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About us

The OTOH Interest Group


Occupational Therapy in Occupational Health (OTOH) is a special interest group formed on 19 April 2013 under the auspices of the Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa (OTASA).


Our mission statement:

To foster and promote occupational therapy in the field of occupational health in South Africa.

This encompasses the role of occupational therapy in illness and/or injury prevention and management in the workplace. The focus is therefore on assisting employers in various sectors with issues related to ill health and injuries, not solely on vocational assessment or rehabilitation.


OTOH endeavours to become a platform for sharing experiences, facilitating training and providing support for occupational therapists who are working with employers, or are interested in doing so. It will serve to facilitate interdisciplinary contact with other health care professionals working in the field of occupational health. In addition, it will be a platform for building awareness amongst employers and the public.


Our objectives:

OTOH’s approach has been moulded around three stakeholders in this field, namely: Occupational Therapists, Employers and other Occupational Health Practitioners.


•  Promoting the unique contribution of occupational therapy to occupational health through marketing to relevant role players.

•  Defining the scope of practice of occupational therapy in the field of occupational health.

•  Providing opportunities for occupational therapists to develop their skills through workshops.

•  Developing guidelines for occupational therapists working in this field.

•  Facilitating growth of occupational therapy in occupational health at undergraduate level.



•  Building awareness with employers to promote the role of occupational therapy in the workplace.

•  Liaising with human resource managers, line managers and trade unions regarding the role of occupational therapy in the workplace.

•  Promote the role of occupational therapy in Employee Assistance Programs.




•  Providing opportunities for relevant role players to exchange ideas and allow for knowledge sharing across disciplines.

•  Liaising with occupational medical practitioners and occupational health nurses.








Meet the OTOH committee:


Michelle Hannington

Chairperson

Michelle Hannington graduated from Wits University with a BSc OT and then completed a Masters in Neurosciences through Wits University. She has worked in both government hospitals and private practice around the country and has experience in chronic pain and upper limb rehabilitation. She developed an interest in vocational rehabilitation while working with injury on duty. She has spent the past several years conducting FCEs and consulting in case management for corporate companies. She is currently employed as a Clinical Educator at UCT in the work practice cluster.


Donné Nel

Vice-chairperson

Donné Nel is an Occupational Therapist who graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2008. She completed her Community Service in a rural area of the Eastern Cape, and then worked in the United Kingdom in physical rehabilitation for almost three years. She returned to South Africa in 2012 where she discovered a passion for vocational rehabilitation and return to work intervention. She has developed a particular interest in spinal conditions, amputations and upper limb disorders.


Tarryn Gabriels

Secretary

Tarryn Pieterse is an occupational therapist who graduated from the University of the Western Cape in 2009. She has worked in various fields of occupational therapy including physical and mental health and is currently in the field of work practice in the public sector. She is a qualified Lymphoedema therapist and has a keen interest in reintegrating persons with impairments back into the workplace.


Ashleigh Streak

Treasurer

Ashleigh Streak is an Occupational Therapist who graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2010. She completed her Community Service year in rural Kwazulu Natal, and then remained in government service in Durban for 6 years, working with a variety of conditions in paediatrics and adult rehabilitation, as well as psychiatry. Owing to her passion for vocational rehabilitation, she served as Chairman of the Vocational Rehabilitation Interest Group, a sub-committee of the KZN OT Forum, and facilitated the standardisation of vocational rehabilitation services throughout KZN. She is currently living and working in the Western Cape, in the field of vocational rehabilitation.


National Representatives

Johannesburg:

•  Christina Collett – ccollett(at)icas.co.za

•  Lindsey Swart – lyndseyswart(at)storehab.co.za


Durban:

•  Jessica Taylor - jess(at)theworkhousedurban.com


Port Elizabeth:

•  Marlize Watermeyer – marlize(at)wmoccupationaltherapists.co.za


OTOH

Committee

In order to facilitate professional development and improve communication and synergy between various role-players in occupational health, the interest group “Occupational Therapy in Occupational Health” (OTOH) was formed. Occupational Therapy in Occupational Health (OTOH) is a special interest group formed on 19 April 2013 under the auspices of the Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa (OTASA).




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