Schedule of Events



8 a.m.Registration and Refreshments
8:30 a.m.Welcoming Remarks & Introductions
8:45 a.m.Keynote Session

Early Mobilization: Research and Guidelines for Practice
Cheryl Esbrook, OTR/L

10:00 a.m.Break
10:30 a.m.Plenary Session

Dr. Alicia Vanden Bussche Jantz and Kassie Roon, OTRL: Interdisciplinary Approach to Adjustment in Inpatient Rehabilitation 

11:45 a.m.Break for lunch

Lunch is "on your own." We will have lists of local eateries for registrants on the day of the event.

1:30 p.m.Breakout Sessions

Beginning with the Tiniest: OT in the NICU
Susan M. Bickel, OTRL-CNT

The Role of Occupational Therapy in Acute Care Oncology
Danning Wang OTRL and Claire Dolislager DrOT, OTRL, CLT-LANA

Untangling Acute Confusion: Delirium in Acute Care
Stephanie Althoff, OTRL

Returning to Our Roots: OT in Inpatient Mental Health
Noelle Partee, ORTL

2:30 p.m.Break
3 p.m.Closing Session

Impact of Health Disparity and Inequality in Occupational Therapy 
Mansi Patel, MS, OTRL

3:45 p.m.Closing Remarks

Session descriptions

Keynote Session

Occupational Therapy Practice in ICU: Transforming Patient
Cheryl Esbrook, OTR/L BCPR

Transforming Patient Outcomes, will discuss the negative neurocognitive and neuromuscular complications ICU survivors often face, data surrounding early rehab involvement in the critical care setting, and considerations for practice in various settings. 

Plenary Session

Interdisciplinary Approach to Adjustment in Inpatient Rehabilitation 
Dr. Alicia Vanden Bussche Jantz and Kassie Roon, OTRL

Adjustment in acute inpatient rehabilitation is common and often part of a holistic treatment approach.  Understanding how to assess and treat patients with mood and behavioral-related changes is critical to overall progress in acute inpatient rehabilitation.  Occupational therapists and neuropsychologists, along with the entire interdisciplinary team, coordinate and individualize therapeutic approaches to provide the best quality of care to patients and their families.  This presentation will cover the roles of occupational therapists and neuropsychologists in acute inpatient rehabilitation, define both adaptive and maladaptive adjustment, present case examples reflecting positive and negative adjustment, and discuss relevant successful outcomes.

Breakout Sessions

Beginning with the Tiniest: OT in the NICU
Susan M. Bickel, OTRL-CNT

This presentation is designed to give the OT practitioner a better understanding of the role the OT plays in the NICU. Sue will highlight what life is in a NICU setting for both the baby and for the family. The presentation will explore the therapeutic needs of the clients in this setting as well as the evidence based practices that the therapist applies to meet these objectives. Focus will be on development assessment, feeding and swallowing assessment, as well as the OT's role in developing a neuro-protective environment for these tiniest patients. 

The Role of Occupational Therapy in Acute Care Oncology
Danning Wang OTRL and Claire Dolislager DROT, ORTL, CLT-LANA

This presentation explores the essential and unique role of occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs) in the acute care settings for oncology patients. Drawing upon evidence-based practices and clinical experiences, the presentation highlights the unique contributions of OTPs in addressing the functional and psychosocial needs of oncology patients during their hospital stay. The presentation provides an overview of occupational therapy interventions to promote independence, facilitate adaptive strategies, and enhance patient outcomes and overall well-being.

Untangling Acute Confusion: Delirium in Acute Care 
Stephanie Althoff, OTRL

This presentation will explore the syndrome of delirium in the acute care setting. The presentation is designed to give the occupational therapy practitioner the knowledge to identify delirium, differentiate delirium from dementia, and explore evidence-based assessments and interventions. Delirium will be explored for the general acute care patient as well as specialty populations, including intensive care and post-surgical populations. The impact of delirium on acute recovery, including functional ability, will be highlighted.

Returning to Our Roots: OT in Inpatient Mental Health 
Noelle Partee, OTRL

This presentation aims to explore the occupational therapy role in acute inpatient mental health. Noelle will share her specialized occupational therapy position and provide insight into assessments utilized to aid in increased patient safety, active participation in discharge planning, and shorter lengths of stay. Noelle will compare the more traditional occupational therapy role to her current role aiding to pave the way for a paradigm shift in occupational therapy’s contribution to mental health in order to return to our root. 

Closing Session

Impact of Health Disparity and Inequality in Occupational Therapy  
Mansi Patel, MS, OTRL

This closing session will discuss health disparity and inequity and their impact on marginalized groups in relation to occupational performance. Using case examples from her acute care experience, Mansi will highlight various populations at risk for discrimination, her own personal experience as a therapist and woman of color, and what we can do as occupational therapists to address change. This presentation will give you tools to identify injustice within the healthcare system and offer education on how we as practitioners can advocate for change, be an ally for underrepresented groups, and ultimately create a more diverse and inclusive environment for our patients. 

Keynote speaker

Cheryl Esbrook, OTR/L, BCPR

Cheryl Esbrook is a graduate from Western Michigan University and is a practicing occupational therapist at the University of Chicago Medical Center.  She has focused her treatment and research endeavors within the critically ill patient populations in both the medical and surgical ICUs for 20 years.  She is the director of the occupational therapy fieldwork program and the acute care fellowship program at the University of Chicago.

Cheryl is involved with local occupational therapy programs to increase knowledge of the OT role in critical care and has presented at various national and international conferences, offered interprofessional courses and has made various research contributions to the field of early mobility in the ICU. She is Board Certified in Physical Rehabilitation though AOTA.

