Meet the Team behind beyond COVID

My name is Anna Braunizer and I’m an occupational therapist working in community-based occupational therapy services in Canada. I love partnering with people so that they can figure out how to do what they love and need to do in their life. Using collaborative communication tools, we bring our toolkits together to co-design participation possibilities for wellbeing. I'm passionate about what we can do with communities so that marginalized populations, including disabled people, have more choices for community participation, and to promote belonging, wellbeing and occupational justice. I think that health and social services should be spaces where people feel safe and supported for healing. I'm a disability rights ally and a lifelong learner.

Anna Braunizer - Team Leader 

My name is Gaby Emmett. I am a youth worker, yoga teacher and counsellor in training working in Canada. I love supporting others and helping people find their purpose and build tools to support their mental wellbeing.

Gaby Emmett - Social Media Lead

My name is Esther Dark. I am an Occupational Therapist working in community mental health services in the UK. I am proud to be an OT because I love giving people a voice and purpose.

Esther Dark- Blog Team Lead 

My name is Emily Polovick and I’m an American Occupational Therapist currently working in pediatrics. I find that the everyday things in life can make a huge difference in creating joy and well-being. I love connecting with others and finding ways to build each other up through holistic care of the individual and participation in community.

Emily Polovick - People & Wellness Lead

Barbara L. Kornblau, JD, OTR/L, FAOTA, DASPE, CCM, CDMS, CPE, is an attorney, an occupational therapist, a certified case manager, a certified pain educator, a radical e-patient, and a person with a disability. She is an Adjunct Professor of Occupational Therapy at Florida A&M University, where she teaches research, administration, and health policy courses, among others, synchronously by distance and Rocky Mountain University of the Health Professions, where she teaches health policy and advocacy to post-professional doctoral students.

Dr. Kornblau collaborates with the American Association on Health and Disabilities, under a Komen Foundation grant, to promote accessibility of mammography screenings for women with disabilities. She is also a consultant to the United Spinal Association under several grants to facilitate a national return to work program for people with spinal cord injuries, through the development of peer mentoring and benefit awareness programs, as well as corporate training programs in proper hiring practices, under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Dr. Kornblau is a former Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow for Senators Harkin and Rockefeller. After her fellowship, she organized national, state, and local stakeholder groups in a successful effort to include people with disabilities in the Affordable Care Act and its implementing regulations, through advocacy efforts that included evidence-based sign-on letters. She founded the Coalition for Disability Health Equity to further this work. She collaborates with national civil rights, health and health equity, and disability advocacy coalitions and is a frequent panelist at Congressional Briefings on these subjects.

Dr. Kornblau is a Past President of the American Occupational Therapy Association and a Past Chair of AOTA’s Ethics Commission and Work Programs Special Interest Section. As an attorney, she has litigated cases under the Americans with Disabilities Act involving discrimination in employment, state and local government services, and health care services. Dr. Kornblau has presented nationally and internationally, and is widely published.  

Barbara Kornblau

My name is Sylvia Storry. I am a nature-based practitioner working with youth and families in Canada. I believe that wellbeing comes with a sense of belonging. Building connections is of most importance in tricky times as these. Sylvia contributes to the Doing Library, Weekly Wellbeing Missions, & the Do What You Love Blog.

Sylvia Storry

My name is Elizabeth Rosa and I am an Occupational Therapy Student from New Jersey, USA. I am currently completing my Level II Fieldwork (outside of my contributions to Beyond COVID) and I am looking forward to becoming an OT soon. I strive to help others engage in the activities that give them a purpose in life.
Elizabeth contributes to the Do What You Love Blog, The Doing Library, and Weekly Wellbeing Missions, with a focus on Student Wellbeing and Professional Development.

Elizabeth Rosa

Queeny is an occupational therapist and doula in the U.S. Her favorite occupations include journaling, exploring matcha recipes, and listening to podcasts.

