Past Award Recipients

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.

2021 Recipient: Robyn Thompson

Robyn is an incredibly talented, evidence-based, research oriented occupational therapist. She recently started an outpatient clinic in Park City, Utah which opened in April. This clinic offers state of the art services and is a true testament to Robyn's commitment to the profession and to her community. Robyn has also taught as full-time faculty for both the University Of Utah's OT program and Salt Lake Community College's OTA program. She has participated in many research projects and professional presentations at both national and state levels. Robyn is one of the best examples of an occupational therapist who has and continues to demonstrate excellence in practice, research, and education. She has certainly contributed to the enhancement of the profession of Occupational Therapy in the state of Utah.

2012 recipient: Brooke Pohlman2013 recipient: Nikki Bernhard

2014 recipient: Kasey Mitchell

2015 recipient: JoAnne Wright

2016 recipient: Trent Brown

2017 recipient: Andrew Bracken

2018 recipient: Vanessa Rapier

2019 recipient: Annie Wallace & Christopher Noren

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.

2021 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.

2012 recipient: Pollie Price

2013 recipient: Brooki Sexton

2014 recipient: JoAnne Wright

2015 recipient: Kasey Mitchell

2016 recipient: Yda Smith

2017 recipeint: Eunice Chen

2018 recipient: Florentina Mueller-Planitz

2019 recipient: Jeanette Koski

2020 recipient: Krisanne Lewis


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.

2021 Recipients: Tina Williams and Kayley Crane

Tina Williams, OTR/L, and Kayley Crane, COTA/L, are both skilled practitioners with "educator" hearts. Tina and Kayley have a great OT/OTA relationship because it’s based on friendship, respect, competence, and trust. The past year and a half have been especially challenging with changes in Medicare and the effects of COVID-19, but they have come up with some creative solutions. Tina trusts Kayley to be able to recommend when goals should be modified to meet client's needs and adjusts treatments regularly. Kayley appreciates the feedback Tina gives her during her supervisory visits. Both bring great treatment ideas to the table and frequently are able to discuss different ideas and come up with some great evidence-based therapy interventions focused on occupational performance and participation.

COVID-19 really highlighted their strengths as it was a difficult time for all of us! Tina was unable to come inside the building due to living with high-risk family members. They were able to do virtual visits via video chat so they would coordinate times to do evaluations as well as supervisory visits. Tina would do the interview and Kayley would perform any hands-on assessments. This took a high level of teamwork to accomplish everything. Kayley reported, "Our ability to communicate and trust each other really made it possible to give quality care to our clients in a difficult time."

Past Award Recipients

2012: no nominations

2013: no nominations

2014 recipients: Cheryl Woodard & Aubrey Jenson

2015: no nominations

2016 recipients: Bonnie Eckman & Stormy Hilll​

2017 recipients: Mona Agamez & MaryAnn Gunnuscio

2018 recipients: Ashley Brewer & Taylor Hoyt

2019 recipients: MaryAnn Gunnuscio & Natalie Mudrow and Bradford Woolston & Sarah Gray

2020 recipients: Lyndsay Fait & Mary Pugh