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Colorado Mesa University celebrated the accomplishments of its inaugural cohort of Occupational Therapy fall class of 2023. With 13 graduates paving the way, the program marks a significant milestone in its mission to empower local communities through healthcare.

The Occupational Therapy Program at CMU has been a beacon of inspiration, fostering dedication and compassion among its learners. Occupational Therapy Program Director Carla Wilhite, PhD, expressed her gratitude stating, "We couldn't have asked for a better group of learners who were so positive, dedicated to their career, friendly and compassionate. We are immensely thankful to the university and its partners for creating this educational infrastructure that will pay dividends for years to come."

With affordability and accreditation as key pillars, CMU's Occupational Therapy Program aims to address healthcare shortages and expand healthcare access across Colorado. The program's success is evident as graduates like Meghan DeHerrera, hailing from Arvada, Colorado, expressed her commitment to making a difference in people's lives. Meghan shared, "[Occupational Therapy] gives me the opportunity to be a part of people's lives and instill hope during times of need. I get to be a part of someone's journey and make lives better every day."

After commencement, the graduates took the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam to become Occupational Therapists Registered, exemplifying their dedication and innovation to serving others. Meghan DeHerrera embarked on a medical mission trip to India after passing her exam. Others, like Annie Fox, authored a children's book, titled What the Heck is Occupational Therapy Anyways?, to educate children about occupational therapy and delve into sensory processing, offering a glimpse into a day in the life of an occupational therapist. Through initiatives like these, graduates are not only advancing their careers but also contributing to community education and outreach.

CMU's Master of Science in Occupational Therapy is one of the most affordable MSOT program in and out-of-state. Their accreditation allows for CMU to help fill in the gaps of healthcare shortage within the region and, in turn, improve the health of Coloradans.

CMU's Occupational Therapy Program continues to grow, with a new cohort of 17 who began their journey this semester. The impact of these graduates resonates throughout the western Colorado, with many choosing to remain in the region at facilities located in Grand Junction, Carbondale, Delta and Montrose.

As CMU celebrates the achievements of its first occupational therapy cohort, it looks forward to building on their success and continuing to bridge healthcare gaps in Colorado. Through dedication, compassion and innovation, these graduates exemplify the transformative power of occupational therapy to enrich lives and empower local communities.


Written by Madelynn Fellet