Member Spotlight Archive

Get to Know Your Colleagues in Utah!

Each month the Utah OT Association will be spotlighting a member from a different region in the state. If you would like to nominate someone to be spotlighted, please contact your regional representative. To comment and congratulate members on their spotlight, go to the Utah Occupational Therapy Association Facebook page.


 

March 2021

Rich Fauci.  M.S., OTR/L, Region 3

Q & A:Rich Fauci. M.S., OTR/L.

1. What setting do you work in?

Home Health.

2. How long have you been working in this profession and setting? 

I graduated from A.T. Still University in January 2018, worked for skilled nursing for two years in Globe, AZ then came back to my hometown to do home health in Utah in February 2020. I always had a real passion for helping those in need and occupational therapy has so much diversity in settings and interventions that I wouldn't get bored or stop loving what I do. I love having a job I look forward to doing every single day.

3. What is one thing industry related you learned in the last month? 

Recently, I have had an influx of HISA grants through the VA. It is a long process, but the results have been amazing for my clients. People that have been too afraid to shower or leave the home due to fall risk are now doing so with confidence.

4. One person who inspires you? 

My professor, MJ Tufte at SUU really helped me realize what and who I wanted to be going forward and helped introduce OT to me!

 5. What is your favorite place in the world

I love Puerto Rico! I have been there 3 times including with my wife, Emmy, on our honeymoon.  Paddle boarding with manatees, kayaking in the ocean, bioluminescent bay, spelunking, and some amazing beaches and food!

 6. What was the last book that you read? 

The last book I read was Zoobooks Sharks with my nephew Rhen and niece Jojo.

 7. Any hobbies or interests? 

I ballroom dance and play sports, video games,  and dungeons and dragons.  I also brew beer, fish and am an avid bird watcher.

 8. What is one of your greatest achievements? 

My greatest achievement is finishing grad school and finally making enough money to give my dogs, Peter and Cici a big yard to run amuck. It felt like it was never going to happen with all the school and debt but we did it!

9. What are you passionate about? 

I am passionate about developing rapport with everyone I meet.  Everyone has their own story and I enjoy hearing them. I also love animals, with hippos, whales, manatees, and porcupines being my favorite.  

 10. What are some goals that you have on your bucket list?

My wife and I would like to visit all 62 national parks (8 so far with 3 planned this year), I want to see a blue whale, swim with whale sharks, visit 6/7 continents, get on the kiss cam,  and have something named after us/ named for us (I.e. Park bench or something).

 11. A fun fact about you that people may not know about you. 

Most people don't know that my go-to karaoke song is It's Raining Men by The Weather Girls.  

12. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would you choose? 

One meal for the rest of my life is spam and egg sandwich with kraft cheese and miracle whip! 


 

February 2021

Kristen Courtney, BA, COTA/L, Region 2

Q & A:

1. What setting do you work in?

Currently I am the temporary Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and an Instructor at Salt Lake Community College Occupational Therapy Assistant Program (hopefully for the foreseeable future!). But much of my background is in mental health inpatient settings and transitional care units.

2. How long have you been working in this profession and setting? 

I have been working for 3.5 years in Occupational Therapy, and have been in higher education for the last year. I attended a conference for after school professionals while running youth programs at the YMCA when I attended a presentation by an OT on Sensory Processing Disorder. It was like a lightbulb went off and I immediately knew that this was the career for me! (Only took me until age 30! Lol)

3. What is one thing industry related you learned in the last month? 

A lot of what I’ve been reading lately is how OT is engaging in the recovery for COVID-19 patients who are experiencing long term effects, particularly the cognitive effects that we are seeing in the older population.

4. One person who inspires you? 

Stacey Abrams

 5. What is your favorite place in the world

The alpine fields of the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. They are some of the most beautiful mountains in the country.

 6. What was the last book that you read? 

“Brown Bear Brown Bear” to my 2 year old. 😉

 7. Any hobbies or interests? 

I love biking, hiking, and camping. Right now, though, a lot of that has been dialed back to toddler-level engagement as I spend time with my 2 year old and 5 year old and share my love of the outdoors with them. 

 8. What is one of your greatest achievements? 

I believe my greatest achievements came in the services I delivered to my clients while working at Recovery Ways. Teaching IADL’s, home management, health management, self-regulation and leisure skills to my clients has been some of the most meaningful work I’ve done. Many of the clients I’ve worked with continue to be clean, sober, and thriving to this day!

9. What are you passionate about? 

I am passionate about OT! More specifically, I am passionate about the distributive justice of mental health services. I also love learning more about neurobiology as it related to mental health, self-regulation, and function. 

