Gail Fisher receives Honorary Lifetime Member Award from the ILOTA Executive Board

Gail Fisher ‘80 BS OT, clinical associate professor and associate head of occupational therapy, received the Honorary Lifetime Member Award from the Illinois Occupational Therapy Association.

The honor, given for lasting and sustained impact on occupational therapy in Illinois, was presented at the organization’s membership meeting Oct. 3.

The award is given by the ILOTA executive board and has only been awarded to 10 other occupational therapists since its inception. Past recipients include Beatrice Wade, founder of the Department of Occupational Therapy, and Barbara Loomis, associate professor emerita.

Fisher was nominated by association president Anne Kiraly-Alvarez ’05 BS KINES, ’07 MS OT, ’08 OTD, associate professor of occupational therapy at Midwestern University.

Fisher has been an ILOTA member for more than 40 years, including leadership roles in the organization’s political action committee.

“Being a member of ILOTA has made a big contribution to my OT identity and convinced me of the importance of working together to build our profession,” Fisher said. “And I enjoy seeing former students at the annual conference, which I have attended for 36 out of my 40 years in practice.”

Two alumni were also honored by ILOTA at the meeting.

Linda Olson ’87 BS OT, ’98 MS OT, chair of occupational therapy at Rush, received the Award of Merit.

Laura VanPuymbrouck ’85 BS OT, ’18 PhD DS, assistant professor of occupational therapy at Rush University, received the Public Awareness Award.