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The Innovative OT

The Innovative OT

By Sarah Anderson
The Innovative OT podcast is dedicated to building a community of practitioners who are interested in role emerging and role enhancing practice areas. This podcast is all about motivating you to take the next step towards building your dream job outside of the typical OT setting! Listen in on the conversation as Dr. Anderson, OTD, and other OT innovators share their dreams, plans, and aspirations for the field.
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Episode 2: What defines role emerging OT?

The Innovative OT

OT and Lactation Consulting with Patty Smith
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of The Innovative OT podcast! Today I have on Patty Smith who is an occupational therapist and board certified lactation consultation. She has over 25 years of practitioner experience, and an innate ability to assess and treat the body holistically. She is passionate about educating clients, fostering a connection between parents and their children, and optimizing patient wellbeing. 
February 12, 2021
The Office On Call: The OT/PT Copywriter
Courtney Smith is an email copywriter for rehab therapists, a non-clinical venture that she pursued during the coronavirus pandemic. Clinically, she is a unicorn dual therapist, credentialed as both an occupational and physical therapist (University of St Augustine 2013, 2015), and the majority of her clinical experience is in geriatrics. Her transition from clinical care was birthed from spending 8 months in Hawaii as a travel therapist, and of course, burnout. Reading Tim Ferriss's book, "The 4-Hour Workweek" also fueled that fire. As an entrepreneur, Courtney prides herself on being able to put her writing hobby to work while advocating for private practice owners by helping with their direct marketing strategy. She believes that cash-based practices are the future of the PT & OT professions, and she hopes to help others avoid career abandonment by writing non-sleazy email campaigns that attract, nurture, and convert online traffic into clients.  She's serious about regaining that autonomy that they preached to us about in grad school!  Courtney loves to support those in non-clinical roles as well, and you can learn more about her copywriting services on her website ( While not working, Courtney can be found on the nearest hiking trail with her husband, Cory, binging cute dog videos on Instagram, or dreaming about her retirement in Hawaii.”
January 15, 2021
Matrescence: The Process of Becoming a Mother with Awena Naomie Ella
Matrescence is a term coined by the anthropologist Dana Raphael. It is defined as the process of becoming a mother, and describes the physical, psychological, and emotional changes people go through when entering into motherhood. I have searched for over a year to find a maternal mental health OT--and boy did I hit the jackpot when I found Awena. She has developed an online business solely focused on supporting women as they experience matrescence. Her business is called Naomie Ella and you can access her courses at  Awena is truly one of the most authentic and beautiful souls I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I think you will find her just as inspiring as I did--so don't wait--press play now!
December 2, 2020
Passing the NBCOT Exam with Melissa Vanwynsberghe Hepler
Are you an OT or OTA student? Does thinking about the NBCOT exam stress you out? Well have no fear Melissa Vanwynsberghe Hepler is here! Melissa is an occupational therapist who has a passion for helping OT students. After realizing something was missing in the NBCOT® exam study resources available for OT students, she decided to develop her own resources that help fill the gap in current OT study tools. With a degree in philosophy, she has a unique understanding of the fundamental nature of human success and potential, and is dedicated to sharing this with OT students. She guarantees you will find OT Exam Insights to be a refreshing resource and pivotal tool to your success in passing the NBCOT® exam. Success can be yours!
November 24, 2020
THE OT HEADHUNTER: OT's unique role in helping homeschooling families with Sarah Collins
Sarah Collins-- the OT Headhunter.  I kind of like it!  Sarah is the first OT I've met who specializes in meeting the unique needs of homeschool families.  Sarah has been an occupational therapist for over a decade and has worked in a variety of settings including inpatient pediatrics to adult home health. Never did she imagine herself working in this unique setting--nor did she imagine herself owning chickens!  Tune in to this week's episode to learn everything you need to know about OT and homeschooling, as well as Sarah's amazing life!
November 18, 2020
I'm Interested In Teaching--Now What?
Welcome to the second season of The Innovative OT Podcast! I am so excited for this season. In today's episode, I have Ali de la Montaigne on the podcast to discuss all things related to getting into academia. Ali is a colleague of mine and recently started as a full-time faculty member at the beginning of October. She has been teaching at Midwestern University as an adjunct professor since December of 2018 and has nine years of clinical experience (specializing in acute care).   If you have the teaching bug and aren't sure where to start--you are going to want to tune into this episode!
November 3, 2020
October 1, 2020
October 1, 2020
Episode 16: The Occupation of Worry
Sorry everyone, it's just me today. This episode is dedicated to the topic of anxiety and 'the occupation of worry'.  I discuss everything from how anxiety is developed within the brain to evidence-based methods you can use on yourself, as well as with your clients.  Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, there has been an increase in anxiety in both adults and children.  Occupational therapy practitioners need to be aware of how to appropriately address anxiety clinically, as well as how to manage it in their own life.  
October 1, 2020
Episode 15: Home Modification and Design with Dr. Emily Reilly
If you are needing a little extra motivation and inspiration today...this episode is for you!  Dr. Reilly is an occupational therapist and entrepreneur who specializes in home modification and design.  She shares all about her OT journey, and why she is pushing the boundaries of what OTs are capable of doing.  
