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Occupational therapy chair named to NIH rehabilitation panel

by Cynthia Johannssen

Florence Clark

Florence Clark, chair of occupational therapy and occupational science, has been named to the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research at the National Institutes of Health. Clark will serve a four-year term.

Established in 1990, the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) fosters the development of scientific knowledge needed to enhance the health, productivity, independence and quality of life of persons with disabilities.

In her new role, Clark will help determine the center’s research agenda and will also help develop outcome measurements that move beyond a focus on impairment and examine the relationship between occupational participation and quality of life.

Clark’s study on outcomes on occupational therapy and the well-elderly was published in the October 1997 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

She recently addressed a select group of medical professionals on outcomes measurements in Washington, D.C.

Helping people with disabilities achieve a better quality of life has been a life-long commitment, Clark said, adding that “my role is ultimately to benefit consumers.”

The board on which Clark serves will also advise the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development on matters and policies relating to the center’s programs. Clark is one of 12 board members representing health and scientific disciplines related to medical rehabilitation.

The NCMRR, which funded $23.4 million in extramural research during fiscal year 1998, has identified priority areas for further research:

· improving functional mobility;

· promoting behavioral adaptation to functional losses;

· assessing the efficacy and outcomes of medical rehabilitation therapies and practices;

· developing improved assistive technology;

· understanding whole body system responses to physical impairments and functional changes;

· developing more precise methods of measuring impairments, disabilities and society and functional limit-ations. Another priority is to train research scientists in the field of rehabilitation.

Occupational therapy chair named to NIH rehabilitation panel

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