Katie Powell, OT
Occupational Therapist, Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee
Katie Powell graduated with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy from Saint Louis University in 2013 and is currently an occupational therapist in spinal cord injury at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI. She served as the co-chair for the Early Career and Trainee Support Committee for the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals from 2013-2016 and will be a member of the Therapy Leadership Council Board starting September 2016. She has practiced in Spinal Cord Injury since 2015, but has always had a passion for serving this population, as her sister has a spinal cord injury. Powell has presented at national conferences regarding the development of early career practitioners, traveling with a spinal cord injury, and community accessibility, and is also the co-author of a chapter on social participation for individuals with disabilities.
Powell’s video interview discusses the role of an occupational therapist, and also focuses on how to cope with the distressing changes to bowel and bladder control after a spinal cord injury. Powell details how patients learn to feed themselves if they have limited hand function, how to cook safely from a wheelchair, how to adapt their bathrooms for proper hygiene and bathing, and how to dress themselves. She also discusses adaptations patients can make to their phones and computers to make life easier, as well as the process involved in getting behind the wheel of a specially adapted car.