Neil Harvison


Kaylee Loken, Bailey Schumacher

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Objective: The purpose of study is to provide current and future generations of occupational therapists a view of the history and how occupational therapy practice has evolved from its inception to current practice through the life history stories of occupational therapists who have held leadership roles at the national level and beyond.

Method: The participant was selected from a participant list compiled through purposive sampling by the project directors. Informed consent was obtained prior to the interview. The project was reviewed by the UND Institutional Review Board and was exempted due to it being a life history. A semi-structured interview was conducted and guided by an interview schedule prepared by the project directors; the questions on the interview schedule were designed to be used with all the individuals interviewed as part of the larger project. The student researchers modified questions for the participant.

Results: Three categories emerged from the data analysis. The three categories were Academics, OT Journey, and Challenges to the Profession. From this an assertion was then determined.

Conclusion: The historical events happening in the OT world during the 1980’s-1990’s led Dr. Harvison to begin working with at risk populations and allowed him to take on leadership opportunities at the national level. Dr. Harvison has the unique perspective of viewing the profession from a bird’s eye view to be able to advocate for occupational therapy in the academic and interprofessional settings to keep the profession moving forward in the United States.

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