- Jeffrey B. Becker, O.D.
- Jennifer Cave, OTR/L
- Andrea Moon Collins, OTD OTR/L
- Amy Lamb, OTD, OTR/L
- Karen Kangas, OTR/L
- Beth Pfeiffer, PhD, OTR/L, BCP
- Jennifer Rugletic Washko,M.S., OTR/L
- Joan Surfus,B.S., OTR/L
- Tom Swartwood, M.S., OTR/L
- Nancy Swiderski Baranowski, M.S., OTR/L
- Maria Unger, M.A., CCC/SLP
- Lauren Zack, OTD, OTR/L
Jeffrey B. Becker, O.D.
Dr. Becker is a 1978 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and graduated from The Illinois College of Optometry in 1983. He has been practicing in Northeastern Pennsylvania for over 24 years, with a specialty practice in Rehabilitative Optometry. He is the Director of Vision Rehabilitation at the Neurosensory Center of Eastern Pennsylvania and is a consultant to the Pediatrics Department at John Heinz Rehabilitation Hospital, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, Towanda Rehabilitation Hospital and Progressive Health in Pennsylvania. He also consults and manages the Vision Rehabilitation program at the Early Intervention Medical Center in Dubai, UAE. Dr. Becker in his 29 years of clinical and research experience has examined and treated over 3000 head injury, stroke, and neurologically impaired patients ranging in ages from birth to senior citizens. Dr. Becker is a Defeat Autism Now! Certified clinician and has lectured internationally about vision therapy. Dr. Becker is the medical advisor for the new Oculomotor Therapy Program for the IPAD. He is also a consultant to several government agencies and recently authored a chapter about vision therapy for autistic children.
Andrea Moon Collins, OTD, OTR/L
Andrea Collins, OTD, OTR/L is a Misericordia Alumni, class of 2009, where she received her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy and Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. She is a 2012 graduate of Chatham University in Pittsburgh where she received her Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association. She was recently published in the March 25, 2013 issue of OT Practice with her article entitled, “Classroom-Integrated Therapy -Strengthening Teacher–Practitioner Collaboration and Improving Student Outcomes”, highlighting the graduate capstone project she completed as part of her doctorate degree. Andrea’s primary area of clinical practice is in school based therapy, currently contracted to the Elk Lake School District in Dimock, Pennsylvania. She is also a member of an interdisciplinary evaluation team for Lackawanna/Susquehanna Counties Early Intervention Program. She additionally does per diem work in adult home health. She resides in Avoca, Pennsylvania with her husband, Brandon, and son, Nicholas. She teaches in the research series for us.
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Karen Kangas, B.S., OTR/L
Karen Kangas, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist in private practice specializing in evaluation and treatment of complex, unique, "difficult /complicated" patients (all ages, but especially pediatric patients ) throughout the state of Pennsylvania, for seating, positioning, access, and mobility especially with patients who may need powered mobility and assistive technology, as well as regularly teaching workshops throughout the USA (and overseas, if requested). She is an occupational therapist who provides treatment and consultation as a Seating, Positioning, and Mobility Specialist, Assistive Technology Specialist, and Clinical Educator. Karen has a B.S. of Science in Occupational Therapy from Temple University, 1973. At Misericordia University Karen teaches a course in the post professional pediatric certificate program called "Seating in Pediatric Practice."
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Amy Lamb, OTD, OTR/L
Amy is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Eastern Michigan University, owner of AJLamb Consulting, Chair of the American Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee (AOTPAC) and Vice President Elect of the American Occupational Therapy Association. She brings with her the valuable combination of clinical practice as a registered occupational therapist combined together with health care policy experience at the state and federal levels. Her research is centered on leadership development including the role of mentoring in developing leadership skills in the profession of occupational therapy.
Amy received both her Bachelors of Science in Occupational Therapy and her post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy degrees from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraksa. Her policy start developed from her doctoral rotations serving as a health policy administrator to Representative Fran Bradley in the Minnesota House of Representatives who served was the Chair of the Health Policy committee. In 2000, she established AJLamb Consulting and the Nebraska Occupational Therapy Association retained her services for professional advocacy; she served as their paid lobbyist for 8 years. Since that time, she has been sought out by other organizations for her relationship building skills, organization of grassroots efforts, and drafting of policy briefs. Her consultation experience ranges from advocacy, strategic planning and implementation, health policy review, grant writing, program development and enhancement, marketing and direct client intervention.
Amy’s clinical practice spans from school based pediatrics, acute care, home health, and elders in independent living, assisted living and skilled facilities. Prior to her current position she was a Rehab Director with Brookdale Senior Living managing the outpatient therapy clinics and home health rehabilitation services in assisted living and independent living communities in the Denver Colorado area.
