2024: Virginia Stoffel, PhD

"Compassion: an approach to self-care; a tool in research and teaching; a core value guiding leadership and practice in the rehabilitation and public health professions"

Gresham lecture.

Virginia Stoffel, PhD, associate professor emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, presented the 17th Glen E. Gresham Visiting Professorship and Lecture on Thurs., Apr. 11, 2024.

Compassion is an approach to living that conveys a sense of caring and empathy that can intentionally be a powerful tool for students, educators, researchers and practitioners as they carry out their meaningful occupations. From her inaugural lecture as the incoming president of the American Occupational Therapy Association (published in the 2013 American Journal of Occupational Therapy, "From heartfelt leadership to compassionate care"), Stoffel has recognized the importance of attitude and grace in serving as a healthcare professional and leader. She will facilitate reflection on compassion and its place in self-care, research, teaching, leadership and professional practice.

About Virginia Stoffel

Ginny Stoffel, PhD, served as president of the American Occupational Therapy Association from 2013 to 2016. She is currently the AOTA delegate to the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT). She represented the voice of occupational therapy to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Recovery to Practice program and the National Quality Forum Serious Mental Illness Action Team, and is currently involved in several projects for WFOT on mental health, innovation and advocacy.

In 2016, as AOTA prepared its 100th anniversary celebration, Stoffel was named one of the 100 people who significantly contributed to the development of the OT profession in its first 100 years. She received the AOTA Association's highest honor for an occupational therapist, the AOTA Award of Merit, in 2020.

Stoffel is an invited speaker across the United States and internationally, has authored numerous chapters and articles, and is co-author with Catana Brown and Jaime Munoz of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health: A Vision for Participation, 2nd edition, 2019, a text used worldwide in occupational therapy education programs.