Tomeico Faison

• May 3rd, 2022

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Delvin Champagne Podcast Interview

• March 30th, 2022

                           Entrepreneur - Health Educator – Advocate
Delvin Champagne is an extraordinary young leader who has made remarkable strides in his career. Born in Sumter, South Carolina, and moved to Atlanta, Georgia with his mother at the age of eight; most of his education was obtained in Georgia’s Fulton County School System. He graduated from Banneker High School in 1995 but worked for Bank of America for 2 years before transferring his job and relocating to Columbia, South Carolina to live with his 
father. While in Columbia, Delvin attended Benedict College for a year, and then he transferred to Norfolk State University (NSU) in Norfolk, VA where he earned a B.S. Degree in Health & Exercise Science in 2002. At NSU, he was hand-picked by the President to serve as a Student Ambassador. After graduating from NSU, he attended Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2003 for advanced mini-med school training in the field of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 
Shortly after he completed that program, he received a full academic grant to enroll in Tidewater Community College to complete his certification program in Occupational Therapy. Strategically, Delvin mapped out a path for his career as a health & wellness professional, and as a result of his education and training, he successfully earned his credentials as a 
Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). 

Progressively, Delvin obtained some life-changing opportunities; in 2009, he was admitted to the Harvard University School of Dental Medicine as part of the “Visiting Scholars Research Fellowship Program” in partial fulfillment to complete his thesis at Howard University Graduate School to obtain his MS Degree in Community Health Education & Policy. While at Harvard, Delvin conducted research concerning the early detection of oral cancer and its relationship to 
systemic and preventable chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. After returning to Washington from Harvard he was selected to the CBCF Emerging Leaders Program assigned to US House of Representative Edolphus Towns of NYDistrict 10. While working for Representative Towns on Capitol Hill, he was instrumental in drafting controversial health 
policy legislation, determined to make a difference in the world concerning the American Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010. Since the age of twelve, he changed his eating habits and encouraged his family to follow his lead. It appears that he was predestined to embrace the wellness industry because like a “Badge-of-Honor”, he chose to tackle the tough 
issues facing society’s health crisis. 

Presently, Delvin and his wife Tasha, both licensed occupational therapy practitioners, are co-owners of Beltway Rehab Pros, LLC, a multi-dynamic healthcare organization that provides rehabilitation healthcare services utilizing a wide range of clinical strategies throughout the DC/MD/VA area. He currently serves as the District of Columbia representative to 
the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). He is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. founding the bi-annual health screening program. Most recently, he was elected to serve on the executive board of the Harvard Black Alumni Society of DC as Communications & Marketing chair. 

Delvin and his wife Tasha reside in Landover Hills, MD, and attend Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church in DC. He is family-oriented and active in the lives of his younger brother and sister, Corey and Natalie.



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Linda Hurst Podcast Interview

• February 28th, 2022

Linda Hurst received her undergraduate degree in social work from Temple University and then served in the military reserves. She however was unable to work as a social worker in the reserves because social workers did not work in the military at that time. It was then that she found out about occupational therapy as she was seeking a field that was similar to social work.  She trained in the military and received a certificate as a certified occupational therapy assistant. She later decided that she wanted more autonomy and applied to UNC Chapel Hill’s OT program in the 80s. Although she was not the first Black OT student to be admitted to the program, she was the first to graduate as the Black OT who was admitted before her ended up dropping out due to race related issues. Linda Hurst graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1990. We honor Linda as the 1st Black OT to graduate from UNC Chapel Hill, her contributions to the occupational therapy profession in mental health and her military service. The world is a better place because of Linda Hurst. 



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Ariel Faison Podcast Interview

• January 18th, 2022

Ariel Faison wears several different hats. She identifies as a Christian woman who loves daily trips to her local coffee shop and long walks through Target. She runs a nonprofit Arizona, Color Outside the Lines, which specializes in sensory-friendly events for special needs youth and their families. She is a full-time occupational therapist assistant. For as long as she remembers, she has always wanted to make a BIG impact in the special needs community and is getting closer to reaching that goal every single day. Her younger sibling was diagnosed with Autism earlier in life which was the beginning of what has turned out to be one of the most beautiful blessings. Through early intervention, prayer, research, practice, studying, and time, her sibling has not only become a man of valor but has inspired her to pave the way for other families to help them realize that God has a plan for their child, plans to prosper and not to harm them, plans to give them hope and a future.  

