Board Member Bios

PRESIDENT - Judith (Judi) Sheehan, OTR/L, CFo

Judi is a 1983 magna cum laude graduate of Utica College of Syracuse University. She hails from the Ocean State but made her home in Connecticut after graduation where she gained experience in acute, subacute, long-term care and home care settings. She held supervisory positions as an Occupational Therapy Supervisor and Regional Rehabilitation Director for 15 years.  She was the lead team member in achieving simultaneous CARF and JCAHO accreditation in two physiatry directed subacute rehabilitation programs/facilities before starting her own business in orthotic fittings of pre-fabricated UE/LE splints for SNF, Home Care and OP settings in 2002. She has achieved successful accreditations/re-accreditations of her company from the American Board for Certification for Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC) and is a Certified Orthotic Fitter (CFo) She has guest-lectured on Orthotics at Manchester Community College and Sacred Heart University and is a part time faculty member at Quinnipiac University as a Level I Fieldwork Instructor for Spring Semester Graduate Students. She and her husband also recently purchased an established commercial HVAC company where she will utilize her organizational management skills in her roles as the Chairman of the Board, Treasurer and Secretary.

Judi has extensive experience with ConnOTA as the Historian since 2000 and has served two terms as Vice President, (2010-2014) where she was instrumental in facilitating many major organizational improvements. She has assisted or held the chair position for the annual Spring Conferences for over 13 years. ConnOTA has awarded her with both the Award of Merit and the President’s award. Judi presented at the 2014 AOTA conference on Orthotics and enjoys mentoring new OT students in Orthotics in the SNF and Home Health Settings. She has a passion for ConnOTA and ensuring that the organization continues to remain a strong and innovative organization where the state’s Occupational Therapists can share their ideas and skills and utilize its growing resources to further their work in the state. In her spare time, she enjoys running and boating in Narragansett Bay and is a very young ;) Grandma to two boys. 

VICE PRESIDENT - John Pagano, Ph.D., OTR/L 

 

John works as an occupational therapist at an adolescent psychiatric hospital, and in private practice presenting FAB Strategies® workshops.  He is a member of the AOTA School Mental Health Working Group.

TREASURER - Kristina Krsiak, OTD, OTR/L

Kristina M. Krsiak, OTD, OTR/L has been a practicing occupational therapist since 2009. She completed her master’s degree in occupational therapy in 2009 and her post-professional occupational therapy doctorate in 2017 at Quinnipiac University. Kristina primarily works with older adults in several practice settings including skilled nursing, long term care, and homecare and has several years of experience in leadership and management in these settings. In January of 2014, Kristina was invited to participate in AOTA’s Cultivating Your Power & Influence: The AOTA Leadership Development Program for Managers. She also is part-time faculty at Quinnipiac University where she assists in teaching lectures and labs. Kristina is excited to use this role to help increase promotion of occupational therapy throughout our state and nation and promote the occupational therapy profession.

 

SECRETARY - Gus Schlegel, MPS, OT/L

Gus is currently working towards a Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Health with Concentration in Community Education, received his Master of Professional Studies with Humanitarian Services Administration Concentration in 2016 , his Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy in 1995 and is OTA certificate in 1988.  Gus currently works in home care and is an adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University. He was previously the owner of a therapy company, and worked as an academic fieldwork coordinator for LaGuardia Community College .  He served with the US Army as a staff OT and Director of OT Detachment Commander, Company Commander, Occupational Therapy Assistant deployed to Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Shield/Storm as the first occupational therapy assistant in a combat environment to assist in developing combat stress doctrine. Gus has been involved with    Bon Samaritain School and Clinic, L’Acul, Haiti, WI March 2008 – Present

Gus has participated in 10 trips to Haiti since 2008 to consult and collaborate with community leaders and healthcare providers in the rural community of L’Acul in Northern Haiti. Collaborated with the community to reopen a medical clinic in the region in November 2009, which operates weekly to provide medical services to the local community of 12,000 people. With another occupational therapist, began an occupational therapy clinic in May 2010 and has provided occupation-based interventions for over 100 adults and children with disabilities. Co-leads service learning and mission trips to Haiti including groups of graduate occupational therapy students. Provides ongoing support and consultation at the Bon Samaritan School, which has grown from K-5 to Pre-K to secondary school, which commenced in 2016. Provides consultation on various projects including a lunch program, an after-school program, construction and computers, and a reforestation program. Writes grants and conducts fundraising for ongoing support of a weekly medical clinic and the school operating budget. Grants written include school and clinic reconstruction, computers, and reforestation. Provides ongoing support for community members entering the medical field including two nurses who have completed their training and one current medical student. Planning support of occupational therapy student beginning in 2017.

Gus is excited to volunteer his time with ConnOTA in the capacity of secretary.

