2008 Caroline Thompson Memorial Lecture

OT student doing research with child


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2008 Caroline Thompson Memorial Lecture

Carolyn Baum, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
Director, Program in Occupational Therapy
Washington University School of Medicine
“Let’s Focus on Performance”

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

profile photo of Carolyn BaumAbout Carolyn Baum

Baum is the Elias Michael Director of the Program in Occupational Therapy and Professor of Occupational Therapy and Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. She heads an interdisciplinary faculty that is contributing knowledge and training clinicians and rehabilitation scientists to understand the personal and environmental factors that contribute to the performance of everyday life.

Baum recently completed her term as President of the American Occupational Therapy Association and has served as President of the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board (now known as NBCOT). She has received the American Occupational Therapy Association’s two most prestigious awards, the Eleanor Clarke Slagel Lectureship and the Award of Merit. She was named Occupational Therapist of the Year in both Kansas and Missouri. In 1996 she was awarded the University of Kansas Allied Health Distinguished Alumnus Award and in 1995 was recognized for her service to the community with the Janet Ashcroft Humanitarian Award for Community Service.

Baum’s research focuses on the relationship of activity and function in persons with cognitive impairment and chronic disease. She is currently the PI on a project funded by The James S. McDonnell Foundation to build a translational model of neuroscience with neuroscientists, neurologists, psychologists, and occupational therapists working together to understand the brain and cognitive mechanisms that support everyday life.

Overview of Presentation

In 2017, Occupational Therapy will celebrate its 100th anniversary. It was first developed in the United States by visionaries who were committed to improving the lives of people who, because of mental illness or war injuries, were limited in doing the things they wanted and needed to do. We need to honor their vision and put our work in the context of today’s needs and possibilities. Occupational Therapists around the world are being united in their practice and their science that is driving the profession forward. I will talk about the AOTA Centennial Vision and build on the ideas of Mary Reilly, who in 1960, challenged us to build the science that would underpin “man’s need for action”. Our challenge is to project a clear image of our unique contribution to the health and function of the citizens of the World; it is my goal in honoring Caroline Thompson to provide context and depth to that challenge.

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