(5) Color Outside the Lines | Facebook

The Sensory Strut - YouTube  Please subscribe!



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Dr. Krysta Rives Podcast Interview

• November 30th, 2021

Dr. Krysta Rives has been an occupational therapy assistant since 2013 when she began her career in travel therapy. After gaining a solid clinical foundation and advanced degrees in health care management, and business, she transitioned into academia where she has held roles as a founding OTA program director and professor. She has served the profession at the state and national levels as the OTA Representative at Large for POTA, on the AOTA DEI Taskforce, and the AOTA COP where she co-authored the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework 4th Edition and the AOTA Guidelines for Supervision, Roles, and Responsibilities document. Krysta has a passion for teaching and continually works on initiatives that strive for diversity and inclusion, women’s advocacy, and creating opportunities for Occupational Therapy Assistants to work in emergent areas of practice. In 2019 she founded the SUNY JCC Valerie Rives Scholarship for Diversity in Occupational Therapy to support students in financial need. 


Krysta wears many hats; in addition to being an OTA and professor, she is a business owner (OT study nOTes LLC), a realtor, and the mother of a teenage son named Julian. Krysta comes from a large family with 5 younger sisters, 2 younger brothers, and too many nieces and nephews to list. She loves to sew, read, and watch guilty pleasure TV shows like 90 Day Fiance, and she credits all of her success to the grace of God. 


Krysta is the recipient of the 2019 OTA award of recognition by POTA, the 2021 Impact award recipient from NBCOT, and the 2021 Alumni Career Community Award from her OTA Alma Mater SUNY JCC.



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Sheela Ivlev Podcast Interview

• October 31st, 2021

Sheela Ivlev is an occupational therapist specializing in mental health and wellness. As a South Asian woman born and raised in San Francisco, she understands health and wellness from diverse perspectives and values the connection of culture and healing. She became a Certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider to incorporate traditional and holistic methods with her clinical education and training. She is committed to removing the barriers to care that keep people from accessing health and wellness services. Sheela is a published author, international speaker, mental health clinical educator, and health and wellness consultant.


Sheela Ivlev, MS, OTR/L, CMHIMP

Occupational Therapist 


Call/text: 650.263.1332



DisruptOT Free Summit:



*Social Occupational Therapy was conceptualized in the 1970's and became official in practice in the 1980's to 90's. So, it's been well documented for the past 30-50 years and is a major contributor to current Social OT knowledge. 
*120 million is being reallocated from SFPD specifically for reinvestment into Black communities in San Francisco.
*Sheela's parents were entrepreneurs. They came here with nothing, had no financial support, no network and created a successful business which they staffed with recent immigrants from around the world. Their employees were like family, they helped them with visas/citizenship, establishing a new home, etc. which often required standing up to bigots and having their backs. 
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Michelle DeJesus Podcast Interview

• September 30th, 2021

Michelle DeJesus is a pediatric occupational therapist and mobile practice owner in Miami, FL. Aside from her clinical role as an OT, Michelle is passionate about promoting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) initiatives through her role as a national board member of the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD). As a Latina occupational therapist, Michelle strongly believes in the power of representation within the profession and in entrepreneurship. Thus, she utilizes social media to raise awareness and to promote action towards a more equitable and inclusive profession and practice. She recently has expanded on her passion for teaching and JEDI initiatives to include mentorship of underrepresented students and practitioners. You can connect with Michelle via Instagram (@MichelleD_OT), LinkedIn (Michelle DeJesus), or through her personal blog ( 



