Special Interest Sections


NCOTA seeks to provide the most up-to-date and relevant information for OT professionals. With this goal, the association has structured a series of special interest sections each devoted to specific areas of practice. All work to help professionals find the information they need abut diverse topics within occupational therapy. 


Administration and Management

Designed for professionals working in managerial, leadership and administrative roles within OT.  
Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants who are employed in administrative and management positions within their organizations are often faced with unique challenges. This Special Interest Section provides a forum for networking and contacting other therapists who work in similar settings. Together we have the opportunity for brainstorming and problem-solving that strengthen our roles as leaders in the field of Occupational therapy and within our administrative roles. The following information and resources are for those who seek information related to administrative and management topics which may include recruitment, retention, time management, professional development, advocacy and reimbursement.


Chair: Shelley Sehorn, OTR/L

Chair: Brittni Winslow, OTR/L

*OT Education: Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from East Carolina University
*Current Setting/Title: Emerge Pediatric Therapy; Executive Director / Practice Owner 
*Previous Experience: pediatrics
*Clinical/Professional Interests: Sensory Processing, Autism, Handwriting, Social Skill development
*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: mother of 3 children, wife, church member, business owner, Burn Bootcamp aficionado, volunteer 
*Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): Admin and Management SIS Co-Chair, member of NCOTA and AOTA


Education and Research

The NCOTA Educational SIS serves to create a connection between the NCOTA and OT/OTA Programs in NC. The goal is to make sure that OT/OTA programs, including faculty and students, are aware of NCOTA events and the benefits of joining the NCOTA. The SIS can serve as a resource for OT/OTA Programs in NC. The Education SIS Chairs will lead OT/OTA Program discussions on concerns and issues related to occupational therapy education.


Chair: Megan Edwards-Collins, PhD, OTR/L

Chair: Alisha Singh, OTD, OTR/L

*OT Education: Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation from Mars Hill University, a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Lenoir-Rhyne University, and a post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

*Current Setting/Title: Assistant Professor for the Entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program at Wingate University

*Previous Experience: school-based

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Autism spectrum disorders

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: 

*Additional Information: Pediatric Special Interest Section Co-Chair for the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association, in professional development activities with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy as a Pediatric Subject Matter Expert and with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) as a Critically Appraised Paper (CAP) Reviewer, in professional development activities with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy as a Pediatric Subject Matter Expert and with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) as a Critically Appraised Paper (CAP) Reviewer.  She is a member of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and the American Occupational Therapy Association.


Chair: Debbie Hand, S, OTR/L

*OT Education: MS Tufts University Boston School of Occupational Therapy 1993

*Current Setting/Title: Durham VA Medical Center, Inpatient OT Supervisor

*Previous Experience: Acute Care, SNF, Home Health, Outpatient

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Gerontology and hospital-based care of older adults, Aging-in-Place, Management, Mentoring

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: OT Supervisor, Wife Mother of two young adults, Flute choir member, exercise partner, reader, game player, friend

Additional Information: member of NCOTA and AOTA, board member Durham Tech OTA Program


Chair: Catherine Balentine, MS, OTR/L

*OT Education: MS from UNC-Chapel Hill Division of Occupational Science

*Current Setting/Title: Piedmont Health SeniorCare PACE Program-Community-Based Geriatric Primary Care

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Primary Care, Chronic Disease Management, Healthy Eating Habits and Routines, Medication Management

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Roles: Partner, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, caregiver, OT, teammate, hugger, lover. Occupations: Teaching, learning, collaborating, cooking, listening to music, BEING outside, being active, playing and watching sports

*Additional Information: NCOTA Member, AOTA Member, 2018 NCOTA Award for Excellence in Geriatric Practice

Mental Health

Chair: Valerie Fox, PhD, OTR/L, CPRP

*OT Education: Master's degree and PhD in Occupational Science from UNC at Chapel Hill

*Current Setting/Title: Durham VA Health Care System, Inpatient Mental Health

*Previous Experience: Psychosocial Rehabilitation Fellowship at Durham VA, SNF

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Behavioral Health OT, OT advocacy and expansion of OT into setting with under-served populations

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Mother, wife, movie-goer, Netflix-binger, home remodeler, OT advocate, yard-saler, Foodie, Church volunteer, volleyball player

Additional Information: Member of NCOTA and AOTA, NCOTA Award for Outstanding Mental Health Practice (2015), VA Innovations Award (2012), Marlys Mitchell Pioneer Award (2008), R.I.S.E. Award (2008)

Chair: Caity Bunch, MS, OTR/L


Chair: Caryn Ellis, MS, OTR/L

*OT Education: MS in Occupational Therapy from UNC-Chapel Hill

*Current Setting/Title: Orange County Schools

*Previous Experience: n/a

*Clinical/Professional Interests: school-based practice, autism, developmental disabilities

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: dog mom, couponer, exercise, reading

*Additional Information: Emerging Leaders Program 2018-2019, Lara Jane Parker Award for Excellence Recipient 2018

Chair: Open

Physical Disabilities

Chair: Madison Meadows, OTR/L, MS, CF-L1

*OT Education: BS in Education and Exercise Science at the University of Memphis, MS in Health Promotion at the University of Memphis, MS In OT from Winston Salem State University. 

Current Setting/Title: 

*Previous Experience: acute care at Level I and Level II trauma centers, inpatient rehabilitation, geriatric care in Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing facilities. 

*Clinical/Professional Interests: assisting people of all ages with physical disabilities to obtain a life of joyful independence. 

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Level 1 CrossFit Trainer

*Additional Information: Member of NCOTA, member of AOTA, OT Department Achievement Award, OT Department Leadership Award, AOTF Scholarship Recipient


Chair: Adam Lisewski, MOT, OTR/L

*OT Education: Masters in Occupational Therapy (Bay Path College Longmeadow MA.)

*Current Setting/Title: Wake Med

Previous/Current Experience: Outpatient Pediatrics, School Based, SNF, Memory Care, Acute Care

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Technology use/opportunities across the lifespan, splinting

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Husband/Brother/Cyclist

Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): Current NCOTA SIS Tech Co Chair. NCOTA Member and AOTA Member.


Chair: Deanna Baldassari, MSOT, OTR/L


Home Health

Chair: Jennifer Carter Smith, OTD, MBA, OTR/L

Chair: Jordan Holt

Social Media

Chair: Yolanda Ortiz, COTA/L

*OT Education: Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant from Durham Technical Community College

*Current Setting/Title: NextStep Raleigh Community-Based Paralysis Recovery Center, Director of Training

*Previous Experience: SNF, Acute Care

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Neurorehabilitation, Geriatrics, Fall Prevention and Recovery, Mental Health, Chronic Disease Management

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Activity-based Trainer, group fitness instructor, lover of kettlebells, fitness enthusiast, yogi, aunt to 2 nephews and one neice

*Additional Information: NCOTA and AOTA Member


Chair: Dana Kolbfleisch, OTD, OTR/L

*OT Education: OTD from Chatham University, MS in OT and BS in Psychology from University of Pittsburgh

*Current Setting/Title: Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at Methodist University, PRN OT at WakeMed Hospital

*Previous Experience: Pediatrics, SNF, Acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, home health (clinician and director), ALF (clinician and Regional Vice President)

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Health Promotion, Self-management of chronic disease, universal design and accessibility in the environment

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: wife and mother to our 2 year old daughter

*Additional Information: Member of NCOTA, member of AOTA, Specialty certificate in Health and Wellness in Occupational Therapy