Dr. Douglene Jackson Receives Highest Honors from the American Occupational Therapy Association

Douglene Jackson, Ph.D., OTR/L, LMT, ATP, assistant professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has received the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Award of Merit and Roster of Fellows Award at the organization’s 2022 Annual Conference and Expo. In addition, she has been elected as the AOTA’s alternate delegate to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

Douglene Jackson, Ph.D., OTR/L, LMT, ATP
Douglene Jackson, Ph.D., OTR/L, LMT, ATP, accepted two awards at the AOTA 2022 Annual Conference and Expo.

“The Award of Merit is the highest honor in the American OT profession,” said Dr. Jackson, who is also the associate director of community engagement at the Miller School’s Mailman Center. “It’s truly an achievement to receive this award, along with the Roster of Fellows. Both are given to individuals who have made a substantial contribution to our profession, and I am honored to do so through interprofessional approaches within my field and community.”

Award Standout

The AOTA bestows the Award of Merit on individuals who, among other factors, exhibit extensive leadership through sustained and significant contributions to the profession — as Dr. Jackson has done in her exemplary 20-year OT career.

During this time, she has focused primarily on working across the lifespan, in schools, hospitals, clinics, and community-based settings, with individuals who have neurodevelopmental disabilities. Dr. Jackson has distinguished herself in various leadership positions, including as past president of the Florida Occupational Therapy Association during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and on several task forces and committees.

“I have demonstrated a commitment to leadership, advocacy, and scholarship to advance the OT profession over the past 20 years,” Dr. Jackson said. “I have been a part of the AOTA affiliated state association presidents, Commission on Education, Task Group on Addressing Cultural Awareness and Humility, and communities of practice related to autism and transition services.”

The Roster of Fellows Award recognizes OTs who have made a significant contribution to the profession, with an impact on consumers of OT services and/or members of the association. Aside from Dr. Jackson’s leadership at the state level, she has held several national positions and is currently the secretary of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation.

Outside of leadership, Dr. Jackson is committed to mentorship, including her role in the South Florida Black Occupational Therapy Association and having mentees internationally who are making a difference in their field and communities. She has made numerous international presentations through scholarship and is engaged in interprofessional, community-based research that aims to address health and education inequities.

Alternate Delegate

Dr. Jackson’s four-year term as alternate delegate to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists begins in July 2022. In the absence of the delegate, Dr. Jackson will fulfill the duties of representing AOTA internationally by being the voice for American OTs practicing in the U.S. or abroad.

“Having a passion for global initiatives and demonstrated leadership abilities that align with the duties of this role, I was a viable candidate, and my peers’ votes have afforded me this opportunity,” Dr. Jackson said. “I am looking forward to being part of international conversations about health and well-being related to the OT field. We can be instrumental in creating population change while advancing health, education, and well-being, especially for individuals with disabilities.”

For now, Dr. Jackson will continue to make the most of her roles at the Miller School while partnering with community organizations to create equity and have a positive impact. She would also like to engage in international endeavors to develop learning and service opportunities that are mutually beneficial.

Tags: American Occupational Therapy Association, American Occupational Therapy Foundation, Dr. Douglene Jackson, Florida Occupational Therapy Association, Mailman Center for Child Development, Miller School of Medicine, South Florida Black Occupational Therapy Association, World Federation of Occupational Therapists