 10. What are some goals that you have on your bucket list?

  1. Client will complete a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration by December 2024 (in progress).
  2. Client will become a full time educator in a higher education program (partially achieved).
  3. Client will present on a relevant and meaningful topic at the American Occupational Therapy Association National Conference 2024.
  4. Client to hike the triple crown trails (AT, PCT, CDT). And to bicycle tour around the world.

 11. A fun fact about you that people may not know about you. 

I am a bubble gum connoisseur. I love to chew gum and am very skilled at blowing bubbles. I once blew a bubble bigger than my own head and I am also able to blow bubbles inside of other bubbles (my record is 17 layers). Demonstrations available upon request.

13. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would you choose? 

I have engaged in many heated debates about this very question in relation to tacos vs pizza. Although my love of tacos is strong, I find a lot more opportunity for variation and nutritional diversity in pizza. I may lose the respect of some professional colleagues over this answer.😊


 

January 2021

Charity Davis, OT/L, Region 1

Q & A:

1. What setting do you work in?

Home Health and Inpatient Rehab

2. How long have you been working in this profession and setting? 

Graduated in 2000 from Loma Linda University a year before it was switched to a master's program.  I spent 4 years in a skilled nursing facility rehab full time with home health PRN until I started having kids in 2004.  I then worked as a contract therapist doing home health specializing in specialty wheelchair evaluations and home safety evals and got my Assistive Technology Professional credential. I enjoyed contracting with Agrability (Assistive Technology for Farmers) for a few years. When my three kids were in school about 2013, I started working home health a few hours a week and slowly eased back into PRN work at Transitional Care Facilities. I currently continue PRN work at a couple Transitional care facilities, Northern Utah Rehab Hospital, Encompass Home Care, and Rehab Without Walls. I have often covered for full time positions at each of these settings while they look to fill the jobs. The ebb and flow and flexibility of PRN has worked well for me as I raise my kids.

3. What led you to pursue occupational therapy as your profession? 

I got my CNA license at age 15. I worked at a nursing home where Ben DeHaan, OT would have a whole hour to work with one patient with morning ADL's and help them learn how to help themselves again. I was jealous having to race to dress 10 people before breakfast and no option to let them do it themselves if I wanted to get done in time. My mom was a nurse at the same place and introduced me to him and I job-shadowed at his work at the hospital. I was hooked. I was able to get an Associate Degree in Pre-Occupational Therapy at Rick's College right out of High School and graduated with my OT degree 4 years after High School.

4. What is one thing industry related you learned in the last month? 

Just when you think you've met every personality out there in patients after 20 years, someone says something so off the wall you have to laugh and give them credit for throwing you off your groove.

5. One person who inspires you? 

I'm inspired by the exceptional patients who actually follow through with your exercises after discharge and it's given them increased independence and deceased pain. I've been a patient of physical therapy over the years and know how hard it is to actually keep doing those exercises so my hat goes off to those who actually do.

 6. What is your favorite place in the world

Riding through mountain aspen/pine forests on horseback with my family. We've owned horses for almost 20 years, my best memories involve our horses.

 7. What was the last book that you read? 

"Not Yet, Near Life Experiences and Lessons"  by Jeff O'Driscoll, MD

 8. Any hobbies or interests? 

Writing inspirational music. Singing in choirs and attending every concert my kids participate in. My 16 year old daughter plays the oboe, my 14 year old son plays cello, my 12 year old son plays drums and all are singing in choirs currently.

 9. What is one of your greatest achievements? 

I was selected as "Therapist of the Year 2019" for BrightSpring a nationwide home health company that is a parent company for Rehab Without Walls. It was a huge surprise. I was nominated for the impact I made with a quadriplegic patient I'd worked with for over a year.

10. What are you passionate about? 

Advocating for my 16 year old daughter with multiple chronic illness conditions. I have a researcher heart and won't give up on finding answers and doctors to ease her pain and help her succeed.

 11. What are some goals that you have on your bucket list?

Recording an album or 5, I have over 50 songs waiting to be fleshed out. I used to run marathons and would love to improve my health enough to enjoy running again.

 12. A fun fact about you that people may not know about you. 

I've eaten squirrel, bullfrog and carp this year. My 14 year old boy cooks up everything he catches that's safe to eat and I love to support him in his hunting endeavors.

13. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would you choose? 

That sounds miserable, I love eating a variety… But for fun, I'd have to say I love a Zupas half berry salad and panini sandwich with their infusion honey drinks and a chocolate strawberry! I think I could survive on that for a while without complaining.


 

December 2020

Thomas A Kincheloe, OTR/L, CLT, WCC, Region 6

Q & A:

1. What setting do you work in?

I currently split my time between long term care, inpatient and outpatient rehab, and home health. I like inpatient and outpatient rehab the most, though I really enjoy all of it.

