Patricia Laverdure, OTD’12, OTR/L, BCP, FAOTA, is an assistant professor and program director of occupational therapy in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Health Sciences at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Learn why the alumna chose Creighton’s post-professional OTD program.
Can you give us a brief background of your professional/academic experience?
I graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and embarked on a career in pediatrics that included jobs in with the neonatal intensive care unit, early intervention, hospital-based services (cognitive behavioral unit and inpatient rehabilitation), and school practice. In the midst, I started and ran a private practice serving clients in home health, early intervention and school settings. Across these settings I held numerous clinical and administrative roles. In my last clinical setting, I served as the program manager for OT and PT Services in Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools, one of the largest school divisions in the U.S. Throughout my career I have been involved in state and national occupational therapy organizations. Between my education, work and volunteer experiences, I have established myself as a leader in pediatric practice.
Why did you choose Creighton University Post-professional OTD program?
I chose Creighton University because the program’s focus on occupation and critical analysis of occupational therapy practice. The content and the faculty research/experience offered the educational and professional challenge that I was looking for. I also really liked the program’s focus on professional and leadership development. At the time I was looking to expand the reach and impact of the work that I was doing, and I thought that Creighton offered me the best opportunity to achieve that.
How has a Creighton education impacted you personally or professionally?
From a professional perspective, the program’s guidance in supporting me in expanding my skills in critical analysis of OT practice, evidence based practice and scholarly work really propelled me into a new roles and new responsibilities. It both strengthen my capacity as a leader and helped me build a stronger foundation as a scholar. My educational experience at Creighton also helped me to identify new roles of interest that has helped me carve a role for myself in academia.
Was there a certain point in your Creighton education journey that was a memorable moment?
I think each experience was highly meaningful - I enjoyed all of my instructors and classes. Some of the most memorable were:
- On-campus experiences to meet and work with the faculty and the cohort. I maintain connections with a number of the folks in my cohort.
- Being named student of the year … twice!
- Working with associate professor of occupational therapy and vice provost for global engagement, René Padilla, PhD as a teaching assistant in critical analysis.
- Completing the portfolio with associate professor of occupational therapy and director of the Center for Interprofessional Education and Research, Joy Doll, OTD, which lead to my board certification.
What would you tell someone about the Creighton POTD program that was hesitant on enrolling?
I would tell them that at Creighton they will get the guidance they need to design a road map to a fulfilling career. I would tell them that the faculty are highly competent in bringing to life the practice and scholarship of OT in new and engaging ways. I would tell them that the content will align perfectly with their career advancement goals.