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LaQuanta Podcast Interview

• August 31st, 2021

LaQuanta was born and raised in Dudley, a small town in Eastern North Carolina; she continues to reside near the area. LaQuanta has been married for 21 years and has two daughters, ages 19 and 9. Family pets include Chewy a 2-year-old male shiatzu and Gray a 1-year-old tabby cat. LaQuanta graduated from the University of Mt. Olive in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University in 2017. LaQuanta worked in community mental health for 13 years and has been a therapist since 2018. “I was drawn to the helping profession because of past trauma and therefore felt I had an obligation to share the knowledge I’ve learned with others; some of the best helpers have suffered the greatest pain”. LaQuanta is a licensed clinical mental health
counselor and a licensed clinical additions specialist and is currently a contract therapist with New Dawn Psychiatric Services. LaQuanta takes a holistic approach to counseling, by focusing on the relationship between the mind and body, with an emphasis on managing symptoms by changing distorted behaviors through meditation, yoga, and challenging distorted thoughts and beliefs. LaQuanta says that the mantra she uses to refocus her mind is to live like nobody is watching. “So often I think we live our lives based on what other people want, feel of believe instead of focusing on what makes us happy; so, this reminds me to live my life the way I see fit and what works for me and my family”.

Fun facts about LaQuanta
She says being the youngest of 8 kids, everyone always looked at her as a child, no matter how old she was. “I remember thinking, none of my siblings will ever really see me as an adult and you know maybe that’s not a bad thing”. She says life can be very serious and that she finds that by exploring her playful side, she is able to create a sense of balance. As an adult, with many responsibilities, she says it is important to decompress. “My daughter and I often turn up the Alexa and dance like no one is watching or I will initiate an improvisation with my family just to have a little fun”.


New Dawn Psychiatric Services, Counselor, Goldsboro, NC, 27530 | Psychology Today



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Dr. Elizabeth Martin Podcast Interview

• July 6th, 2021

Dr. Elizabeth Martin has been a health educator for over a decade with experience working with underserved adults in HIV+, LGBTQIA+, Latino, and African American communities providing community-based services.  She is committed to protecting socio-economically and culturally vulnerable populations, through holistic service, with a strong emphasis on mental and spiritual well-being. 

Elizabeth believes occupational therapy to be a gateway of service for many who may slip through the cracks due to economic hardship and unjust societal exclusion.  Her personal mission is to create, through practice, a world where all are included, respected, and valued.

Links: Home (

Site for organization that held Superwoman training (Note resources and check site for future trainings):



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Dr. Candice Podcast Interview

• May 31st, 2021

Candice Freeman OTD, MOT, OTR is the former Program Director at Mountain View College
Occupational Therapy Assistant Program located in Dallas Texas. She has 13 years’ experience
as a pediatric and home health occupational therapist. Her specialty is pediatrics with a
concentration on fine motor skill development and handwriting. She is also the owner of Tears
To Cheers Handwriting Clinic, LLC and her own private consulting firm Freeman Educational
Services that provides independent OT evaluations to schools. Candice earned her Bachelors of
Psychology with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston (Houston,
TX); Masters of Occupational Therapy (MOT) from The University of Texas Medical Branch
(Galveston, TX) and Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) from Rocky Mountain
University of Health Professions (Provo, Utah).

She is currently a doctoral student attending Abilene Christian University (Abilene TX) and in
the process of earning her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership with an
emphasis on Higher Education with a scheduled completion date of Fall 2021.
She is a member of American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), Texas Occupational
Therapy Association (TOTA), Vice- President of the National Black Occupational Therapy
Caucus (NBOTC), member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and past Student Occupational
Therapy Association (SOTA) advisor. She has presented at the Texas Occupational Therapy
Mountain Central Conference 2018 poster presentation: Diversity recruitment practices across
the state for Occupational therapy assistants and has a strong passion for exploring the topic of diversity and inclusion in occupational therapy.

In her spare time, she loves to compete in pageants (Ms. Plus America 2017) and has held many national and state titles in her 10 plus years of pageantry. Candice enjoys volunteering at her church providing community service and outreach, and spending time with her family, friends and her 13-year-old Malti-poo Baxter.  (See dynamic FB and IG links on the website!)

Tears to Cheers News Feature:

Linkedin: Dr. Candice Freeman OTD,MOT,OTR | LinkedIn

Loan Forgiveness Link: Apply to the Faculty Loan Repayment Program | Bureau of Health Workforce (



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