Welcome to the Gerontology SIS! 

OTs, OTAs, and students work with older adults in a variety of settings with the goal to promote safety, Independence, and participation. Challenges and joys experienced with clients are similar for all occupational therapy practitioners. The NCOTA Gerontology Special Interest Section provides to our members: evidence-based education; an inclusive forum for networking with other practitioners and students who work with older adults throughout the continuum of care; and advocacy for our diverse members and clientele. Together we can enhance our profession, improve the services that we provide, and strengthen our roles as leaders within the occupational therapy profession and within our facilities and treatment environments.




Chair: Deborah Hand, MS, OTR/L, BCG

*Email: [email protected]       

*OT Education: MS Tufts University, Boston School of Occupational Therapy 1993

*Current Setting/Title: Durham VA Medical Center, Inpatient OT Supervisor

*Previous Experience: Acute Care, SNF, Home Health, Outpatient

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Gerontology and hospital-based care of older adults, Aging-in-Place, Management, Mentoring

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: OT Supervisor, Wife, Mother of two young adults, Flute choir member, exercise partner, reader, game player, friend

Additional Information: member of NCOTA and AOTA, board member Durham Tech OTA Program


Chair: Susan Misciagno, OTD, OTR/L BCG, C/NDT

*Email:   [email protected]

 *OT Education: OTD Creighton University (2019), BS-OT Escuela Colombiana de Rehabilitacion (1998)

*Current Setting/Title: Methodist University, Academic Capstone Coordinator and Assistant Professor

*Previous Experience: SNF, Acute Care, Inpatient Rehab, Schools, Home Health, PACE/Community

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Gerontology practice in the community, Aging in place, Chronic Disease Management, Education, Research, Leadership, Driving, Stroke Management

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Wife, mom, aunt, dog lover, teaching, learning, movies, Zumba

*Additional Information: Gerontology SIS Co-Chair, Member of NCOTA, NDT, AOTA, and WFOT; NDT certified, AOTA Board Certified in Gerontology, board member Therapeutic Solutions Outreach


Past Presentations

  PowerPoint-- Fall 2020 NCOTA Conference ("Depression & Suicide in Older Adults: OT's Role During COVID-19")

Potential Resources from Debbie & Susan (not necessarily endorsed by NCOTA)