Bonnie Hodsdon, BS, OTR/L
Bonnie Hodsdon joined the staff of the Clinical Center in 1974. She is a retired captain in the U.S. Public Health Service and has been chief of the Rehabilitation Medicine Department's Occupational Therapy Section since 1995. She is a long-term specialist in the clinical care of people with arthritis, and an associate investigator in multiple research protocols involving focal hand dystonia, women's health, congenital muscular dystrophy and chronic fatigue syndrome. Her early research focused on the effects of orthotics on hand-joint deformity. She developed the NIH training curriculum for understanding the role of occupational therapy in rehabilitation and the critical elements for timely referrals for rheumatology fellows of Georgetown University, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Johns Hopkins University. She also developed the format for the NIH Clinical Center's Upper Extremity Clinic, which served all NIH institutes, and then managed the clinic's administrative and clinical program, including coordination of services between orthopedic surgeons and NIH rheumatologists. She is a former member of the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals where she helped produce an online learning seminar to understand the role of occupational therapy in rehab rheumatology care. Ms. Hodsdon is a board member for the credentialing of new staff therapists in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department and a board member of the Peer Resolution Panel available to evaluate disparate issues involving staff and administration. She and her staff are currently involved in advancing the field of occupational therapy through research that focuses on Women's Health Initiatives and understanding the functional effects from rare or undiagnosed diseases. Ms. Hodsdon has numerous co-authored publications and national presentations associated with collaborative work with the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. As a consultant to the institutes, Ms. Hodsdon designed the following inventions: a finger orthotic (commercially available) to control joint stability; a patented hand device that protects the hand from accidental needle sticks; a device to hold a computerized sensor that measures pruritus responses in patients with chronic liver dysfunction (used by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases); a hand and forearm stabilizer that allows for collection of repeated x-ray data using subtraction radiology (used by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research She currently designs custom finger and hand orthotics for people with writer's cramp and musician's dystonia.
Leslie Bardin, MS, OTR/L
Leslie Bardin is an occupational therapist for the rehabilitation medicine department at the NIH Clinical Center. She received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and Bachelor of Science degree in Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies from the University of New England in southern Maine. Throughout her educational and professional career Leslie was highly involved in community health outreach involving chronic pain, mental health, and substance use. In 2017 she led an interprofessional treatment team at the only comprehensive pain clinic in southern Maine and provided free science education to K-12 students enrolled in local public schools. She is trained in the SBIRT program (screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment) for individuals with substance use disorders and is certified in Lifestyle Redesign, an evidence-based program to promote behavior change for health and wellness in all populations. She completed the Emerging Leadership program through the American Occupational Therapy Association and has presented research on state and national levels. Her clinical practice primarily addresses evaluating and treating adult behavioral health and adult physical disabilities. Her current interests are in functional cognition, evidence-based assessment, and social determinants of health as occupational hazards. She is involved in research through the National Institute of Mental Health, looking at the psychosocial benefits of cooking and acquired food skills for populations at risk for cardiovascular disease.
Samora Casimir, OTR/L, OTD(s)
Samora Casimir is the newest member to join the occupational therapy team at NIH RMD. She is a Lieutenant in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Samora graduated from Florida A&M University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology & Secondary Education; a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida Gulf Coast University, and is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University. Samora’s areas of clinical practice include the evaluation and treatment of adults with a variety of physical dysfunctions including those with neurological and orthopedic problems, with a focus on upper extremity disorders. Samora is a 7H Upper Extremity Neuromusculoskeletal Evaluator, a certification she completed at the Army Medical Specialist Corps Postgraduate Course at the San Antonio Brooke Army Medical Center. She looks forward to contributing to collaborative biomedical research as an associate investigator.
Leora Ellen Comis, MPA, OTR/L, BCPR, CLT-LANA, FAOTA
Leora Ellen Comis is a senior staff occupational therapist in the Occupational Therapy section of the NIH Clinical Center. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indiana and a Master's in Public Health Administration from The City University of New York at Baruch College. She is a certified lymphedema therapist and has Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation. Her clinical and research interests include the development of advanced standards of care for people with chronic, rare and/or complex medical conditions with a specialization in graft versus host disease (GVHD), oncology and lymphedema management. Currently Leora serves as Associate Investigator on several protocols across various NIH institutes including National Cancer Institute, National Heart Lung and Blood, National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She is a recipient of two Clinical Center Director's Award, honored to be named as a Fellow to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and has received several local, state and national awards in recognition of her clinical skills. Leora has numerous peer-reviewed publications and national presentations associated with her research and clinical initiatives with chronic Graft Versus Host Disease, Turner Syndrome, Premature Ovarian Insufficiency and Melorheostosis.
