Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship

25th Annual Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship

Friday, February 16, 2018

Higher Education’s Role in the Future of US Healthcare

Thomas F. Fisher, PhD, OT, CCM, FAOTA 

Dean & Professor of Health Sciences
Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences
Indiana University South Bend

Universities have significant influence on healthcare. Health professionals have a continued responsibility to commit to life-long learning. We will explore current trends in health and human services in the United States with a focus on clinical practice implications. Understanding and appreciating the direction of the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Academy of Medicine (formerly, the Institute of Medicine), US Health Policy, Translational Research and Healthy People 2020 is critical for occupational therapy colleagues, as it sets the stage for us locally at our institutions and facilities. We will have this conversation discussing what it is we plan to do at our organization to prepare the next generation of occupational therapy practitioners, scientists and educators.


Dr. Thomas F. Fisher has eighteen years in clinical practice before beginning his academic career. He practiced in pediatrics, including school systems, acute-care (physical rehab and mental health), home health, work and industry and skilled nursing facilities.  After receiving his PhD in Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University of Kentucky (UK), he began teaching at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. He also had an appointment in the UK’s College of Medicine, in the Department of Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine. After seven years of teaching at EKU and UK, he relocated to Indiana accepting a position as Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Indiana University. He then moved into a dean position last year. He is currently a Full Professor and Dean of the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences at Indiana University in South Bend, IN. He has received several AOTA awards, including the Lindy Boggs Award and the Award of Merit. Recently, Dr. Fisher was named one of the 100 Most Influential Persons in Occupational Therapy in the First Century of the Profession. He served as a CARF Surveyor for 20 years and served on Case Management Society of America’s Task Force to establish the standards for case management. He has multiple publications, presentations and grant funding.

25th Vanderkooi Lecture Brochure (pdf)

Register now


The Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship was established in 1994 to honor the first program director of occupational therapy at Texas Woman’s University, Fanny B. Vanderkooi. It celebrates the School of Occupational Therapy’s legacy of commitment to vision, professional values, and leadership development in occupational therapy education, practice and research. The event is typically attended by more than 250 occupational therapy professionals, inclusive of students. 

Founders - Vanderkooi Endowment

Roland & Virginia Chandler Dykes
George & Grace Gilkeson
Bonnie Strauss

Vanderkooi Advisory Committee

Regina Michael Campbell, Chairperson
Virginia Chandler Dykes
Lucy Aguirre-Kelley
Monica Bosman
Thomas Halka
Heather McBride
Belinda Williams
Cynthia Evetts
Noralyn Pickens
Adele Polk (Emeritus)
Bonnie Strauss (Emeritus)

Community Building Workshops Planning Committee

Marsha Neville, co-chair
Gail Poskey, co-chair
Noralyn Pickens
Shannon Levandowski
Vicki Mason
Monica Watford
Summer Oleson
Cindy Alexander

Previous Vanderkooi Lecturers

1993 Lela Llorens, PhD, OTR
1994 Charles Christiansen, Ed.D, OTR       
1995 Penny Kyler-Hutchinson, MA, OTR/L, FAOTA
1996/97 Catherine Trombly, PhD, OTR
1998 Carolyn Baum, PhD, OTR
1999 Beatriz Abreu, PhD, OTR
2000 Shereen Farber, PhD, OTR
2001 Linda Fazio, PhD, OTR
2002 Karen Jacobs, EdD, OTR
2003 Barbara Kornblau, JD, OT/L
2004 Patricia Crist, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
2005 Jim Hinojosa, PhD

2006 Suzanne Peloquin, PhD, OTR, FAOTA
2007 Wendy Wood, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
2008 Penelope Moyers, EdD, OTR/L, BCMH, FAOTA
2009 Kenneth Ottenbacher, PhD
2010 Barbara A. Boyt Schell, PhD, OT, FAOTA
2011 Glen Gillen, EdD, OTR, FAOTA
2012 Florence A. Clark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
2013 Mary Law, PhD, MSc, BSc
2014 Jane Case-Smith, EdD, OT, FAOTA
2015 Susan Coppola, MS, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA  
2016 Barbara M. Doucet, PhD, LOTR
2017 Anne G. Fisher, ScD, OT, FAOTA

Thank you to our generous sponsors!