July 15, 2020
Episode 14: Mindset Coaching with Rhaya Lynn
Rhaya Lynn is an occupational therapist, mindset coach, and entrepreneur.  As a mindset coach she helps her clients work towards increased confidence, self love, and ease.  She utilizes a variety of evidenced based interventions into her unique style of therapy.  Rhaya has recently located back to Canada due to the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic, but otherwise resides in the beautiful country of Bali.
June 18, 2020
Episode 13: It's all about the hustle with Rumy Petkov
Hello Everyone!  This episode is a MUST LISTEN!  Today I have on Rumy Petkov- an occupational therapist that specializes in injury prevention and treatment.  He has a very unique and diverse background! Rumy was born in Bulgaria and moved to the US in 1999 with his parents at the age of 6. His parents moved them all to the US to give their children a better opportunity. After high school, Rumy pursued a degree in Athletic Training at Winona State University where he discovered his passion for physical rehabilitation and wellness. After graduating from his undergrad, he began working as an athletic trainer but really enjoyed looking at therapy through a more holistic lens. This led him to apply for Occupational Therapy school and he was accepted into the Occupational Therapy program at AT Still University. While being a student at AT Still University he started his own side business treating injuries through manual therapy and exercises. This sparked his entrepreneurial endeavor and he decided that he wanted to take his business to the next level.
June 12, 2020
Episode 12: Mindset Growth Part 2- A Time to Listen and Learn with Bri Edwards
Welcome to Episode 12 of The Innovative OT!  My how the tables have turned--the student becomes the teacher ;). Today I have another very special episode focusing on growth mindset.  Bri Edwards is a current student of mine and was gracious enough to chat with me about the topic of racism.  She shares her own experiences as a black woman growing up in the south, and what led her to purse a career in occupational therapy.  Thank you for taking the time to educate me Bri!  
June 8, 2020
Episode 11: Mindset Growth- A Conversation About Race With Duane Boyd
Please take some time to listen and learn from one of the most amazing students I've ever had the pleasure of teaching.  Duane talks about his personal experiences as an African American man in this very real and raw episode.  This is for EVERYONE- not just OTs!  Thank you for taking the time to help me better understand Duane.  
June 5, 2020
Episode 10: Early Psychosis Programming with Lauren Walker
This is an episode you will not want to miss! A few days ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Lauren Walker, an occupational therapist in Chicago Illinois, and chat about early psychosis programming.  I was first introduced to Lauren by one of my students who is introduced in early psychosis programming.  My student had been talking about Lauren for months prior to our introduction.  Let me tell you...everything I heard about her was true.  She's an innovator, pioneer, and one of a kind person!  So pull up a chair, grab something to sip on, and join in on the conversation!
May 25, 2020
Episode 9: Transitions with Dr. Christopher Trujillo and Ben Olson
Join me and my esteemed colleague Dr. Christopher Trujillo and his doctoral student Ben Olson on today's episode of The Innovative OT.  We talk shop about everything related to transitions.  Dr. Trujillo is one of few experts in the nation on this topic.  This is a new/emerging area and I can guarantee you all this area within OT will be booming in the next 5-10 years.  
May 23, 2020
Episode 8: Entrepreneurship with Trish Williams
Welcome to episode 8 of The Innovative OT.  I took about a 2 month break and now I am back, with no plans of slowing down again.  Due to Covid-19 I needed some time to restructure my courses and ensure I was present for both my family as well as my students.   Now that I have new routines in place, and my husband and I have worked out a schedule to balance parenting and our jobs, I can devote some time to my podcast again.   I have an amazing guest on today's episode.  Her name is Trish Williams, and she happens to be my first guest outside the U.S.  Trish is an entrepreneur, academic, and innovator.  She has a successful pediatric clinic (Spring Occupational Therapy Inc.) as well as a growing mentorship program for OTs interested in entrepreneurship (Trish Williams Consulting).  Additionally, Trish is the co-founder of the OT Entrepreneur Summit, which will happen on May 11th (So make sure you get your name on the waitlist)! See below for links:
April 20, 2020
Episode 7: Let's Talk about Sensory Health with Dr. Cavaliere
Your host, Sarah, sits down with Dr. Cathy Cavaliere and discusses the topic of sensory health.  Dr. Cavaliere is not only a pioneer in this area, but she is breaking down the barriers as to what we as OT practitioners can do with our sensory processing knowledge.   Dr. Cavaliere is assistant professor in the Occupational Therapy Program at Dominican College where she teaches both research courses the Adolescence course. Dr. Cavaliere graduated from Quinnipiac College’s Occupational Therapy Program in 1998. She received her PhD in Health Science from Seton Hall University in 2010. Her doctoral work involved investigating the physiologic components of sensory processing disorders (vagal tone) and the differences in the physiologic responses to sensation in children with autism and typically developing children. Dr. Cavaliere has been a practicing clinician for over 20 years and has spent 15 of those working in pediatrics in various settings including schools, early intervention and community based clinics. She opened her own private practice in 2014 where she serves children and adolescents with sensory processing disorders and their families. She spends much of her clinical time coaching and empowering families to become self- aware and self- confident both as individuals, and as a family unit. Dr. Cavaliere’s unique approach to working with families and individuals combines a sensory informed perspective along with a polyvagal informed perspective. The combination has shaped her thought and her approach intervention. Dr. Cavaliere has completed Mentorship Level 1 &2 and the Research Mentorship at the STAR center for sensory processing disorders. She is currently an instructor in training with STAR center. She has lectured extensively to various audiences including scholars, colleagues, teachers and parents, on sensory processing and related topics. Dr. Cavaliere is passionate about the role of sensory health in overall health and well-being. She is spearheading a Sensory Health clinic at Dominican College. The mission of this clinic is to increase awareness of the importance of sensory health in well-being and the impact that sensory processing can have on supporting mental and physical health among college students. In addition, this clinic will serve undergraduate students on a one to one basis who are at risk for academic failure or mental health challenges. Further, Dr. Cavaliere is conducting an expansive critically appraised topic on the role of sensory processing in health and well-being including the role of sensory processing in mental health, physical health, resilience, relationships, self-actualization, addiction and incarceration. This will be presented as a short course at the 2020 AOTA National Conference in Boston.