Kathy Farrell, MS, OTR/L
Kathy Farrell is a senior staff occupational therapist in Occupational Therapy at the NIH Clinical Center. She received her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Towson University and Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois. Her clinical practice addresses evaluating and treating adults with a variety of physical disabilities focusing on neurological disorders. Associate Investigator Research activities include the National Cancer Institute, the National Human Genome Research Institute, and the National Institute of Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases looking to phenotype functional disease expressions of those with Neurofibromatosis Type 1, Mobeius Syndrome, and Melorheostosis.
Hanna Hildenbrand, MS, OTR/L
Hanna Hildenbrand is a senior staff occupational therapist in Occupational Therapy at the NIH Clinical Center. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Evansville and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Rush University. She has received specialized training for the administration of the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills and the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests. She is also a certified educator of Infant Massage. Her primary clinical focus is in the areas of pediatric behavioral health and pediatric physical disabilities. Collaboration as an associate investigator has been with the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and the National Institute of Child Health and Development. Her presentations and publications associated with these research studies have focused on fine motor development and sensory processing in Smith-Magenis Syndrome, activities of daily living in Neonatal Onset Multisystem Inflammatory Disease, and upper limb function in CLN3 (juvenile Batten Disease).
Rachel Hingst, MPH, OTR/L, CPRP
Rachel Hingst is an occupational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University. Rachel is also a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner. Her primary clinical focus is adult mental health. Her current interests include the role of occupational therapy in mental health recovery and functional outcome measurements for adults with serious behavioral health disorders. Associate investigator research includes the role of cooking in promoting health and wellbeing in vulnerable groups.
Thuy-Tien (Terri) Nguyen, MS, OTR/L
Terri Nguyen is a staff Occupational Therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. She received her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Shenandoah University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Kean University. She has received specialized training in low vision rehabilitation. Her areas of clinical practice include evaluating and treating adults with a variety of physical disabilities, focusing on chronic and rare visual impairments and disorders. Her clinical skills and associate investigator research interests include the development of rehabilitation standards to help people with visual impairments and disabilities cope with vision loss.
Rebecca Parks, MS, OTR/L, BCP, FAOTA
Rebecca Parks is a senior occupational therapist/Pediatric Specialist and Education Coordinator in Occupational Therapy at the NIH Clinical Center. She is a Captain in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and holds a Master of Science degree from Columbia University. She has achieved Board Certification in Pediatrics from the American Occupational Therapy Association and is a Fellow of the AOTA. She is also certified to administer the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests. Her clinical practice is mainly in the areas of pediatric and adult physical disabilities. Her primary collaborative research activities are with the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She has numerous national presentations and peer-reviewed publications associated with her research and clinical practice with general pediatrics and pediatric/adult oncology populations.
Susan Robertson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Susan Robertson is a senior staff occupational therapist and a mental health specialist in Occupational Therapy at the NIH Clinical Center. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, her Master's degree and Certificate in occupational therapy from San Jose State University, and her PhD in human development from the University of Maryland. She has contributed to clinical practice and research with the National Institute of Mental Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Her line of qualitative inquiry in occupational therapy centers on self-management of chronic conditions in support of life’s meaning and purpose. Her professional publications and presentations have targeted research outcomes, leadership development, and intervention to foster wellness. As a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, she was honored for her professional contributions in clinical care, research, education, and professional development.
Christopher Turner, OTR/L CSRS
Chris Turner is an occupational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. Chris graduated from Towson University’s honors college undergraduate program with a degree in Psychology with clinical specialization. He received his Master of Occupational Therapy degree from Towson University in 2014. In 2018 Chris received his Certified Stroke Rehabilitative Specialist (CSRS) certification that provided him the resources and knowledge base to provide an increased level of best-practice and data driven care to the neurologic patient population. His areas of clinical practice include adult physical disfunction, lymphedema management, neurological rehabilitation and oncology. He has contributed to a variety of research studies including rapid reactivation-induced procedural learning as well as Clinical Center and Rehab Medicine Department specific initiatives.