The Occupational Therapy Program celebrated its 30-year anniversary on Saturday, April 29, 2017 with the induction of three OT alumni into the Alumni Hall of Achievement. The new inductees are: John Damiao, MS, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, ’09, for Leadership; Dr. Edward Mihelcic, Ph.D., OTR/L, ’89, for Excellence; and Dr. Alison, M. Hales, OTD, OTR/L, ’04, for Service.
John Damiao works at the Center for Discovery in Harris, New York, where he is the Director of Power Mobility Assessment. He is also an adjunct professor at Dominican College. Professor Damiao specializes in evaluating and treating individuals with autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and various genetic disorders. He worked with a team at the Center for Discovery to develop the IndiGo device, which affordably turns a manual wheelchair into a powered wheelchair. Google has awarded the Center for Discovery a grant of $125 million to improve the device and get it on the market.
Dr. Edward Mihelcic is the Occupational Therapy Program Chair at St. Francis University in Pennsylvania, where he also teaches. In addition, he maintains a clinical practice with the Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Indiana, PA and the DiSepio Institute at St. Francis University. Dr. Mihelcic has presented at numerous conferences and workshops. He is currently a Grant Reviewer for The National Institute of Health and serves on the Pennsylvania State Licensure Board for Occupational Therapy.
Dr. Alison Hales works in the Warren Township Public Schools and is co-owner of the company, Hands First for Learning. She co-developed and co-authored the Hands First Fine Motor Skills Curriculum, which is a four-month fine motor program, designed to promote confidence and competence in preschoolers and kindergarteners. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Alison Hales has been an active and involved supporter of the Occupational Therapy Program, mentoring numerous OT students.
The photos of the new inductees will be placed on the wall in the lobby of the Prumack Center, along with other members of the Alumni Hall of Achievement.