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Allen, Claudia Kay, MA, OT, FAOTA; La Verne, CA

Claudia Allen serves on the board of the ACLS and LACLS Committee and as an ex-officio member of the ACN Board. Claudia is co-author of the ACLS-5/LACLS-5 Manual (2007), presented the AOTA Eleanor Clark Slagle Lecture in 1987 and WFOT keynote address in 1990. Claudia is recognized internationally for her leadership role, publications, courses, and lectures which have led the way in the development and recognition of the cognitive disabilities model.

Bauer, Constance, OTR/L, Western Montana Mental Health Center; Missoula, MO

Connie Bauer has used the cognitive disabilities model since the early 1980s in inpatient and community health and mental health settings and has taught this model to OT students in clinical and academic settings. For the past 12 years, she has provided vocational services to clients of the Western Montana Mental Health Center in Missoula, Montana. She is a member of the ACN board and Chair of the Membership Committee.

Elgas, Kathleen, OTR/L, Therapist Unlimited; Bellevue, WA

Kathy Elgas has worked in adult and geriatric rehab for 40+ years in a variety of settings, and currently works for Therapists Unlimited at Careage Home Health in the Seattle, WA area. She has been an active member and supporter of ACN since 2003. She joined the ACN board in 2010, was the Chairperson for Cognitive Symposium 2012 and has mentored Chairpersons for the 2014 and 2016 Symposiums.

 

Alyssa Ford, DHS, OTR, Area Rehab Clinucak Specialist, Legacy Healthcare Services

Alyssa earned a Doctor of Health Science degree from the University of Indianapolis and serves as the Area Rehab Clinical Specialist for Legacy Healthcare Services. Dr. Ford’s clinical experience includes acute care, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and memory care units. Dr. Ford has successfully implemented the cognitive disabilities model in a variety of settings. She is an Authorized Instructor through Dementia Care Specialists/Crisis Prevention Institute for the Dementia Capable Care: Foundation Course. Dr. Ford is a co-author of the Functional Cognitive Assessment, which is a standardized, performance-based test of functional cognition. She was also a recipient of the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter Early Investigator Scholarship for Dementia Research and Study. Dr. Ford is licensed to practice Occupational Therapy in Indiana. Dr. Ford is credentialed through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Indiana Occupational Therapy Association, and the Allen Cognitive Network.

 

Higgins, Susan, OTD, OTR/L, Tufts University; Medford, MA

Susan Higgins is Academic Fieldwork Coordinator/Lecturer at Tufts University. She has been a practicing occupational therapist in mental health for over 30 years. Susan is a long time member and supporter of ACN, and has lectured and presented extensively on the cognitive disabilities model. She is an ACN board member, ACN treasurer, and 2019 Symposium Chair. Susan is the New England co-trainer for the AOTA Fieldwork Educators Certificate Program, treasurer for the New England Occupational Therapy Education Council (NEOTEC), academic fieldwork representative on the AOTA Commission on Education, and occupational therapy member on the MA Allied Health Licensure Board. 

 

Metzger, Lizabeth, MS, OTR/L, Crisis Prevention Institute

Liz Metzger graduated from Boston University Sargent College with her MSOT in 2011. She currently works for the Dementia Care Specialists within Crisis Prevention Institute. She trains clinicains around the country in the use of the Cognitive Disabilities Model for older adults living with dementia. She was so impressed and excited by the Allen Cognitive Network conference in 2012 she decided she had to get more involved. Liz is co-chairing the website committee.

Ryan, Jane, LOTR, MBA/HCM, CLT; Denham Springs, LA

Jane Ryan was born in South Africa where she graduated with a B. Occupational Therapy degree in 1980. Since moving to the USA in 1993, she has used the cognitive disabilities model her work with the elderly in skilled facilities and in home health. In South Africa, the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability is widely used and the integration of this model with the CDM has been part of Jane's OT toolkit and presented a poster on this at the 2010 Symposium.. Her practice is enhanced by her MBA with a specialty in Healthcare Administration. She has lectured at the local university and at LOTA on the CDM. She is currently a member of the ACN Board and serves as the Secretary and Editor of the Newsletter for ACN members.

Schulz, Celia, OTR, PhD; Edinburg, TX

Celia Schulz is an assistant professor at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, TX. She received her PhD in occupational therapy from Texas Woman's University and her Masters in occupational therapy from Tufts University. Celia is on the ACN board and serves on the networking committee and the symposium committee. She teaches the Allen Cognitive Model to her students. She has used the model with her geriatric and adult clients in a variety of inpatient settings.

 

Allison Sullivan, DOT, MS, OTR/L, OTD Program Coordinator and an Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at American International College in Springfield, MA.
Dr Sullivan is the 2017 recipient of the Massachusetts Association of Occupational Therapists’s Catherine Trombly award for excellence in research and education. Her recent study, "Impact of a Fieldwork Experience on Attitudes Toward People with Intellectual Disabilities", is published in the 2017 November/December issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. As an occupational therapist and educator, Dr. Sullivan has dedicated her career toward improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan, working in day habilitation services, school-based occupational therapy, and residential settings in a career spanning 24 years. She is the chair of the MAOT Western Massachusetts Mental Health Special Interest Group, a certified group exercise and yoga instructor (RYT), and the co-founder and leader of #OTalk2US, a monthly Twitter chat for occupational therapists with over 60 million views of tweets carrying this tag. Please visit her website www.allisulli.com for more information on her work.

 

Urish, Christine, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Davenport, IA

Christine Urish graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy in 1989 and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy in 1994. She has worked clinically in psychiatric/behavioral health settings working with adolescents through older adults, throughout her career in Iowa and Illinois. She has been an Occupational Therapy educator at St. Ambrose University since 1994 and completed a PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2005 from the University of Iowa. She has used the cognitive disabilities model in clinical practice since 1989 and has presented on this model in Brazil where she takes students to experience Brazilian culture and health care through a special topics course offered every other year. She was awarded a Fellow through the American Occupational Therapy Association in 2008 for exemplary contributions to Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy Education and Occupational Therapy Practice. She was one of the first Board Certified Occupational Therapists in Mental Health (BCMH) and currently possesses this advanced certification through 2016.