Document Type

Student Paper

Publication Date



The purpose of this qualitative life history study was to gather information about the history and evolution of occupational therapy (OT) practice in North Dakota and Wyoming through life histories of individuals who have been influential in developing OT in these two states. The individual chosen for this study was Lavonne Fox. A purposive sampling method was used to select the participant for the study. A semi-structured interview was done with Lavonne Fox at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The researchers transcribed the interview data verbatim. From this data, codes, categories, themes, and assertions emerged. The central categories representing Lavonne Fox’s life history included: Character, View of OT, Professional Achievements and Goals, and Discrimination and Diversity. The findings indicate that Lavonne has obtained many achievements as well has held many positions in OT, which has allowed her to be an influential person in the OT profession. Despite the changes in OT over time, Lavonne Fox has remained client-centered and emphasized the holistic aspect of OT. She has promoted change in the profession of OT by emphasizing the importance of diversity and cultural competence for OT practitioners. Her strong values and beliefs have helped her to overcome difficult circumstances and motivated her to cause positive change.