 

MEMBER FOR GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS - Kate Keefe, OTD, OTR/L


Kate  Keefe, OTD, OTR/L has over 20 years of experience as an occupational therapy practitioner. In 2016 she achieved a post-professional doctor of occupational therapy degree with a focus in aging and education. Dr. Keefe has taught continuing education courses nationally to over 500 therapists on dementia specific models of care and service delivery. She has also taught as an assistant professor at the in both MSOT and OTA programs. In her role as Occupational Therapy Practice Lead, Dr. Keefe serves as the lead on an Alzheimer’s disease initiative in the  development of a new post-diagnostic support program that utilizes evidence-informed and evidence-based therapy interventions to support person living alone in the community with dementia and persons living with dementia and their caregivers.

She is excited to address the government affairs needs of ConnOTA and its legislative needs at the state capital. 

 

MEMBERSHIP CHAIR - Maggie Moriarty, MS, COTA/L

Maggie Moriarty, MS, COTA/L is a graduate of MCC’s OTA Program, Maggie holds a Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Education, both from Central CT State University. Since 2011, she has been both a Professor in, and Program Director of, Manchester Community College’s  Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. Prior to assuming the role of Program Director, Maggie was the program’s Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for twelve years. She has worked extensively within the mental health practice area on inpatient behavioral health units, serving children, adolescents, adults and geriatric populations as well as in day treatment and partial hospitalization programs.  A former member of ACOTE’s Roster of Accreditation Evaluators and ConnOTA’s Board (role of Secretary), Maggie is thrilled to have this opportunity to serve the ConnOTA membership as a  Membership Chair.

MEMBERSHIP CHAIR - Donna Sweeney, M.ED, OTR/L

Donna Sweeney, M.Ed., OTR/L holds a Masters degree in Educational Technology from American College of Education and a Bachelors degree in Occupational Therapy from Utica College (of Syracuse University). Donna has had over 30 years of clinical practice, with the primary area of practice being in the area of Pediatrics in both private and school-based practice.  Donna currently is an Associate Professor and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for Manchester Community College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program.  She received ConnOTA’s 2018 Award of Service in recognition of her leadership and facilitation of a Community of Practice for school-based practitioners.Donna is excited to share her enthusiasm for ConnOTA as a Membership Chair.

  

Committee Member Bios

SIS CHAIR

Donna Reed-Oliver, OTR/L

 

Donna earned a Masters of Occupational Therapy from American International College in Springfield, MA in 2012.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2002 from Central Connecticut State University. Donna has worked in adult home health, aquatic therapy, and geriatric short/long term care (including treatment of patient’s with intellectual disabilities, orthopedic diagnoses, neurological impairments, and dementia with behavior issues).  Donna has a passion for being creative, which she loves to incorporate in her.  

In her role as SIS Chair, Donna coordinates and communicates with the section Liaisons to develop SIS events and supports their role in communicating with members . She would love to hear your SIS session ideas or facilitate having you share your expertise at an upcoming session!   

 

MEMBERS FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:

Amy Burton, OTD, OTR/L


Amy Burton, OTD, OTR/L is a school based occupational therapist and an OT / PT Supervisor .  She received her doctorate from Quinnipiac University in 2015, focusing her research on Inter professional collaboration and training between OT and ABA practitioners.  Amy was a contributing author to the Guidelines for Occupational therapy in Connecticut Schools (2017) and is part time faculty at Sacred Heart University.  Amy is excited to assist with conference planning and eagerly lends her organizational skills with the team. 

Valerie Strange, MS, OTR/L

           

Valerie Strange, MS, OTR/L received her Bachelor Degree (1986) and post professional Master’s Degree (2013) in Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac University. With greater than 30 years’ experience, Valerie has worked in a variety of practice settings along the life span continuum, with the last 17 years concentrated in pediatric practice; from early intervention, clinic based, and school based practice. Valerie is currently a full time clinical assistant professor at Quinnipiac University and continues to provide consultative services to a local school district.  She has presented both locally and nationally. Valerie also serves on the Best Buddies Advisory Board and is a member of the advisory committee for Clifford Beers Clinic. 
  

Meagen Barton, OTD, OTR/L

Meagen E Barton has been a practicing occupational therapist for 12 years. She received her education at Springfield College (MEd in OT ‘06) and Quinnipiac University (Post-Professional Doctorate ‘15). Meagen currently works for Constellation School- Based Therapy in both a supervisory and clinical role in Greenwich public schools. In addition, she has the honor to share her passion for OT and education as an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University. She is thrilled to serve ConnOTA to supprt her profession in a new, meaningful way! 

 

 

MEMBER FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Lisa Marie Patenaude, COTA/L

Lisa Marie Patenaude COTA/L received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Exercise Science/Human Performance with a Minor in Public Health/Wellness from Southern Connecticut State University in 2013. She also received her Associates Degree in Occupational Therapy from Manchester Community College in 2016. Lisa Marie currently works as a Pediatric COTA in both the clinic and school system.  In 2017 she was recognized for her commitment and leadership skills as Member for Public Affairs and was named Co-Recipient of ConnOTA’s Emerging Leader Award. She firmly believes that participation and membership in ConnOTA is of upmost importance for students and practitioners so we can all come together to share ideas and promote OT! In her spare time Lisa Marie enjoys living a healthy active lifestyle and spending time with loved ones.  In her role as the member for public affairs, Lisa Marie loves to share ConnOTA events on social media and looks forward to your active participation!