Plenary speaker

Dr. Alicia Vanden Bussche Jantz

Dr. Alicia Vanden Bussche-Jantz is a neuropsychologist at Corewell Health West, formerly known as Spectrum Health. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Michigan State University, then her master’s and PhD in Clinical Psychology in Palo Alto, CA, with an emphasis in Neuropsychology, her pre-doctoral internship, with a specialization in Neuropsychology, at the Pittsburgh VA, and her Neuropsychology Residency at the Tampa VA. She is a member of the International Neuropsychological Society, American Congress of Rehabilitation, and the National Academy of Neuropsychology. She works mostly as an inpatient neuropsychologist at Butterworth Hospital and Blodgett Inpatient Rehabilitation Center, where she conducts cognitive and behavioral evaluations with patients recovering from strokes, traumatic brain injuries, other acquired brain injuries, and complex medical conditions. She is also very experienced in behavioral management. Her outpatient work includes follow ups with patients’ post-discharge from acute rehabilitation, dementia evaluations, and evaluations of other brain-behavior sequelae. One of her other loves is conducting individual or family psychotherapy with patients who have experienced neuroinsults (e.g., strokes, traumatic brain injury) as they adjust to their new level of functioning. She is excited to be here with us today and looks forward to talking with all of you!

Kassie Roon, MS, OTRL, CBIS

Kassie has an impressive background in occupational therapy, with over 13 years of experience in the field. She is an alumnus of Western Michigan University and has spent the past 11 years working at Corewell Health Inpatient Rehabilitation Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During her time there, she has been involved in various initiatives, including co-leading an effort to standardize vision screening across the Corewell Health continuum. In doing so, she has taken the lead on performing several speakers' bureaus and conducting educational offerings related to vision evaluation and intervention after stroke and traumatic brain injury. She actively participates in the Stroke Special Interest Group, contributing to the provision of standardized stroke rehabilitation and education for therapists and new staff within Corewell Health’s comprehensive stroke program. Kassie has also mentored and supervised over 10 fieldwork students, demonstrating her passion for teaching and training in the clinical setting. Her expertise and leadership have made her a respected figure within the inpatient rehabilitation setting and across the continuum.

Breakout presenters

Susan M Bickel, OTR/L-CNT

Occupational Therapist Bronson Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Sue Bickel is a graduate of Western Michigan University’s Occupational Therapy program. She has been practicing at Bronson Methodist Hospital for over 25 years. Sue started her career in the adult acute care setting and then shifted her focus to the pediatric and neonatal population. In 2019 she became neonatal therapy certified. Throughout her years as a neonatal therapist, Sue has been a part of many process improvement projects focusing on infant centered feeding, neuroprotection, and neonatal abstinence both in her NICU and at the state level. Sue also enjoys educating staff in her unit as well as students at WMU. 

Danning Wang, MS, OTRL

Occupational Therapist Henry Ford Hospital 

Danning Wang, MS, OTRL is a practicing occupational therapist on the general practicing oncology unit at Henry Ford Hospital. Her years of experience working with the oncology population have given her insight into the functional limitations and barriers this population experiences in the hospital setting. She developed and has co-led the oncology special interest section for the Michigan Occupational Therapy Association (MiOTA) to promote evidence-based practice and shared collaboration among practicing clinicians and she has consistently presented at MiOTA conferences on oncology in acute care and cancer-related fatigue.  

Claire Dolislager, DrOT, OTR/L, CLT-LANA

Assistant Professor Grand Valley State University 

Claire Dolislager, DrOT, OTRL, CLT-LANA is currently an assistant professor in the Occupational Science & Therapy Department at Grand Valley State University. She earned her Master of Science degree in occupational therapy from GVSU in 2014, and Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from St. Catherine University in 2022. Dr. Dolislager has experience in acute care and hospital-based outpatient settings, including generalist practice, orthopedics, and neurorehabilitation. Since 2015, she has specialized in oncology and lymphedema. 

Dr. Dolislager is passionate about community, interprofessional collaboration, and innovative intervention approaches in the context of cancer. Her clinical practice and research activities have focused on improving client agency throughout the survivorship continuum and advocating for the role of occupational therapy in addressing barriers to participation at any point in that process. She aims to connect students and practicing OTs with current evidence, equipping specialists and generalists alike with skills and knowledge that best address unmet needs of cancer survivors. 

Noelle Partee, OTRL

Occupational Therapist Pine Rest

Noelle is an occupational therapist who graduated from Saginaw Valley State University in 2018. For the past several years, Noelle has been practicing OT at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services which is the third largest nonprofit behavioral health hospital in the United States. There, Noelle specializes in inpatient geriatrics. Passionate about returning occupational therapy to its roots, Noelle has dedicated the past two years establishing a newfound role within the organization. While taking a holistic approach and combining mental and physical wellness; Noelle has developed a program emphasizing fall prevention, safety, and ADL participation. Noelle is passionate about advocating for her profession as well as helping others through mental crisis regain meaning, purpose, and joy to promote increased quality of life.

Mansi Patel, MS, OTRL

Medical ICU OT at Henry Ford Hospital 

Ms. Patel is a board-certified occupational therapist working primarily in the medical ICU at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI. She holds a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, bachelor's in psychology, and has completed coursework for a master's in public health. Since graduating from Grand Valley State University's MSOT program, it has been her passion to work with vulnerable populations within the early rehabilitation program at this trauma one hospital and advocate for their needs. Shortly after beginning her career, she had the opportunity to be one of the first frontline workers in the COVID pandemic and subsequently shared her experiences through speaking engagements to bring awareness to therapy's role in patient's recovery.  


Closing session

Mansi Patel, MS, OTRL

Medical ICU OT at Henry Ford Hospital