Susan (Sue) Coppola, MS, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA

OS_Coppola.jpgProfessor
CB #7122 UNC Chapel Hill
321 S. Columbia Street
Bondurant Hall- Room 2063
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7122
Office Phone:  919-966-9006
Email:  scoppola@med.unc.edu

www.unc.edu/~scoppola

Personal statement about Occupational Therapy
and Occupational Science

I am fascinated by questions about human occupation, and the complexity of human transactions. Why, when, where and how do meaningful occupations:

  • build our unique identities and sense of purpose?
  • connect us to other people and create supportive communities?
  • form routines and habits that orient us in time and place?
  • enable us to participate, adapt and survive within our environments?
  • promote our health, wellbeing and functional capacity?

Occupational therapy uses the power of occupation to bring about desired change. Essential features of best practice are: occupation-centered approaches, collaboration with clients, synthesis of evidence, and ethical reasoning.  Seeing the profession from many perspectives (staff therapist, administrator, consultant, teacher, researcher)  and in practice contexts from rural to urban, individual to community, and local to international contexts has built my passion for the profession.

Aging is also my passion, from individual experiences of aging to the demographic imperative of our aging societies. My dream is for a society that:

  • engages the wisdom and talents of older adults.
  • builds inclusive enviroments for active participation and social connections.
  • offers dynamic networks of culturally meaningful services that promote health, wellbeing and dignity in late life.

Courses (Current)

 

 

 

 

OCCT 736- Practice Environments for Occupational Therapy: Explores historical, regulatory, ethical, and cultural contexts of OT practice. Professional associations, standards and aspirations are applied to traditional, non-traditional and international practice contexts.  Understanding of practice contexts, in combination with self-awareness and professionalism, prepares students for fieldwork experiences and future practice.


OCCT 722- Biomedical and Phenomenological Aspects of Illness and Disability: I
nterweaves phenomenological and biomedical study of illness and disability in order to equip the occupational therapy student with information, understanding, investigative skills and courage to pursue and improve upon the problems of living for people with disabilities. Use of illness narratives, personal communication and disability experiences are combined with medical information.  Mental and physical disorders throughout the lifespan are addressed, recognizing the importance of context and the personal experience of disability. The WHO International Classification of Function, Disability and Health (WHO 2001) serves as the course framework.


OCCT 751- Occupation Centered Practice with Older Adults: Emphasizes client-centered, evidence-based and occupation centered approaches to occupational therapy for older adults. Explores the importance of context, culture, advocacy and interdisciplinary teamwork to produce clinical outcomes that improve quality of life. The Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process will be used as a framework for occupational therapy evaluation, intervention and program planning for older adults.


OCCT 720A & B- Fieldwork in Occupational Therapy: Curriculum themes are put to practice in the 12 week affiliations in practice settings.  Traditional, non-traditional, and international fieldwork experiences extended services to underserved individuals and developed job opportunities for students upon graduation. Internet discussion forum offers support & information for students on Fieldwork.

 

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Occupational Science - Cliented Centered Therapy Video (8 min)

 

 

Research/Clinical interests

  • Preventive Home Visits for Older Adults
  • Interdisciplinary Teamwork in Gerontology
  • Fieldwork in Occupational Therapy
  • Cross-cultural and International practice
  • Community Based Services and Rehabilitation

Recent publications

Coppola S, Darwin A, Bagby M, Carlson C, Cox SB, Fox V, Gunnigle C, Heatwole-Shank K, Mangrum M, O’Neill A, Warrick TB. (2009) Innovative fieldwork projects with older adults: Stories of learning and contributing. Gerontology Special Interest Section Newsletter, AOTA.

Coppola S, Elliott S, Toto P. (2008). Strategies to Advance Gerontology Excellence (SAGE): Promoting Best Practice in Occupational Therapy. Bethesda: AOTA Press.

Coppola S (2008). Foundations for a dynamic and satisfying practice in gerontology. In S. Coppola, S. Elliott, & P. Toto (Eds.). Strategies to Advance Gerontology Excellence(SAGE): Promoting Best Practice in Occupational Therapy. Bethesda: AOTA Press. (pp 1-9)

Coppola S (2008). Transactional approach to understanding meanings and benefits of occupation in older adulthood. In S. Coppola, S. Elliott, & P. Toto (Eds.). Strategies to Advance Gerontology Excellence(SAGE): Promoting Best Practice in Occupational Therapy. Bethesda: AOTA Press. (pp15-58)

Elliott, S & Coppola S. (2008). Best practice in gerontology. In S. Coppola, S. Elliott, P. Toto (Eds.) Strategies to Advance Gerontology Excellence(SAGE): Promoting Best Practice in Occupational Therapy. Bethesda: AOTA Press. (pp319-348)

Coppola S & Wood W. (2008). Occupational therapy to promote function and health related quality of life. In J. E. Hodgkin, G.L. Conners & B.R.Celli (Eds.), Pulmonary rehabilitation: Guidelines for success. Fourth Edition Elsevier: Des Plaines, IL.(pp 180-208)

Cutchin M, Aldrich R, Bailliard A, Coppola S. (2008) Action theories for occupational science: The contributions of Dewey and Bourdieu. Journal of Occupational Science, 15(3), 157-165.

Horowitz B. & Coppola S. (2007, May) Building Community Partnerships to Support Aging Societies. World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin. Vol 55, 44-49.

Coppola S, Berger S, Elliott S, Horowitz B, Knotts V. (2006, March), Occupational therapy for older adults: A reflection on advanced practice. OT Practice, 11(5), 14-18. (invited)

Coppola S. (2003). An introduction to practice with older adults using the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process. Gerontology Special Interest Section Newsletter, 26 (1), 1-4. (invited)

Coppola S ,Rosemond C, Greger-Holt N, Soltys F, Hanson L, Snider M*, Busby-Whitehead J. (2002). Arena assessment: Evolution of teamwork for frail older adults. Topics in Geriatric Rehab.17(3),13-28.

Wood W, Nielson C, Humphry R, Coppola S, Baranek G, Rourk J. (2000). A Curricular Renaissance: Graduate Education Centered on Occupation. AJOT. 54(6), 586-597.

Coppola S, Rosemond C, Hanson L, Soltys F, Flash A (1999) Risk and Early Intervention. In Busby Whitehead J, Hunter R, Kincade J, Ashford-Works C, Britnell M, Causey S(eds). Making a difference in the lives of rural elders: Interdisciplinary approaches to health and wellbeing. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Printing Services, 53-73.

Hunter R, Rosemond C, Coppola S, Hanson L, Soltys F, Flash A, Horrell S, Owens E. (1999) Frailty and Transition. In Busby Whitehead J, HunterR, Kincade J, Ashford-Works C, Britnell M, Causey S(eds). Making a difference in the lives of rural elders: Interdisciplinary approaches to health and wellbeing. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Printing Services, 75-94.