UOTA Award of Excellence in Practice

Purpose: To give recognition to an Occupational Therapy professional that has demonstrated excellence in- practice, research, education and/or collaboration, and who has contributed to the enhancement of the profession of Occupational Therapy in the state of Utah.

2020 Recipient: Nick Sidwell

Nick is an excellent practitioner. Patients and families love him. He has been very innovative in starting a very successful private outpatient practice in Davis County. Nick focuses on an interprofessional team approach with occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech as part of his business. While
managing his own practice, Nick also maintains a full caseload of patients.
Nick supports students. Several Salt Lake Community College Introduction to Occupational Therapy course students have completed a job shadow at his site. These students rave about their experiences with Nick and his therapists. Nick also stays active with the UOTA. He has served as the Community Specialty Practice Chair for several years, and is now serving as the Pediatrics Specialty Practice Chair. He is a top-notch occupational therapist and is a great choice for the 2020 UOTA Excellence in Practice Award!

Past Award Recipients

UOTA Bonnie Held Award of Service

Purpose: To give recognition to an Occupational Therapy professional that has demonstrated excellence in service to- OT practice, the UOTA organization and the community.

2020 Recipient: Vanessa Rapier

Vanessa has demonstrated extraordinary service to the Utah Occupational Therapy Association (UOTA) throughout the past few years in her work on the annual conference committee, first as a committee member and then becoming the chair in 2020. When agreeing to chair the committee, COVID-related state legislative mandates were not yet in place which would require UOTA’s annual conference to move from a live event to a virtual format. Virtual conferencing was uncharted territory for the Association, and Vanessa took initiative for this steep learning curve as she navigated the planning and running of the first UOTA virtual conference. She also represented the UOTA to join with other western states for a joint collaborative annual conference effort which became the Mountain West Virtual OT Conference. Not only was 2020 the year for UOTA’s first virtual conference, but also the first year to partner with neighboring states for an annual conference. The UOTA annual conference committee was in good hands as Vanessa demonstrated very capable leadership and organization skills. Throughout the entire process, Vanessa maintained her calm, steady, and positive manner while negotiating conference planning in the midst of moving her own school OT practice to a remote format and attending graduate school. The UOTA is very grateful to Vanessa for her service in 2020 and for agreeing to chair the conference committee again in 2021.

Past Award Recipients


UOTA OT/OTA Partnership Award

Purpose: To give recognition to an occupational therapist and an occupational therapy assistant residing and working in the state of Utah, who exemplify the professional partnership through collaborative efforts that promote the occupational therapy profession, and to provide motivation for OT/OTA partnerships throughout the state to contribute to the innovative progression of occupational therapy through OT/OTA partnerships.

2020 Recipients: Lyndsay Fait & Mary Pugh

Lyndsay and Mary have been innovative in designing the OT/OTA supervisory relationship. They are partners providing occupational therapy at the Navigator Academy Charter School. They are also partners in providing telehealth services for the Salt Lake Community College Pro-Bono Clinic. Mary, as adjunct faculty, is the first COTA to work in the telehealth clinic working with pediatric clients and supervising OTA students. Mary does an outstanding job demonstrating to the OTA students the role of a COTA in telehealth. Lyndsay supervises Mary in the telehealth clinic and is directly involved with each client's initial assessment with responsibility for the plan of care receiving input from Mary and students. Both face-to-face in clinical practice and in telehealth models are flawless and professional. Thanks to both for being such a great example to students and the Utah community. Nice job Lyndsay and Mary!

Past Award Recipients