Huntington University’s doctoral program in occupational therapy (OTD) was represented by two student teams at the 2016 Student Research Fellowship Reception on August 2. The annual conference was held at the Mirro Center for Research and Innovation in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The yearly research program is sponsored by the Midwest Alliance for Healthcare Education and the Indiana School of Medicine. Students from multiple educational institutions applied in early spring to participate in the summer 2016 program. Both HU’s teams presented research posters, with one team being selected to formally present their research during the reception. There were a total of 55 student research projects completed this summer with only eight being selected for presentations. Dr. Beth Bright, assistant professor of occupational therapy, guided both research teams as the lead investigator on the studies.
“The OTD student’s immersion in the clinical setting with future professional colleagues and the use of research methods to collect and interpret meaningful data are essential for future contributions to health care and science,” stated Bright.
This is Huntington University’s second year participating in the summer research program which has been in existence for 29 years. This program provides undergraduate, graduate and medical students the opportunity to apply for the program and work with faculty members at other institutions. Students are offered networking opportunities and the ability to immerse themselves into the health care field gathering data and completing a study prior to graduation. As a result of participating in the program, both student research groups have received requests to complete their study at another health care institution, as well as to speak at additional regional conferences.
Team one was represented by Charlotte Arnos, OTDS; Andrew Bernard, OTDS; Malachi Murphy, OTDS; and Megan Pickruhn, OTDS. Their search topic was “Identification of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Protocols and Treatment Interventions during the Delivery of Occupational and Physical Therapy Services in the ICU.”
Team two was represented by Brittany Austin, OTDS; Chelsey Garn, OTDS; Jillian Glass, OTDS; and Shelby Sample, OTDS. Their search topic was “Identification of Interprofessional Practice and Application to Achieve Patient Outcomes of Health Care Providers in the Acute Care Setting.”
Huntington’s OTD program has been ranked as the #1 program in the United States for two consecutive years (2015 and 2016) according to GraduatePrograms.com. HU’s program features students’ development in faith, health, leadership skills, advanced practice, research and professional service. Before graduating, students complete clinical experiences in Indiana, across the U.S. and internationally. In April of this year, HU’s OTD program was granted full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the doctorate degree for the next seven years.