Queeny Brown

Tara started sticking her nose into other people’s businesses at the ripe old age of three when she could be found following her mom around her job as an activity coordinator at a nursing home or crawling around her dad’s 18-wheeler. Now she uses her B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Black Belt in Innovation to help small and medium businesses jumpstart their growth.

She spent 10 years honing her practice with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership in NYC and has hosted and spoken at the Design for Manufacturing Summit, U.S. Dep. Of Commerce’s ExporTech, and the City of New York’s FastTrac program for small businesses.

When she’s not saving business owners from “Dutch boy” syndrome, she can be found drooling over vintage-style dresses or binge watching Shark Tank with her husband.

Tara Stand

I'm a double transplant recipient (Kidney + Pancreas), bilateral amputee, and experience profound hearing loss. I use hearing aids, prostheses and a wheelchair. I'm 48 years old.

Hal Bennett

My name is Haley Hoffman and I am an occupational therapy student from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I absolutely love working with individuals across the lifespan find the occupations that are meaningful to them, despite any life challenge that may come their way. I am especially passionate about occupational and social justice, and enjoy advocating and providing support for those that our marginalized in our society. I'm particularly interested in mental health, resiliency, decreasing health disparities, trauma-informed care, and wellbeing. I'm excited to connect with others and provide evidence-based support to individuals during this time.

Haley Hoffman

Susan Skees Hermes, OTD, OTR/L, BCP has 35 years of clinical experience working with all ages and populations. Her expansive areas of practice include mental health, inpatient rehabilitation, school based, home health, outpatient, skilled nursing settings, management, education, and consulting. Dr. Hermes is Board Certified in Pediatrics(BCP) through the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She has also received certifications in the following: administration of the Southern California Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) through Sensory Integration International, Training for Occupational and Physical Therapist in Early Intervention (TOPSEI) through the University of Florida, Certified Educator Infant Massage (CEIM), and Handwriting Without Tears Level 1 certified through Learning Without Tears. She has participated in data collection for the Sensory Processing Measure, the Goal-Oriented Assessment of Lifeskills (GOAL), and the Print Tool. She has previously been a presenter at the World Federation of Occupational Therapists Congress (Montreal, Canada & Yokohama, Japan), the American Occupational Therapy Annual Conference (Philadelphia, Nashville, Salt Lake City, New Orleans), and at the Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida state occupational therapy conferences. Her current research interests include: school based practice, telehealth, leadership/ advocacy, intergenerational care and service learning, disaster managment, and OT in China development.

Susan Skees Hermes

I am an occupational therapist, faculty at EKU and teach policy and leadership. I have worked with families and children for over 30+ years. 

Shirley O'Brien

I am a community-based OT in Ottawa Canada. I work primarily with people with invisible health conditions such as sleep difficulties, mood issues and chronic pain.

Sarah Good

I am a first year Occupational Therapy student at University of Toronto. 

Shikha Patel

I am a first year Occupational Therapy student at University of Toronto. 

Tanjot Kaur Gill

I am currently an Occupational Therapy student at the University of Toronto. I am highly engaged within the student and local community around campus (e.g.,through my participation in the Student Affairs Committee and OS&OT Student Association). Throughout, my value for transparency, passion for Occupational Therapy and the ability to engage others in a meaningful way are some things that have always lead me to take part in my endeavours. 

Meera Premnazeer

I have been in the field of pediatric occupational therapy for about 20 years and began with a brief stint as an OTA before quickly moving on to receive my bacholor's in OT, masters in health professions education and finally my doctorate in OT. We are a military family so our travels took me to many different schools and OT programs. I am now in my third year as a full time faculty member at Salem State University in Salem, MA.  

Jill Turcotte

I am a Professor and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at the University of Texas at Tyler and I teach the MOT program. I have developed several of our courses and I currently am on a work task force group to develop handouts and items on COVID and returning to work and doing clinicals.

Julie Hebert

Kim Reese
Rachel Jones
Natasha Clare
Rosalie Freund
Rachel Spiers
Sarah Brunke
Julie Hebert

Additional Team Members

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