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In October 2020, the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) convened a Planning Grant Collective titled “Stimulating Research to Advance Evidence-Based Applications of Telehealth in Occupational Therapy.” This event led to the identification of several areas of telehealth research and practice.  These areas were described in a publication with outcomes from that meeting (Proffitt et al., 2021). Following the AOTF 2020 Planning Grant Collective, members of the AOTF Planning Grant Collective Organizing Committee continued to meet to conceptualize the PACE Framework, outline a process and agenda for expert stakeholder review, and analyze and integrate stakeholder feedback.

Lauren M. Little, PhD, OTR/L

Little headshot.JPG

My program of research focuses on innovative service delivery for young children and families with and at- risk for neurodevelopmental disorders, with an emphasis on family focused intervention. I teach the pediatrics and research content for the occupational therapy entry level doctorate program at Rush University and conduct research. I have expertise in telehealth service delivery for families of young children, and during COVID-19, I trained all Illinois early intervention (EI) service providers in how to use telehealth to serve families. I served as a principal investigator for a project that tested the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of providing coaching via telehealth for families of young children, then as a principal investigator on a study that used ecological momentary assessment to track family outcomes throughout a telehealth intervention.

Jana Cason, DHSc, OTRL, FAOTA


I have engaged in telehealth research, education, and advocacy since 2005. My early research focused on the use of telehealth for children participating in early intervention services. Currently, my research interests involve the use of telehealth to expand access to an evidence-based intervention, Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT), for individuals with chronic tic disorders. I co-authored the American Telemedicine Association’s (ATA’s) interdisciplinary telehealth standards and guidelines documents, A Blueprint for Telerehabilitation Guidelines (2010) and Principles for Delivering Telerehabilitation (2017); AOTA’s Telehealth Position Paper (2013, 2018) and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists’ (WFOT) Telehealth Position Statement (2014, 2021). I co-authored several chapters related to telehealth in OT textbooks, including Occupational Therapy for Children (2015), The Occupational Therapy Manager (2019), and Case-Smith’s Occupational Therapy for Children and Adolescents (2020), as well as telehealth-related book chapters, monographs, and peer-reviewed articles. I am past chair of the ATA’s Telerehabilitation Special Interest Group and the AOTA’s Technology Special Interest Section. I am the Senior Associate Editor of the International Journal of Telerehabilitation, a PubMed and Scopus indexed journal.

Rachel Proffitt, OTD, OTR/L


My long-term research goal is to improve health, participation, and quality of life for people with disabilities. As a junior faculty member with a strong foundation in clinical research and experience leading interdisciplinary teams, I have established myself as an expert in virtual reality for rehabilitation and have produced influential works on technology-based interventions for rehabilitation. Throughout my training, I focused my research on older adults and the chronic stroke population. My doctoral work investigated understanding the usability of customized game-based and virtual reality technologies in chronic stroke. My T32-funded postdoctoral work built on these foundational skills and was centered on training in rehabilitation efficacy and effectiveness trials. In this role, I trained in biostatistics and clinical trial design for rehabilitation.

Kristen A Pickett, PhD


My research goals are focused on the use of community-guided, innovative, implementable and disseminatable research, to positively impact meaningful health outcomes for older individuals, especially those with Parkinson disease and their family caregivers. My team has established a fully mobile data collection suite that allows us to go into the field to collect functional, clinical, and behavioral data on human movement. This approach allows us to address barriers to participation in clinical research and enroll participants that otherwise do not engage in research. We focus our intervention work on the use of telehealth and remote monitoring of older adults to facilitate in-home participation and sustainable behavioral changes.

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