Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Dean Martin Zdanowicz has announced Christy Billock as the Founding Program Director of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program.
Based on the accreditation process timeline, KGI is aiming for a 2023 launch of the OTD program.
“We are thrilled that Christy has joined the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences,” Zdanowicz said. “Occupational therapists have a tremendous impact on so many aspects of patient care and well-being.”
“Graduates of our OTD program will have the opportunity to work with patients of all ages in a variety of settings. It is an exciting time of growth and opportunity here at KGI and we are pleased to have Christy be a part of it.”
Billock will lead the accreditation process with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and assist in accreditation efforts with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. She will also direct the OTD program’s development, administration, budget, faculty recruitment, and assessment.
“I’m delighted to serve as the Founding Program Director for KGI’s new occupational therapy program,” Billock said. “As I’m getting to know the community at KGI, I can see that it provides a rich opportunity for collaborative learning and a unique context for training innovative occupational therapists to meet society’s growing health and wellness needs. I look forward to the creative work of shaping the OTD program—it’s an honor to be here.”
In her new role at KGI, Billock will work closely with the Master of Science in Medical Device Engineering (MSMDE) program offered through the Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences. Together with MSMDE Program Director Anna Hickerson, Billock will design quality learning opportunities for the OTD program, with the aim of integrating project-based experiences that form a basis for extensive interaction between MSMDE and OTD students. The aim is to provide both groups of students with an understanding of the interface between engineering assistive devices and technologies to maximize participation in daily life activities.
In her most recent position, Billock served as a Professor and Curriculum Coordinator of Occupational Therapy at West Coast University.
Billock is a licensed occupational therapist with a clinical background in adult rehabilitation. She has a PhD in Occupational Science from the University of Southern California, where her dissertation focused on women’s experience of spirituality in everyday life.
Billock has taught occupational therapy for more than 20 years in a broad range of subject areas, including neuroscience, geriatrics, rehabilitation, mental health, wellness, and occupational therapy history and theory.
In addition the earning her PhD, she also earned a Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy at USC. Billock received her bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Loma Linda University.
Billock has presented at numerous national and international occupational therapy and occupational science conferences as well as authored a chapter on personal beliefs and spirituality in Willard and Spackman’s Occupational Therapy 11th, 12th, and 13th editions.