Q: Can you tell me about your volunteer and service work?
Stephanie: In the OT program, I was involved with Yes, You Can Dance. That was actually a job, but it was very complementary to what I was learning. One of my fieldwork sites was the Birmingham Free Clinic, which is a primary clinic for people without insurance on the South Side. When I was starting my fieldwork, Dr. Jennifer White, who had just completed her Clinical Doctorate at Pitt, was starting an OT program there and she wanted to take on some students. Another student and I got to be a part of that. I stayed there for both my level one and two fieldwork placements and I loved it. Our work there was all about developing OT’s presence at the clinic and figuring out how OT fits into primary care; and what are the OT needs of the people who are coming in. After I completed my fieldwork placements I stayed in touch with Dr. White and had the opportunity to take over OT responsibilities at the Clinic. So now I represent OT on Monday nights at the primary care level, where I get to collaborate with colleagues, advocate for OT, and treat patients.
Q: Do you have an area that you're particularly interested in?
Stephanie: Absolutely. I just started a PhD program in the OT Department at Pitt under the mentorship of Dr. Natalie Leland. I am most interested in health and wellness at the primary care level. As a health services researcher, I will have the opportunity to examine health policy, anthropology, health equity, and rehabilitation to determine what works and what steps we can take to become a healthier population.