on several protocols across various NIH institutes including National Cancer Institute, National Heart Lung and Blood, National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She is a recipient of two Clinical Center Director's Award, honored to be named as a Fellow to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and has received several local, state and national awards in recognition of her clinical skills. Leora has numerous peer-reviewed publications and national presentations associated with her research and clinical initiatives with chronic Graft Versus Host Disease, Turner Syndrome and Premature Ovarian Insufficiency.  

Kathy Farrell, MS, OTR/L
Kathy Farrell is a senior staff occupational therapist in Occupational Therapy at the NIH Clinical Center. She received her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Towson University and Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois. Her clinical practice addresses evaluating and treating adults with a variety of physical disabilities focusing on neurological disorders. Associate Investigator Research activities include the National Cancer Institute, the National Human Genome Research Institute, and the National Institute of Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases looking to phenotype functional disease expressions of those with Neurofibromatosis Type 1, Mobeius Syndrome, and Melorheostosis.

Hanna Hildenbrand, MS, OTR/L
Hanna Hildenbrand is a senior staff occupational therapist in Occupational Therapy at the NIH Clinical Center. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Evansville and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Rush University. She has received specialized training for the administration of the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills and the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests. She is also a certified educator of Infant Massage. Her primary clinical focus is in the areas of pediatric behavioral health and pediatric physical disabilities. Collaboration as an associate investigator has been with the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and the National Institute of Child Health and Development. Her presentations and publications associated with these research studies have focused on sensory processing in Smith-Magenis Syndrome and activities of daily living in Neonatal Onset Multisystem Inflammatory Disease.

Rachel Hingst, MPH, OTR/L, CPRP
Rachel Hingst is a contractor for occupational therapy at the NIH Clinical Center. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University. Rachel is also a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner. Her primary clinical focus is adult mental health. Her current interests include the role of occupational therapy in mental health recovery and functional outcome measurements for adults with serious behavioral health disorders. Associate investigator research includes assessment of suicide risks for adolescents with rare diseases.

Thuy-Tien (Terri) Nguyen, MS, OTR/L
Terri Nguyen is a staff Occupational Therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. She received her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Shenandoah University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Kean University. She has received specialized training in low vision rehabilitation. Her areas of clinical practice include evaluating and treating adults with a variety of physical disabilities, focusing on chronic and rare visual impairments and disorders. Her clinical skills and associate investigator research interests include the development of rehabilitation standards to help people with visual impairments and disabilities cope with vision loss.

Rebecca Parks, MS, OTR/L, BCP, FAOTA
Rebecca Parks is a senior occupational therapist/Pediatric Specialist and Education Coordinator in Occupational Therapy at the NIH Clinical Center. She is a Captain in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and holds a Master of Science degree from Columbia University. She has achieved Board Certification in Pediatrics from the American Occupational Therapy Association and is a Fellow of the AOTA. She is also certified to administer the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests. Her clinical practice is mainly in the areas of pediatric and adult physical disabilities. Her primary collaborative research activities are with the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She has numerous national presentations and peer-reviewed publications associated with her research and clinical practice with general pediatrics and pediatric/adult oncology populations.

Susan Robertson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Susan Robertson is a senior staff occupational therapist and a mental health specialist in Occupational Therapy at the NIH Clinical Center. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, her Master's degree and Certificate in occupational therapy from San Jose State University, and her PhD in human development from the University of Maryland. She has contributed to clinical practice and research with the National Institute of Mental Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Her line of qualitative inquiry in occupational therapy centers on self-management of chronic conditions in support of life’s meaning and purpose. Her professional publications and presentations have targeted research outcomes, leadership development, and intervention to foster wellness. As a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, she was honored for her professional contributions in clinical care, research, education, and professional development.

Lisa Schroeder-Omar, BS, OTR/L, CHT, CLT
Lisa Schroeder-Omar is a staff occupational therapist in Occupational Therapy at the NIH Clinical Center. She received her Bachelor of Health Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lisa is a certified hand therapist and certified lymphedema therapist. Her prior clinical practice included outpatient orthopedics, hand therapy, level 1 trauma and lymphedema care. Her current interests include clinical as well as research activities with the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

Lucy Swan, MOT, OTR/L
Lucy Swan is a senior staff occupational therapist and the Clinical Coordinator for Occupational Therapy at the NIH Clinical Center. She received her undergraduate education at Guilford College and her Master of Occupational Therapy at Texas Woman's University. Her areas of clinical practice include adult physical disabilities and mental health. Her research interests have include the use of functional outcome measures in the Infliximab study for polymyositis with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and the obesity protocol with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases investigating the functional impact of bariatric surgery. She is currently an associate investigator for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke evaluating functionally related phenotypic expressions of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

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This page last updated on 04/03/2018

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