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Lisa Juckett

Q&A with Lisa A. Juckett, MOT, OTR/L, CHT, from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

juckettMeet Lisa.

"While various professions play a valuable role in aging research, teaching, and clinical efforts, collaborations across professions have the greatest potential to find and develop effective strategies that meet the needs of older adults. Through my involvement in GSA, I have been exposed to the different roles and scopes of a range of professions—all of which offer unique contributions to gerontology and geriatrics."

Q: Why did you become a member and what type of involvement do you have?
A: I became a GSA member in 2016 when I was selected to serve as Student-Chair Designee for the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE; now the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education). I recently served on AGHE and GSA’s Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization (ESPO) and look forward to future GSA leadership opportunities.

Q: How has membership in GSA benefited you?
A: I have greatly enjoyed learning about innovative teaching strategies and research opportunities from other GSA members. Two resources that I have found to be particularly useful are GSA Connect and the AGHExchange Newsletter. I find that these resources allow me to stay up-to-date on timely gerontology and geriatrics (G&G) topics while also providing a platform to engage in discussion with other members who have similar teaching and research interests. As I finish my PhD, the mentorship and networking opportunities with established leaders in G&G have proven especially valuable.

Q: How did you get interested in the field of aging?
A: My interest in the field of aging dates back to service learning projects I completed in high school. My volunteer service at an assisted-living facility in my hometown of Worthington, Ohio led me to pursue a career in healthcare (occupational therapy) where I could direct my efforts towards enhancing older adults’ abilities to age in place. As an experienced occupational therapist, I am now shifting my focus from clinical work to research. Specifically, I am researching how to connect older adults to evidence-based health and wellness services that can be delivered in the home or community.

Q: Why is it important for other individuals to join GSA?
A: No single profession can meet the growing demands of the aging population alone. Instead, interdisciplinary collaboration is needed to develop effective solutions for meeting these demands. GSA prides itself on being an interdisciplinary organization and welcomes all types of members who are dedicated to advancing the field of healthy aging. While various professions play a valuable role in aging research, teaching, and clinical efforts, collaborations across professions have the greatest potential to find and develop effective strategies that meet the needs of older adults. Through my involvement in GSA, I have been exposed to the different roles and scopes of a range of professions—all of which offer unique contributions to gerontology and geriatrics.

Q: Are you a member of a GSA Interest Group? If so, which ones?
A: Although not technically an interest group, I have been involved with AGHE since 2016. AGHE is really quite a special group within GSA. Broadly defined, AGHE is the “educational arm” of GSA and strives to promote G&G education and support the interests of students and professionals who are pursuing G&G careers. I believe the mission of AGHE is integral to the future of the G&G field. In healthcare, the shortage of professionals trained in G&G has been well-documented; however, AGHE’s efforts are targeted towards advancing G&G education with one goal of increasing the number of G&G professionals in the workforce.

Q: What are your key responsibilities at your job?
A: I am currently a Clinical Instructor at The Ohio State University in the Division of Occupational Therapy. Simultaneously, I am also pursuing a PhD at Ohio State in the College of Social Work and am on track to graduate in Fall 2019. I am balancing dissertation responsibilities while also teaching various courses to students enrolled in the Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program. My course responsibilities include Service Learning in Occupational Therapy, Advanced Topics in Geriatrics, and Orthopedics in Occupational Therapy. I am also partnering with local home- and community-based service organizations in Columbus, Ohio to examine the most effective strategies for connecting older adults with aging-in-place services.

Q:What is your most memorable research/patient experience?
A: When I reflect upon all of my former patients, I often think of one incredible patient who taught me the most about being an advocate for patient populations who may not be in a position to advocate for themselves. One older adult patient in particular was assigned to my caseload after a rotator cuff repair—a fairly common surgical procedure. However, his rotator cuff repair was only one small part of his story. He also was a member of the deaf community, had quadriplegia, was a power wheelchair user, was a religious minority, and was also a gender/sexual minority as well. While I certainly found my role in his rehabilitation to be rewarding, more importantly, he taught me the significance of cultural humility and how powerful that humility can be when building relationships with patients. When teaching, I often share his story, not because of his diagnosis or symptomology, but because of how he changed how I interacted with future patients of mine going forward.

Q: Do you have any tips for emerging gerontologists?
A: Get involved! I have truly enjoyed learning from established G&G leaders who are willing to support students and emerging gerontologists in all stages of their careers. Without my involvement in AGHE and GSA, I would not have had the robust networking opportunities that I have had thus far, and I would not have fully recognized all the great resources GSA offers to its members. Additionally, my involvement in AGHE and GSA has positioned me to run for one of GSA’s Board of Directors positions as part of the new governance structure. AGHE and GSA have provided me with several opportunities to cultivate my passion for G&G and to be an agent of change for the future of the G&G field.

Q: Tell us a little about your most recent activities/accomplishments.
A: While I am eager to pursue a career in research, I am also dedicated to my teaching responsibilities as a Clinical Instructor. My teaching efforts were recognized in 2018 with The Ohio State University’s Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer—an accolade awarded to six lecturers each year out of a pool of over 3500. Additionally, my leadership and service contributions with AGHE and GSA were recognized in 2018 with the Student Award for Leadership and Service by the Group for Advancement in Doctoral Education in Social Work. I have also had my dissertation research funded by two internal grants at The Ohio State University.

Q: Have you had an important mentor in your career? If so, how did s/he make a difference?
A: Though not a gerontologist, my current PhD advisor has played a critical role in shaping my future research trajectory. Dr. Alicia Bunger, an implementation scientist at Ohio State, introduced me to the field of implementation science and health services research—two fields that can be leveraged to advance the field of G&G. Under Dr. Bunger’s advisement, I have been conducting a line of research that blends the fields of implementation science, health services research, and gerontology in order to connect older adults with high-quality, evidence-based services in the community. Both implementation science and health services research are highly interdisciplinary, making both fields appropriate complements to the interdisciplinary work being conducted in gerontology.

Want to ask Lisa a question? Contact her on GSA Connect!

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