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Alumni News Kevin Storr April 08, 2019

Jana Cason, DHS, OTR/L, FAOTA, alumna of UAB Occupational Therapy Class of 1998, is the 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Emerging and Innovative Practice Award.

The honor is delivered annually to occupational therapists who “who have developed innovative and/or non-traditional occupational therapy practices for underserved populations or utilized the expertise of occupational therapy in new/visionary ways to achieve significant client outcomes to keep the profession relevant and responsive to the changes occurring in health care.”

Cason is a faculty member at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, and a longtime advocate of telehealth medicine. In a release from Spalding, Cason said her interest in telehealth began after taking over a case that included driving two hours each way to see a patient.

“I thought, ‘How much more effective would this be if I could actually see them through videoconferencing?’” Cason recalled. “From there, it just became an effort to fill a need for underserved populations.”

Since then, in addition to serving clients, Cason has published research about implementing telehealth and continued to spread the message of, and support the integration of, telehealth medicine.

Cason is the second UAB OT alumna to win the national AOTA award. In 2018, Rachel Ashcraft, alumna of the UAB M.S. in Occupational Therapy program (2011), earned the honor. Jan Rowe, a past UAB OT faculty member, won the honor in 2017.

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