After much deliberation and experimentation, Noomi Katz, PhD, OTR, found a field in which she loved to work – occupational therapy. She excels as the chair of the Research Center at Ono Academic College in Kiryat Ono, Israel, with which she has served since 2007. Prior to this appointment, she gained valuable expertise as a professor and the chairman of the graduate programs at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s School of Occupational Therapy from 1990 to 2002. Throughout her career, Dr. Katz has honed her knowledge in identifying and treating cognitive and developmental issues, particularly in children and young adults afflicted with autism. Although her professional journey has been filled with highlights, she is especially proud of pursuing graduate and doctoral degrees in the United States.
A licensed occupational therapist in Israel since 1963, Dr. Katz earned a bachelor’s degree in Tel Aviv, Israel, before traveling to the United States to complete a Master of Arts in occupational therapy and a PhD in health education from the University of Southern California in Pasadena. Reflecting the need in her field to remain aware of new developments, she maintains her affiliation with the Israeli Society of Occupational Therapy, with which she served as chair between 1991 and 1997, and the American Occupational Therapy Association. Moreover, utilizing her expertise, she wrote “Cognition, Occupation, and Participation Across the Lifespan: Neuroscience, Neurorehabilitation, and Models of Intervention,” “Cognition & Occupation Across the Life Span: Models for Intervention in Occupational Therapy” and “Cognitive Rehabilitation: Models for Intervention in Occupational Therapy,” and contributed to the fourth edition of “Occupation & Cognition.”
Dr. Katz became involved in occupational therapy many years ago by chance. She was told about the field when she was trying to figure out what she would do as a career. She gave it a try, enjoyed it and decided to stick with it. The opportunity to earn degrees in the United States gave Dr. Katz a great deal of freedom in her desire to work in research as well. These accomplishments prepared her for many more career opportunities in her home country of Israel.
Dr. Katz has been honored on many occasions for her efforts in occupational therapy. In addition to earning the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, she earned the Excellence in Lectureship Award through the Israeli Society of Occupational Therapy. Furthermore, she is featured in various editions of Who’s Who in Asia, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. In 1961, Dr. Katz married the love of her life, Chaim Katz, and together, they have three children, Yuval, Chagai and Ayelet Katz-Grosman, and 10 grandchildren.
Moving forward, Dr. Katz would like to be remembered as someone people could rely on. She would advise others aspiring to work in her profession to choose an area they enjoy and stick with it.