February 24, 2020
Episode 6: ClinicalHQ
In today's episode I take some time to talk with Jesse Madera who is the co-founder and Vice President of ClinicalHQ.  Jesse Madera is an Occupational Therapist from San Diego, California.  He started his career at Rady Children’s Hospital doing inpatient acute work prior to transitioning to home health care.  He worked at the largest non-hospital affiliated home health company in California for 6 years, first as a treating clinician, then a rehab lead, then as a rehab manager, and eventually as a program director. Jesse helped bring about over 300% census growth to the assisted living side of the home health business and now does healthcare consulting to hospitals, home health and hospice companies, and assisted living communities. He has spoken to thousands of seniors throughout California about healthy aging and preserving function despite illness, injury, or age related decline. Jesse cofounded ClinicalHQ because he felt clinicians were too burdened by paperwork and often unsupported--which ultimately left patients high and dry.  Jesse’s mission is to help transform the average clinician’s life through technology that empowers clinicians of all disciplines to enjoy their jobs again, provide great care, and have minimal paperwork!
February 3, 2020
Episode 5: A unique vision for mental health with Justin Teerlinck
On episode 5 of The Innovative OT, Justin Teerlinck, a mental health occupational therapist, entrepreneur, and author, sits down with host Sarah Anderson and shares his experience working in various mental health settings, his experience starting his own private practice, and vision for the field of OT.  Justin is an extremely accomplished person having started several inpatient mental health programs.  Additionally, he has created his own therapeutic intervention, and has authored several books.   
January 11, 2020
Episode 4: Childhood trauma and my time at a child advocacy center
Episode 4 is all about my time at the child advocacy center. I share with you all about the different individuals I worked with, strategies and interventions I used, and my vision for OT’s role in treating childhood trauma. In future episodes I will share with you all how to develop and integrate trauma –informed/trauma-responsive evaluations, assessments, and strategies/interventions into your own practice.  Show notes can be found at
January 8, 2020
Episode 3: Finding Gaps in Service with Bethany Dejarnatt
Today's guest Bethany Dejarnatt, MOT, OTR/L shares her passion for pediatric OT and why she started her own business/online courses geared towards parent empowerment.  Bethany is a pediatric occupational therapist, yoga enthusiast, and coffee lover!  She has been based out of Phoenix, Arizona for the past several years but is currently making her way to Salem, Oregon (quite literally-she is making her move as I am typing this).   If you have any interest in starting up your own pediatric OT practice/online courses this is the episode for you!
December 23, 2019
Episode 2: What defines role emerging OT?
This episode explores the definition of role emerging OT! The most basic way to explain what role emerging practice looks like is--- these are areas where OT is not currently a service provided. This does not mean you have to 100% change up what you are already doing, but you are venturing out and offering a service in an industry where OT is currently not a typical provider. Role emerging areas of practice don’t just focus on disease management and rehabilitation but instead they also focus on illness prevention, increase overall wellness, and policy change.  If you want to learn more tune in!
December 18, 2019
Episode 1: What's Your Vision
Hey there OTs!  How many of you dream about starting your own business, or practicing in a role-emerging setting.  How many of you work in academia and want to explore adding role emerging fieldwork experiences to your program?  How many of you dream of developing your own program dedicated to a population that typically wouldn't be able to access our services?  If any of these questions have sparked your interest this is the podcast for you!  Hello everyone!  This is your host Dr. Sarah Anderson, OTD, OTR/L, and I am so excited to get this show on the road!  In today's episode I am going to give you a very brief insight into what is to come on this podcast.  I will take sometime to introduce myself, explain why I started this podcast, and why I am such a supporter of role emerging and role enhancing areas of practice.  So come one-press play-I know you want to! ;)
November 30, 2019