Occupational Therapy Association of Californa

OT in Mental Health Symposium

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3rd Annual OTAC/POTAC OT in Mental Health Symposium:
Applications of Occupational Justice to Mental Health OT

Instructions for logging into the Zoom webinar will be provided once registration is complete.

Saturday, April 24, 2021
9:00am - 12:30pm

$45 for OTAC/POTAC Members
$65 for non-OTAC Members
$25 for Student

Cancellation/Refund Policy
50% of registration fee will be retained to cover processing costs. Written notice to staff(at)otaconline.org must be received in OTAC office by April 22, 2021 to be eligible for refunds. No refunds after this date. Disclaimer: OTAC reserves the right to make changes to the program. No refunds will be made based on these changes.

9:00am – 9:15am

9:15am – 10:15am
A Family of Veterans: An Introspective View of Intersectionality on Military Culture and Female Soldiers of Color
Alondra Ammon, MOT, OTR/L

This presentation will provide attendees with greater insight into some of the challenges females of color experience within a military culture through personal reflections from sisters who each served in a different military branch.

10:15am – 10:30am

10:30am – 11:00am
Building and Sustaining Healthy Communities: Understanding the Impact of Racism on Mental Health and Occupational Engagement
Arameh Anvarizadeh, OTD, OTR/L

11:00am – 12:00pm
Panel: Occupational Justice for the Unhoused
Gina Phelps, OTD, OTR/L; Erin McIntyre, OTD, OTR/L; Bianca Doherty, OTD, OTR/L; Robin Martin, OTS

Panelists will share their experiences in providing mental health occupational therapy services to the unhoused population in various community settings. Strategies for how the panelists promoted occupational therapy and partnered with community sites will be shared.

12:00pm – 12:30pm
Optional Lunch Networking with OTs in Mental Health


Alondra Ammon

Alondra Ammon, MOT, OTR/L, is a first-generation Salvadorian/Haitian American from Prince George’s County, Maryland, and is also a US Air Force Veteran. She graduated with a BS in kinesiology from San Francisco State University and a Masters of Occupational Therapy from Samuel Merritt University. During her time at Samuel Merritt, Ammon served as a president ambassador for the University and co-president of the Student Occupational Therapy Association. Upon graduating, Ammon was awarded the "Outstanding Student Award.” She was accepted into the Emerging Leaders Development Program through AOTA. There she helped raise awareness on the importance of creating a culturally diverse and inclusive workforce and advocating for underrepresented practitioners within the profession. She uses her social media platform to highlight OT practitioners of underrepresented groups and support the importance of building a culturally responsive workforce. Currently, Ammon is pursuing her PhD at Texas Woman’s University in occupational therapy to explore tangible ways to support diversity, equity, and inclusion within the profession and address challenges leading to health disparities.

Arameh Anvarizadeh

Arameh Anvarizadeh, OTD, OTR/L, is the director of admissions and associate professor of clinical occupational therapy at the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. Anvarizadeh is responsible for developing the holistic admissions process and maintaining effective admissions strategies and procedures within the division. She also oversees each academic program and makes sure the division is filled with high-caliber diverse students. Anvarizadeh is a founding member and chair of the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD), a nonprofit organization striving to empower occupational therapy leaders to engage in practices that increase diversity, equity, and inclusion for a more transformative occupational therapy profession. She is responsible for developing the COTAD toolkit, the Ignite Series, and COTAD chapters. She tirelessly works to support and establish COTAD chapters at academic programs across the country while empowering students to facilitate dialogue, awareness, and change related to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the profession and beyond. Anvarizadeh recently made history as the youngest and first African American/Iranian woman to become vice president of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She is also the youngest woman of color inducted into the prestigious Roster of Fellows (FAOTA). Anvarizadeh currently holds leadership positions with AOTA as the Credential Review and Accountability Committee (CRAC) chair, a Representative Assembly Leadership Committee (RALC) member, a Governance Task Force member, and the liaison between the Governance and DEI task forces. She was also a member of the AOTA Special Task Force on Entry-Level Education and a crucial contributor to the professional dialogue on the entry-level degree requirements. She is a recent alumna of the 2020 cohort for the Executive Leadership Program for Multicultural Women. Within the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC), Anvarizadeh serves as an Advocacy and Government Affairs Committee member. She is a recipient of OTAC’s Janice Matsutsuyu Outstanding Service Award and Vision Award. She previously held the position of communications chair for seven years.

Bianca M. DohertyBianca M. Doherty, OTD, OTR/L, is the director of occupational therapy for Urban Street Angels, a nonprofit serving transition-aged youth experiencing homelessness and mental health difficulties. Before this, she was a faculty member in the occupational therapy master’s and doctorate programs at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, California Campus, where she taught foundational courses, as well as courses focused on wellness and health promotion, emerging practice and program development, and policy and advocacy. During her time as faculty, Doherty established a connection with Urban Street Angels, where she provided pro-bono OT services and supervised Level II Fieldwork students before being hired full-time. She completed her Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy at University College Cork in her home country of Ireland, and her Master of Science in occupational therapy at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Prior to coming to the US, she worked in Ireland in primary care and in community-based settings in Scotland with autistic adults. She completed a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) at the University of Southern California, which included a clinical residency at the USC University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Here Doherty worked with families from underserved communities around Los Angeles with children with developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health challenges. During this time, she also completed the California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (CA-LEND) program, with focusing on the development of a self-advocacy discipline in collaboration with the national Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).

Robin Martin

Robin Martin, OTS, is a doctorate student at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in San Marcos. Her Level IIB Fieldwork with Bianca Doherty, OTD, OTR/L, where she has been working with transition-aged youth as they shift from experiencing homelessness to finding stable housing, is nearly complete.

Erin McIntyre

Erin McIntyre, OTD, OTR/L, is an assistant professor in the occupational therapy program at the University of St. Augustine’s master’s and doctoral programs in San Marcos, California. She has been practicing for the last 11 years in adult mental health services. McIntyre’s career has focused on working with adults labeled with serious mental illness in a range of service settings, both inpatient and community-based, nationally and in the United Kingdom, where she spent six years working in London. Her primary interest is in working with individuals experiencing psychosis in community-based mental health settings. McIntyre co-facilitates the AOTA psychosis community of practice and is a founding member of a community of practice for occupational therapy practitioners working in homeless services. Over the past four years, McIntyre has been dedicated to developing occupational therapy programming with homeless service providers and has worked within the permanent supportive housing practice context in Southern California.

Gina Phelps

Gina Phelps, OTD, OTR/L, received a master’s in occupational therapy from the University of Southern California and her Occupational Therapy Doctorate from Boston University. Phelps has practiced in many community-based settings, including adult day health care programs for the elderly and disabled, day programs for adults with developmental disabilities, and transitional-age youth programs for young adults labeled with mental health issues. She has developed a faculty-led fieldwork site at a community-based, mental health setting for formerly homeless people. Phelps is an instructor of occupational therapy and has been a fieldwork educator for more than 16 years. She received the Fieldwork Educator Award from the Occupational Therapy Association of California in 2016. Phelps has presented posters and sessions at various conferences for the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Occupational Therapy Association of California and co-wrote and illustrated a children’s book with Dr. Karen Jacobs for children whose parents experience depression.