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Rachel Proffitt Wins Young Investigator Award from American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine

June 9, 2020

Rachel Proffit, assistant professor in the Mizzou Department of Occupational Therapy, won the Young Investigator Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM). This award lectureship is co-sponsored by the American Stroke Association and ACRM. According to the ACRM website, the award “recognizes professionals who demonstrate drive and commitment to furthering rehabilitation research in the area of post-stroke care, measurement, and/or stroke patient outcomes.”

Proffitt has been passionate about improving post-stroke outcomes since she was a student.

“One woman I worked with in my research was 17 years post-stroke incidence and she was able to regain function after a few weeks of intense practice,” Proffitt says. “The look of joy on her face when she told me about being able to wash the dishes again is forever etched in my memory. I want to make it possible for as many individuals with stroke to experience that same joy.”

Proffitt was nominated for this award by MU Occupational Therapy Department Chair Tim Wolf.

“It is an incredible honor to have won this award,” says Proffitt. “I am elated that occupational therapy is gaining recognition within the field of post-acute stroke rehabilitation. I am also grateful for the support of other early stage investigators like myself.”

The award also comes with an invitation for the recipient to speak about their research at the annual ACRM conference, on Oct. 21-24, 2020.

Proffitt will discuss findings from her research in using engaging virtual reality applications to deliver effective interventions, as well as her research with the depth sensor. She will also discuss how occupational therapy is moving the field forward through client-centered, occupation-based practice.

“My talk is titled Advancing Stroke Rehabilitation: Personal. Purposeful. Precise,” Proffitt says. “It is not simply enough to have intensive practice. The activities must be meaningful to the individual. I hope to encourage those in my field and those in rehab to look at stroke rehabilitation in a new way.”

Congratulations, Dr. Proffitt!

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Rachel Proffitt

Rachel Proffitt

Associate Chair for Research in Occupational Therapy and Associate Professor