Larry Faulkner Appointed Interim Chair for Occupational Therapy

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William R. Frey, PhD, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences at UTHSC announced the appointment of Larry Faulkner, PhD, as interim chair of the college’s Department of Occupational Therapy (OT).

William R. Frey, PhD, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center announced the appointment of Larry Faulkner, PhD, as interim chair of the college’s Department of Occupational Therapy (OT). Dr. Faulkner will assume duties as interim chair in January. Ann Nolen, PsyD, the current OT chair, will step down at the end of this year.

Dr. Faulkner joined UTHSC in 2004 and recently completed a term as president of the UTHSC Allied Health Faculty Organization. Prior to UTHSC, he served four years as assistant professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong. Dr. Faulkner credits Dr. Nolen’s efforts to strengthen the UTHSC OT Department’s community outreach efforts as his reason for returning to the United States and joining UT Health Science Center (UTHSC). His UTHSC research has been in the area of clinical instrument advances and the development of a seated Tai Chi program for frail older adults. He conducts his research in collaboration with Veronica Engle, PhD, RN, GNP, professor, UTHSC College of Nursing.

Along with his service to the OT Department, Dr. Faulkner will retain an additional role as associate professor for the UTHSC Department of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging. Dr. Faulkner holds a PhD in health and rehabilitation sciences from the University of Pittsburgh; an MSc in biomedical engineering from the University of Dundee, United Kingdom; and a BS degree in occupational therapy from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

In recent years, the UTHSC College of Allied Health Sciences OT Department has made significant progress to increase its competitive advantage. It has grown from only offering a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy to now offering a master’s degree. Plus, it provides real-time distance education to OT students in Chattanooga while simultaneously educating OT students in Memphis. Through donations, the department created a new occupational therapy laboratory and renovated its pediatric occupational laboratory. The OT Department has been recognized nationally for its services to the Memphis community through the UTHSC Community Occupational Therapy Services program. Since 2001 the OT Department faculty has provided a significant amount of volunteer support to the community through the COTS program.

The OT Department recognizes that much of its recent progress is due to the leadership of its outgoing chair, Dr. Nolen, who served in this capacity for seven years. As interim chair, Dr. Faulkner will ensure that the department’s successes are continued and that collaborations within and outside the department are strengthened.