Fisher named one of the most influential people in the occupational therapy profession

  • Jan. 12, 2017


INDIANAPOLIS -- Thomas Fisher, chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, has been named one of the 100 most influential people within the occupational therapy profession over the last century.

As part of the celebration of its 100th anniversary, the American Occupational Therapy Association established a list, beginning with the seven people who founded the profession and moving on to people who have made significant contributions to occupational therapy during its first century of existence.

"It is humbling to be associated with people who founded the profession," Fisher said.

A total of 247 nominations were submitted to the association based on established criteria. Their achievements and contributions were evaluated and reviewed by two different review processes in terms of the magnitude of influence on the profession.

The association cited several of Fisher's accomplishments that have made him such an influential leader in occupational therapy, including successfully leading efforts in Indiana and Kentucky to have those states adopt legislation for the licensure of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.

The association also recognized Fisher's work with the Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities International. For more than 20 years, he served as a surveyor for the commission. During that time, he collaborated on the development of a commission accreditation process and standards in Canada for return-to-work programs. Further, he significantly contributed to the commission's development of case-management standards.

Fisher's extensive publication list in the areas of scope of practice, regulation and issues faced in occupational therapy practice has made him a point person for the association, with many emerging occupational therapist leaders using his example.

During his career, Fisher has received many awards, including the association's Award of Merit in 2016.

Thomas Fisher

Thomas Fisher

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Richard Schneider