In 2012, she joins the AOTA Roster of Fellows as an Outstanding Advocate and Political Action Leader. In 2011, she received the Lindy Boggs advocacy award from the American Occupational Therapy Association for her leadership in advocacy and political action in the profession of occupational therapy. Therapy Times included her on their Most Influential list for 2007 for her contributions at the state and federal level in advocacy and health policy development. She has strong roots in service to the profession at the state and national levels. Amy served as Legislative Chair of the Nebraska Occupational Therapy Association from 2000-2009, Nominations Chair of the Nebraska Occupational Therapy Association from 2003-2006, and Vice President of the Colorado Occupational Therapy Association from 2009-2010. Her volunteer leadership positions with the American Occupational Therapy Association highlights include Chair and Region IV Director of the AOTPAC, Chair of the Wellness and Prevention Subgroup of the Presidential Health Care Reform Ad-Hoc Committee, and Mentor in the Emerging Leaders Program.
Amy regularly travels across the US and uses distance technology to promote involvement in state and national associations and speak to the health policy issues impacting practice and provides participants with practical ways to get involved in the process and make their voices heard. Amy currently resides outside of Dexter, Michigan with her husband Nathan and their two children Gabby (10) and Josh (8).
Dr. Pfeiffer earned a B.A. in Psychology and Special Education from Arcadia University, an M.S. in Occupational Therapy with a specialization in pediatrics from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Pfeiffer developed and teaches in the Post-Professional Pediatric Certificate Program. She is a full time Associate Professor at Temple University.
Dr. Pfeiffer is currently involved in both qualitative and quantitative research examining the impact on participation and quality of life of sensory modulation and affective disorders on adults and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She also researches of the effectiveness of a sensory-based treatment model in children and adults with pervasive developmental disorders and psychosocial issues, along with the effectiveness of interventions to address sensory defensiveness in adult populations. Dr. Pfeiffer maintains and co-owns a private pediatric practice, Therapy Bridges, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is certified in the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests and has completed the pediatric NDT training.
Joan Surfus,B.S., OTR/L
Joan Surfus, MS, OTR/L received her bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and her master’s degree from Misericordia University, both in occupational therapy. Her focus of practice has been in pediatrics with an emphasis in feeding & dysphagia, and sensory integration. Joan teaches regularly on these subjects both nationally and internationally. In addition to being adjunct faculty at Misericordia University, Joan is currently clinical faculty at two other universities, teaching in the areas of sensory integration, childhood development, pediatric intervention, and dysphagia, She has co-authored “Sensory Integration: Answers for Mealtime Success, a parent-friendly booklet on the contribution of sensory integration and praxis to feeding and eating. Joan spends the majority of her time off volunteering abroad, teaming up with a pediatric neurologist and psychologist in Russia, working with children and staff at a school for special needs in Honduras, and staff and post-institutionalized children in Romania. At this time, Joan is enrolled in the OTD program here Misericordia University and is an OT supervisor and feeding specialist at Pediatric Therapy Network, in Torrance, California.
Jennifer Rugletic Washko MS, OTR/L
Jennifer is an alumnus of College Misericordia, graduating class 1999. She has a master’s degree in occupational therapy and a bachelor’s degree in general studies. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association and the American Occupational Therapy Association. Jennifer has been a research reader for a group studying the “Eligibility and Discharge Criteria for School Based Practice under IDEA.” Jennifer also published a paper in the journal of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health with her research group as part of her Master’s thesis titled, “The Immediate Effects of a Group Based Horticulture Experience with People with Chronic Mental Illness.”
Her primary practice area is in pediatrics, particularly, school based occupational therapy with children 5 to 21 years of age. Jennifer also works per diem at a local outpatient rehabilitation center in hand therapy, neurological, and pediatric service lines. She has been teaching, as an adjunct faculty member in the MU Occupational Therapy Department since 2005. As an instructor, in the introductory course (OT 103) at Misericordia Universty, she is passionate about spreading the good word and knowledge of the awesome profession of occupational therapy and connecting students to be committed to their course of study in the Occupational Therapy curriculum at MU. Jennifer believes in the inherent mission of Misericordia University and loves what it offers to our students. “MU is like home to me!” Jennifer has also taught OT 330 Conceptual Foundations as well as HP 450 Pediatric Assessment.
Jennifer was born and raised in Northeast Pennsylvania. She loves the area and the seasons it brings. She resides in Swoyersville, Pa. with her husband, Jimmy and English Springer Spaniel, Mazzie.
Lauren Zack, OTD, OTR/L
Lauren Zack, OTD, OTR/L, graduated from Misericordia University in 2011 with a bachelors degree in psychology and a masters degree in OT. Lauren has been employed full-time by Rehab Care at Timber Ridge Health Care Center, working primarily with the geriatric population, since the summer of 2011. Shortly after graduation, she began the OTD program at Misericordia University, focusing on geriatrics, and she graduated in 2013. Lauren presented her OTD capstone project, regarding the development of a memory fitness program for older adults, at the AOTA conference in 2013. Dr. Zack supervises clinical research projects conducted by students, including her work with memory fitness programs in local nursing home settings.
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