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Goodwin OTA Director Recognized a Health Care Hero

OTA Program Director Deanne Anderson Recognized as Health Care Heroes Finalist

Each year, the Hartford Business Journal recognizes outstanding local leaders in health care who epitomize the term “hero.” These educators, doctors, nurses, specialists, and managers who demonstrate excellence in helping others are recognized as the annual class of Health Care Heroes award recipients. This year they were honored at a ceremony at the Hartford Convention Center on December 7.

Goodwin College is proud to announce that Deanne Anderson, Program Director of the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program, was among the deserving individuals recognized for 2015.

In nominating Anderson for the honor, Department Chair Paula Dowd wrote, “This healthcare professional takes the philosophy of her profession and embeds it into everything she does academically, clinically, and within the community.”

Anderson believes that occupational therapy improves the well being of individuals by engaging them in purposeful activities, and she has developed Goodwin’s OTA program accordingly. She empowers faculty and students to use a hands-on approach, infusing personal experiences and everyday activities into each classroom session. By practicing their skills in community-based settings such as preschools, mental health organizations, and adult day centers, Anderson’s students learn to help those they serve find meaning in their lives.

Dowd cites a letter Anderson received from a man who was visiting his father, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, at one of the alternative fieldwork sites for OTA students. The son shared that the Goodwin students allowed him to engage in a meaningful visit with his father in a way that had not been possible for years.

Anderson is also active beyond the boarders of the Goodwin campus and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education to assist students with learning needs. She recently provided testimony for the state legislature related to concussion management for student and recreational athletes. She has served on state task forces related to insurance reimbursement, the appropriate use of rehabilitation aides, and occupational therapy and vision retraining. She works with clients, families, school personnel, and healthcare providers on matters related to autism.

Of the Health Care Hero award, Anderson says, “Occupational Therapy is about improving everyday life skills though meaningful activities. Small differences can have great meaning to the quality of life of the individual. Thus, this honor recognizes that the little things in life are sometimes just as important as the big things!”

Goodwin College is proud to count Deanne Anderson among its faculty of extraordinary, caring educators and congratulates her on this recognition.