Speakers announced for Distinguished Alumni Panel

We are delighted to welcome back six remarkable alumni to share their experiences at NYU and beyond. The inaugural event of the Department’s 75th anniversary celebrations will take place on Friday, October 2, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 PM.

Anitta Boyko Fox, OTR was among the first wave of students to earn a degree at NYU’s newly established occupational therapy program in 1945. Outside WWII was winding down and Fox found her calling working with returning veterans and helping a team of medical professionals create what is now known as the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine. In rehabilitation medicine, Fox found a meaningful career working hands on with patients and contributing to the literature of the profession. Her observations and insights are included in Ordinary Miracles: True Stories About Overcoming Obstacles and Surviving Catastrophes, a book edited by the late Deborah Labovitz, a form Professor and Chair of Steinhardt’s Department of Occupational Therapy.

Joan L. Sullivan, OTR/L, CHT is a Certified Hand Therapist with over 40 years of experience treating hand injuries. She is a Founding Charter Member of the American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT), and served as its President in 2000. Sullivan is highly regarded as an educator and has taught students and therapists in many educational settings and also local, national, and international professional conferences. She is an author, educator, and clinician who specializes in the management of wound and scar healing; soft tissue injuries, fractures, multi-system injuries and orthotic fabrication.

Danielle N. Butin, MPH, OTR is the Founder and Executive Director of the Afya Foundation which aims to provide an environmentally responsible solution to the dire shortage of healthcare supplies in under-served communities globally. Butin developed the only “tented” home care rehabilitation program in Port au Prince, training Haitians to become the rehab workforce and builders of products for the disabled. She was awarded the Eli Lilly Welcome Back Award for Afya’s special pre-vocational programs for at-risk populations; men and women from these programs volunteer in the warehouse and work with Afya’s Occupational Therapy graduate students. Before starting the Afya Foundation, Butin was the Director of Health Services for the East Region of Senior and Retiree Services for United HealthCare. Prior to her role at United, she was the Manager of the Health Promotion and Wellness Department at Oxford Health Plans. Butin received her Masters in Public Health with a specialization in Geriatrics and Gerontology at Columbia University and her BS in Occupational Therapy from New York University.

Glen Gillen, EdD, OTR, FAOTA is currently a full-time faculty member in the occupational therapy program at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. He has authored over 100 publications including textbooks, chapters, and peer-reviewed research. Gillen is best known in the neurorehabilitation community for his contribution to literature; the textbook Stroke Rehabilitation: A Function-Based Approach and Cognitive and Perceptual Rehabilitation: Optimizing Function. He co-edited the 12th edition of Willard & Spackman’s Occupational Therapy. He serves on various editorial boards for journals related to physical medicine and rehabilitation. Gillen lectures extensively on the local, state, national, and university level regarding multiple topics related to neurorehabilitation. He delivered the Eleanor Clark Slagle lecture in 2013. Gillen is a past recipient of AOTF’s Award for Clinical Excellence in Rehabilitation and AOTA’s Recognition of Achievement award.

Suzanne Sanchez, OTR/L is a Senior Director of Therapy Services at the New York City Department of Education, which is responsible for providing necessary services to students with disabilities from more than 600 schools. An NYU Department of Occupational Therapy alum, Sanchez’s work centers around policy development related to occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and assisted technology services. The New York City public school system serves almost 35,000 students who require occupational therapy services and almost 15,000 students who
need physical therapy services.

Margaret (Peggy) Swarbrick, PhD, CPRP, FAOTA is an Associate Professor at Rutgers University and the Director of the Wellness Institute at Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey. Swarbrick’s dissertation research examined the relationship between social environment and member empowerment and satisfaction in peer-operated self-help centers. Her post-doctoral fellowship was in Advanced Training and Research with the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Swarbrick has produced over 45 publications in peer reviewed journals and, to date, 17 book chapters. She lectures nationally and internationally on issues such as wellness, employment, and peer delivered models. She also helped spearhead the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Wellness Initiative. Swarbrick is actively involved in research projects at Rutgers University and in collaboration with researchers at University of Illinois at Chicago and the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, and serves as a frequent participant in federal-level planning activities.