Jessie L. Bricker, OTD, OTR/L
PROGRAM IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
Instructor of Occupational Therapy and of Medicine
Academic Fieldwork and Capstone Coordinator
2023 Dean’s Impact Award Recipient
Jessie L. Bricker, OTD, OTR/L is being recognized for her inspiring efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. She and her team showed determination, compassion and innovation to support occupational therapy students’ successful completion of clinical fieldwork. When the pandemic began, the Program in Occupational Therapy (OT) lost 85% of its clinical fieldwork placement reservations, and nearly all Capstone rotations went virtual. Bricker led a team to devise steps to minimize any negative impact — including creating virtual one-week fieldwork experiences supervised and mentored by OT’s nationwide network of alumni. Students were exposed to new formats for supervision and clinical care, such as telehealth observation with a case-based debriefing, which actually allowed for deeper clinical reasoning than a traditional rotation.
Bricker also helped create and implement innovative community wellness fieldwork experiences in which OT students conducted needs assessments, planned and implemented new trainings, programs or resources, and measured outcomes in the community. This collaboration with community organizations strengthened partnerships, underscored our commitment to providing services in underserved areas, and allowed all OT students to graduate on their original timeline. The Fieldwork Office has added approximately 250 new fieldwork and Capstone affiliations since the pandemic began due to innovations implemented during this period. Many of the new affiliations are in community-based organizations that serve marginalized populations that do not have an OT on staff. Bricker’s contributions have truly demonstrated exceptional educational ingenuity and leadership that has made a lasting impact in our program and in our commitment to our students and our community.