Pediatric Track Courses

Working with the Young Autistic Child and Their Family: This 3-hour course focuses on implementing evidence-based OT interventions during therapeutic sessions with young autistic children and their families. This course will review the history of autism, neurodiversity, and diagnostic considerations. Evidence-based OT interventions that focus on joint attention and imitation skills will be introduced and goal writing targeting these skills will be reviewed and practiced. The course includes a lecture portion and a case-study group discussion portion focusing on treatment and goal writing. Presenter: Maria Baldino, OTD, OTR/L

Development of an FASD CoP: An Alaskan Community of Practice: This 2-hour session will introduce the concepts of a Community of Practice and provide a brief overview of this initiative. This effort is supported by a generous gift from the DHHS FASD Coordinator to support FASD education for OTs and SLPs in Alaska. Participants will be introduced to the design of the CoP and overall implementation of this initiative, with ample opportunity for discussion. Participants will engage in an experiential activity to explore strategies to discuss alcohol use disorders with women of childbearing age. Presenter: Cary Moore, PhD, OTR/L

Adult Track Courses

Roles and Routines in the Lived Pain Experience: This 1-hour lecture will present a model for applying the bio psychosocial framework to empower persons living with persistent pain to live their highest quality of life. The opioid epidemic has brought to light disturbing facts about over-reliance on limited treatments for the management of persistent pain. Research shows that interdisciplinary treatment programs are the most effective way to treat individuals living with persistent pain. Unfortunately, such programs are not readily accessible. This is particularly true for clients living in rural and remote locations. Occupational therapists, by training, are in a unique position to address both the physical and psychosocial needs of these individuals, but how? Presenter: Kari DeFreest, OTD, OTR/L, CHT

The New Frontier of Restoring Function to Finger and Partial-Hand Amputees: This 1-hour session we will review the prevalence and etiology of this previously underserved patient population, current prosthetic options available, with an emphasis on Naked Prosthetics’ optimally engineered functional solutions. We will round out the course with a review of the integral role that OT practitioners play before, during, and after the prosthetic device acquisition process in supporting positive patient outcomes. Despite that 94% of all upper-limb amputations occur at the digit and metacarpal levels, for more than a century little technological prosthetic development occurred, leaving working-age people with aesthetic passive restoration options after finger loss. Thanks to new advancements in manufacturing, an incredible amount of functionality can now be provided in a very small anatomical space. Presenter: MJ McNeece, Naked Prosthetics Events Coordinator

Ostomy Care and Therapy Implications: This 1-hour presentation aims to educate the occupational therapist and assistant on strategies for working with adult clients who have undergone ostomy surgery (some principles may apply to the pediatric population). Presenter: Charlotte Foley, OTR/L

Sensation and Stroke: Assessment and Intervention of UE Sensation Loss: This 2-hour course will review the types of sensation, how sensation is used in daily functional activities, and the effects of losing sensation after stroke on safety and engagement in functional activities. Current trends in sensation recovery will be reviewed as well as statistics relating to sensation loss after stroke. Formal and informal sensation assessments will be discussed. Passive, active, and compensatory interventions will be taught with corresponding evidence from current literature. Presenter: Lindsey Kerr, OTD, OTR/L

Mental Health Track Courses

Mental Health and Occupational Therapy in Alaska: Frameworks, Strategies, and Advocacy: This 2-hour panel intends to address three items: recalling the mental health framework that OTs possess, highlighting mental health intervention strategies to apply across a variety of settings, and inspiring collaboration for state advocacy efforts in order to promote access to occupational therapy for Alaskans navigating mental and behavioral health challenges. This panel includes OTs across the continuum of care, including: early intervention, outpatient pediatrics, rural outpatient, community mental health, residential treatment center, crisis recovery center, and inpatient psychiatric setting. Presenter: Katie Walker, OTD, OTR/L

Occupational Therapy’s Mental Health Expansion: This 1-hour presentation will review legislation changes and its impact on occupational therapy practice. Mental health legislation is changing at the national and state level in response to the growing mental health needs after the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals are having to wait too long to be seen by a practitioner to address their mental health needs which can cause unfortunate circumstances for the individual experiencing mental illness and those around the individual. Occupational therapists have a unique role in mental health and can help address the gap in mental health resources. Presenter: Kylie Widhelm, OTD, OTR/L

General Track Courses

Lymphedema Basics: This 2-hour course will introduce participants to the basics of manual techniques to address lymphedema. Introductory information will be followed by an interactive, lab style session to further explore and practice manual techniques. Presenter: Patty Runde, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA

Clinical Education for Alaska Practitioners: This 1-hour course offers a brief introduction to clinical education and the many supports available with the Creighton University Education Office. This course aims to support clinical educators in Alaska with the tools for a successful and enjoyable clinical education experience. Presenter: Ashley Fecht, OTD, OTR/L

The American Occupational Therapy Foundation: Advancing the Science of OT, Improving Both Practice and Health: This 1-hour pre-recorded presentation will cover the mission, accomplishments, and impacts of AOTF and opportunities for OT to engage with our work. AOTF is the nation’s leading non-profit investing in new OT research and the future OT workforce. Presenter: Lawrence Liff, AOTF Chief Development Officer