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A Pioneer, Advocate, Educator, and Policy Influencer in Occupational Therapy and Telehealth

For many of us—as occupational therapy practitioners or as patients—2020 marked our first experiences with telehealth. For Dr. Jana Cason, an OTR and NBCOT Impact Award winner, a decade’s worth of hard work was suddenly in the spotlight and in very high demand.

Jana Cason

Jana Cason, DHSc, OTR/L, FAOTA

CEO & Director of Professional Development, TelehealthShare LLC

Full Professor, Spalding University

Location: Kentucky

Certified in 1999

2020 NBCOT Impact Award Winner

Making an Impact Through Everyday Practice

For many of us—as occupational therapy practitioners or as patients—2020 marked our first experiences with telehealth. For Dr. Jana Cason, an OTR in Kentucky, a decade’s worth of hard work was suddenly in the spotlight and in very high demand.

Dr. Cason is an occupational therapy (OT) leader who has made sustained contributions over the past decade by positively impacting clients’ overall life satisfaction through the advancement of telehealth in OT. Her pioneering contributions to telehealth include the development of telehealth standards and guidelines; strategic leadership; stakeholder education; advancement of telehealth policy; and other initiatives that have significantly impacted the OT profession and its consumers.

Notably, her leadership and work over the past decade provided a foundation for OT’s rapid transition to telehealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. OT practice has forever changed as practitioners have experienced first-hand the value of telehealth as a tool to provide OT services.

“Dr. Cason’s work is robust and encouraging. Through publications and a willingness to meet in-person, Dr. Cason provided the foundation for clinical and efficacy issues for my telehealth practice and doctoral telehealth research. Additionally, she paved the readiness path for successful use of telehealth and OT during the pandemic.”

Cynthia Abbott-Gaffney, OTD, MA, OTR/L

Impacting Literature

Dr. Cason is the senior associate editor of the International Journal of Telerehabilitation (IJT), a peer-reviewed journal with readership in 130 countries. She has held this position since 2015.

In addition to her work with IJT, Dr. Cason has co-authored numerous telehealth standards and guidelines as well as chapters related to telehealth in OT textbooks. She has also authored telehealth-related book chapters, monographs, and peer-reviewed articles that were published and cited in discipline-specific and interdisciplinary publications. According to Google Scholar, her publications have been cited in the literature 665 times, including many citations in international journals.

An Impactful Leader

Dr. Cason’s strategic leadership has educated key stakeholders about the benefits of telehealth in OT. She was the first OT leader within the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). She serves or has served as chair of special interest groups and planning committees within the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), where she has worked to further elevate the importance of and advance telehealth within the OT profession.

Impact Through Education

Dr. Cason has made a significant impact in educating stakeholders about telehealth and its value in OT. She has consistently presented at conferences over the past decade to educate practitioners and other stakeholders on topics related to telehealth, policy, and more recently, in response to COVID-19. She has also worked “behind the scenes” to increase telehealth-related conference proposals by identifying practitioners with common telehealth interests, organizing panels, and increasing knowledge-sharing across professions.

Impacting Telehealth Policy

Dr. Cason has used her leadership positions and vast professional networks to make connections and foster collaboration to advance telehealth policy. She has been a “connector” of stakeholders on many telehealth-related initiatives over the past decade. She has also strategically published articles to tackle telehealth-related policy issues.

Creating Current—and Lasting—Impact

In partnership with Melanie Criss, OTD, OTR/L, Dr. Cason formed TelehealthShare LLC in April 2020 in response to the informational requests she received from practitioners who were quickly transitioning to telehealth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and school and clinic closures. The mission of TelehealthShare is to empower practitioners with tools and knowledge to confidently implement meaningful, engaging, and effective telehealth sessions. This mission is accomplished through high-quality, telehealth-related professional development; an online marketplace with telehealth-compatible therapy materials created by therapists, for therapists; and the TelehealthShare YouTube channel. The YouTube platform is proving to be a valuable resource to meet informational needs for therapy practitioners.

Related News

January 26, 2021

NBCOT launched the Innovation and Impact Awards in 2020 to publicly recognize the exceptional work OTR and COTA certificants do in their daily practice.