Dr. Beth O'Rourke, OTD, OTR/L, BCPR joined Huntington University in 2014 as an assistant professor. In 2016, Dr. O'Rourke was promoted to the Assistant Director of Academics and is currently serving as the Residency Coordinator. Her prior clinical work includes skilled nursing facility in Tennessee as the assistant rehabilitation director and OT services at a community hospital. Dr. O'Rourke has maintained her clinical practice with the adult and older adult population working at Lutheran Hospital since 2014 in the acute care setting. Dr. O'Rourke is assisting Dr. Ruth Ford, Program Director, in the role of the Assistant Director of Academics. In this role, Dr. O'Rourke provides program support on student issues, program development, and meeting ACOTE accreditation requirements. The OTD program offers students the opportunity to earn a place in the Phi Theta Epsilon honors society. Dr. O'Rourke serves as the faculty advisor and assists students with community development and scholarly research.
Dr. O'Rourke has participated in a collaborative summer research intensive program sponsored by the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) and the Student Research Fellowship Program (SRFP) since 2014. This research opportunity is offered to a select group of first year OTD students and provides a unique interprofessional opportunity to conduct research studies other health care disciplines.
In alignment with Huntington University’s mission, the OTD program offers local and international mission opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. O'Rourke has designed a unique opportunity for second year students to complete international mission work with Living Hope International serving in China. In addition, Dr. O'Rourke has supervised a team of second year students during local mission work with Pathfinders Services.
Dr. O'Rourke is an active member in the Fort Wayne community serving as a member in the Young Leaders of Northeastern Indiana. In this organization, she has volunteered on the social committee and plans on joining the advocacy committee to further the growth and retention of young professionals in the Fort Wayne area.
In addition to her community contributions, Beth is working with the Fort Wayne Area Interprofessional Education Consortium. Dr. O'Rourke is collaborating with multiple universities in an effort to present and share the IPE experience to other education programs.
In her position as an assistant rehabilitation director, Beth has assisted in the development of the Rehabilitation Centers of Excellence specifically addressing the needs of patients affected by Parkinson’s disease. Beth earned a certification in LSVT BIG, a specialized treatment protocol to address functional deficits caused by Parkinson’s.
Dr. O'Rourke brings many attributes to Huntington University including research experience and research study with Dr. Carole Lewis. During Beth’s residency she worked with Dr. Lewis in developing evidence based OT interventions specifically addressing the needs of the geriatric population. Her residency opportunity enabled her to work with corporate leaders at a national based long term care company. She has is serving as an editor for the Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation and the Open Access Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine.
In addition, Dr. O'Rourke is working on several U.S. patents designing rehabilitation equipment specialized for the geriatric population. Beth also has established skills in marketing, student education, and program development while developing strong clinical skills.
Dr. O'Rourke earned her Bachelor of Science degree in communication disorders from Bowling Green State University and a doctorate in occupational therapy from Belmont University. During her time at Belmont, Beth completed a thesis researching values of entry level physical and occupational therapy students. This value clarification study was based on the The Rokeach Value Survey (RVS), consisting of 18 terminal (end-state) values and 18 instrumental (modes of behavior) values. Dr. O'Rourke is still passionately pursing research on a variety of topics including intensive care unit protocols, fall prevention and judgment in the older adult population, pain management in the burn unit, and the impact of interprofessional practice on patient outcomes.