Jim McPherson, Ph.D., occupational therapy professor at Shawnee State University, was presented with two awards at the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association State Annual Conference in Zanesville, Ohio, in November.
The mission of the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association is to promote the profession of occupational therapy, address professional issues in occupational therapy practice, and advance the practice of occupational therapy in the state.
McPherson was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation “to express the appreciation of the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association for extraordinary contributions to the advancement of occupational therapy in the State of Ohio.”
The second award was a Service Award “to recognize individual members of the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association and/or profession through a time or task limited activities, or to recognize individual members who have served in state offices.”
McPherson served as co-chair of the Program Committee for the 2012 OOTA conference. He also serves on the Editorial Board for the Occupational Therapy Journal of Research.
“I was really surprised to get the awards,” McPherson said. “A lot of people may not know or understand that occupational therapy is a specialized healthcare service to treat people with physical, emotional and developmental disabilities and we work closely with doctors and other healthcare professionals. It is a rewarding profession.”
He has been working in the field for nearly 30 years. Since coming to Shawnee State in 2005, he has conducted research with Master of Occupational Therapy students, using experimental designs to assess the effectiveness of an exercise program with children ages five to seven at Portsmouth Elementary School who were at risk for obesity or obese.
McPherson has also studied the effectiveness of a play-based program to decrease body mass index in children ages five to 11, among other studies in Ohio and Kentucky. Results of these studies are yet to be published.