2. How long have you been working in this profession and setting? What led you to pursue occupational therapy as your profession?

I’ve been working in this profession almost 19 years. I was originally an electronics technician and programmer, but was searching for a new career. At the time, there was a great need for occupational therapists so I went back to college, and… here I am!

3. What is one thing industry related you learned in the last month?

A new graph technique for non-healing deep venous wounds, shared with me by a physician working with one of my patients. I’m fascinated by wound care because it’s a challenging field to be in.

4. One person who inspires you? 

My sister, who is also my best friend. We are very close. She lives in Logan. I often seek advice from her, and I’m never disappointed.

 5. What is your favorite place in the world

Any forested area, especially near lakes, ponds, white water streams and brooks. I love the peace and tranquility of deep forest locations such as those found in the Alaskan wilderness, and in our own mountain regions.

 6. What was the last book that you read? 

The Book of Mormon

7. Any hobbies or interests? 

I like to travel the mountain roads in my roadster convertible (which I’m also restoring as a hobby) when the weather is nice. I also have an interest in growing orchids as a hobby. I’m very interested in model railroading, though I’ve yet to build anything. I’m also active in church activities…well, most of them anyway. As you can see, I’m varied in my interests.

8. What is one of your greatest achievements? 

I was elected president of the Adirondack Community College Student Association in upstate New York in 1999. I was very active on campus, and a leader in various programs. My college days were my happiest days!

9. What are you passionate about? 

Lymphedema management and wound care because there are so many people out there that need this kind of help, but very few of us who are jointly skilled in these services. I love wound care because it is challenging. The successful results of both services can be truly amazing and satisfying.

 10. What are some goals that you have on your bucket list?

Build a model railroad layout; travel the country in a motor home with my two cats; explore places like Nova Scotia, the northwest, and Alaska; ride the Durango-Silverton Railway and other trains.

 11. A fun fact about you that people may not know about you. 

I like drawing happy faces and cartoon characters on wound dressings to bring cheer to patients. I’m not a very good artist, but nobody seems to care about that.

12. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would you choose? 

It’s a toss-up between spaghetti and hot dogs!


 

September 2020

Michael Peterson, MOTR/L

Q & A:

1. What setting do you work in?

Early intervention, SNF, and school setting. Early Interventionist Level III. Program Director, PrimeTime 4 Kids - Early Intervention Program (Uintah and Daggett Counties). 

2. How long have you been working in this profession and setting? What led you to pursue occupational therapy as your profession?

OT for 23 years. Working in early intervention for 21 years. I have worked many different jobs and in a variety of settings including; SNF, home health, outpatient/inpatient hospital, private consultation, early intervention, and school district.

OT was discovered when I volunteered at Primary Children’s Medical Center in 1993. I wanted to be a PT but could never seem to get help with volunteer opportunities and non of the PTs were willing to support me with a letter of recommendation. I usually just cleaned wheelchairs that they gave me in the afternoons. I then met some great OTs and followed them for several months. I loved the diversity of treatments, the creativity, and especially the functional aspect of the profession. Children and parents seemed to love coming to OT and it just made more sense to me. I had never met many OTs prior to this time and I took the time to explore the profession and it was a great fit. I was preparing to graduate from the University of Utah with a BS degree in psychology and OT really seemed best with my interests and goals.

3. What is one thing industry related you learned in the last month?

I am becoming an expert at delivering TeleHealth visits to families.

4. One person who inspires you? 

My wife. Hardest working and smartest person I know.

 5. What is your favorite place in the world

I love to get away to any nice beach in the world. Newport Beach, CA is high on the list.

 6. What was the last book that you read? 

“Life Expectancy” by Dean Koontz. Kind of a no-brainer suspense novel.

7. Any hobbies or interests? 

Hiking, fishing, and recently becoming a pretty big mountain biker (when I can get some time).

8. What is one of your greatest achievements? 

I enjoy spending time with my kids. Becoming a dad has to be the greatest.

9. What are you passionate about? 

I truly enjoy this profession. OT gives the opportunity to be a creative problem solver in so many diverse situations with so many different populations of clients. I look forward each day to the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of families and clients by giving them something to help them live a more productive, safer, or independent life.

 10. What are some goals that you have on your bucket list?

Someday do a lot of traveling.

 11. A fun fact about you that people may not know about you. 

I worked in the health home aspect of OT for 21 years and was only ever bitten by 2 dogs, but those 2 dogs were biting me simultaneously on the same visit. So, I would say that was a pretty good overall statistic for avoiding dog bites.

12. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would you choose? 

I’m really into eat a lot of fruit smoothies with many different combinations of ingredients. As long as I get one each day - I’m pretty happy.