Occupational Therapy | Education
M. Carolyn Baum is the Elias Michael Director of the Program in Occupational Therapy and professor of occupational therapy, neurology, and social work at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. She is internationally recognized as an influential leader in the profession of occupational therapy. Dr. Baum conducts research to understand the factors and effectiveness of interventions to support the daily occupations of older adults as they seek to live as independently as possible. She serves as a mentor to early and mid-career scientists and teaches the next generation of researchers, educators, and clinicians.
Earlier in her career, Dr. Baum worked at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, where she started a cardiac rehabilitation program. Later, Dr. Baum accepted a position at the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, where she started the rehabilitation occupational therapy program. There, she became first the director of rehabilitation and then the director of physical medicine and rehabilitation, managing occupational, physical and speech therapy. In 1976, she was recruited to run the occupational therapy program at Irene Walter Johnson Rehabilitation Institute at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Her drive to incorporate science into occupational therapy led her colleagues to encourage her to apply for the director position of the Program of Occupational Therapy in 1988. Thirty years later, she continues to advance the field forward by bridging the gap between biomedical and sociocultural health.
Certified in occupational therapy, Julia Murray dedicated her whole career to kids with learning disabilities like autism and ADHD. Although she retired in 2010, she is still remembered throughout her community for her connection to her students, who credit her with being the only teacher with whom they could be themselves in class. They appreciated that they didn’t have to restrict themselves with her, as they did in other classes.
Ms. Murray’s journey initially began when she was in 6th grade. She received a pamphlet promoting new and interesting professions, and, was drawn to occupational therapy. Although less than 20 colleges offered it at the time, she persevered, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Hawaii in 1956 and a certificate in occupational therapy from the University of Puget Sound in 1958.
Looking for a profession that offered her a creative opportunity to help others, Patricia Moursalian found occupational therapy to be the perfect fit. She loves having the opportunity to rehabilitate patients by maximizing their independence with daily activities; she finds the most rewarding part of her field to be seeing patients succeed and recover, especially when they do things they didn’t think they could do. Ms. Moursalian is separated from her peers by her empathetic nature, which makes her determined to find lasting solutions; she never gives up on those she treats.
For more than a decade, Ms. Moursalian has dedicated those passions to her work at the Providence Benedictine Nursing Center in Mount Angel, OR. The center, which is comprised of a primary nursing center, an assisted-living facility, a short-stay skilled unit, a child development center, and a home health agency, allows Ms. Moursalian to fully utilize her expertise with physical disabilities, gerontology and occupational therapy. In her role there, her responsibilities include treating patients after they undergo surgery or if they have an acute illness and helping to rehabilitate them so they are comfortable with the facets of daily life. She also coordinates with administrative staff, doctors, nurses, physical therapists and speech language pathologists.
An occupational therapist is a professional trained in the biological, physical, medical and behavioral sciences, including anatomy, neurology, physiology, human development, orthopedics and psychology. Noted for her excellence in the field and her passion for making a difference, Christina G. Hoagland embodied the spirit of the job, often going above and beyond to help her patients. Some of her primary responsibilities over the years included evaluating and treating people recovering from disabling events and assisting individuals with developing, recovering and improving the motor skills, social skills, and personal skills they needed for success in their everyday lives.
Working toward goal of becoming an occupational therapist, Ms. Hoagland attended Loma Linda University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in occupational therapy in 1975 and became registered in the field. She continued her education later in her journey, earning an Associate of Science in industrial drafting technology from Mount San Antonio College in 1985 and becoming a certified brain injury specialist in 2008. Additionally, Ms. Hoagland joined prominent professional organizations like the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Occupational Therapy Association.