The American Occupational Therapy Association has awarded Virginia Stoffel, associate professor in the College of Health Sciences at UWM, this year’s Occupational Therapy Award of Merit, its highest honor.
The American Occupational Therapy Association represents occupational therapy practitioners and students throughout the country. It works to provide resources for the public and those in the field, improve health care services for customers and promote the professional development of its members.
Each year, the association honors its members that make significant strides in the field of occupational therapy, either through their research, leadership or practices to improve health care and educate the public.
Stoffel, who graduated from UWM with a master’s in guidance and counseling, has made substantial contributions to the field through her research on mental health in those with substance abuse disorders and students transitioning from military to civilian life in a university setting. She also co-edited a textbook on mental health, “Occupational Therapy in Mental Health: A Vision for Participation.”
In addition to her research, she has led leadership training programs with the American Occupational Therapy Association and has been both the vice president and president of the organization. She currently holds the position of first alternate delegate of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.
Stoffel will be honored alongside other award-winners in March at the association’s annual conference in Boston.