UVM receives $5.75 million to build occupational therapy labs


Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont received a $5.75 million grant from the United States Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to build labs and renovate classrooms in preparation for the launch of a new doctorate in occupational therapy. Senator Patrick Leahy led the funding of $5.75 million to support UVM’s program through the FY22 appropriations bill.

“This funding provides us with an incredible opportunity to integrate some of the latest technology in rehabilitation to build innovative laboratories that will benefit UVM students and the community at large,” said Victoria Priganc, Occupational Therapy Program Director.

Leahy added, “The demand for occupational therapists is growing exponentially as the demographics of Vermont and the country ages. UVM will now have state-of-the-art occupational therapy classrooms and labs that will put the school at the national forefront of training Vermonters in this growing field.

Building plans include pediatric, outdoor and anatomy labs and a “smart apartment” featuring accessible technologies and modifications that can maximize independence and improve quality of life for people with disabilities or seniors as they age in place.

The project represents a significant investment to develop Vermont’s premier occupational therapy degree program and address a critical need for occupational therapy services in the state.

“The College of Nursing and Health Sciences provides an excellent interprofessional health care educational setting for the occupational therapy program,” said Dean Noma Anderson. “Occupational therapy students will study together at a college with faculty and students in nursing, physical therapy, speech pathology, public health, exercise science, and laboratory science.”

The new pediatric lab will help children develop self-confidence and motor skills important for functioning and socializing. The space will also facilitate collaboration between students in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology graduate programs, enhancing future potential for interprofessional collaboration to maximize progress during therapy.

The “smart apartment” simulation lab will feature accessible technologies and home modifications in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living spaces, allowing students and community members to test high-tech solutions. tech and low tech that can support independent living. The outdoor lab will help people learn how to engage in desired activities outside the home.

The proposed anatomy lab will serve as a professional lab for all students in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

“We are grateful to HRSA and Senator Leahy for their commitment to meeting state and regional occupational therapy workforce needs and providing funding that makes possible the implementation of a new academic program. at the University of Vermont,” said UVM Provost Patricia Prelock. “This funding ensures the creation of an innovative experiential learning infrastructure for our students that will ultimately benefit children and adults who struggle to meet their daily needs.

Construction is expected to begin in 2023.


Established in response to a statewide need for occupational therapy education and services, Vermont’s first entry-level occupational therapy program blends traditional classroom learning with experiential and community learning opportunities to help students learn to work together as members of a health care team, an essential function for the highest quality, patient-centered health care. The UVM Occupational Therapy program has been granted Candidate status by the Accreditation Council for Professional Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association. To learn more, visit go.uvm.edu/occupationaltherapy.


Part of an academic health sciences hub that includes UVM Health Network and Larner College of Medicine, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences enrolls approximately 300 graduate students and 1,000 undergraduate students in four academic departments: Science Biomedical and Health Sciences, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Nursing, and Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences. The CNHS calls students to a higher standard of care and teaches them to transcend divides for the benefit of patients, to become leaders among the next generation of culturally competent healthcare professionals. Rigorously trained to collaborate with colleagues from all areas of healthcare, graduates join the workforce ready to bring value to the work of their team members, champion the voice of a struggling patient and to foster exemplary interprofessional, compassionate and family-centered services. In this close-knit ecosystem of healthcare education, research, and practice, students train to serve society and their patients, with better outcomes for all.


Since 1791, the University of Vermont has worked to advance humanity. UVM’s strengths align with the most pressing needs of our time: the health of our societies and the health of our environment. Our size – large enough to offer a wide range of ideas, resources and opportunities, but intimate enough to allow close mentorship between faculty and students at all levels of study – allows us to pursue these interconnected questions through interdisciplinary research and collaboration. Providing an unparalleled educational experience for our students and ensuring their success is at the heart of what we do. As one of the nation’s premier land-grant universities, UVM advances Vermont—and society at large—through the discovery and application of new knowledge.

UVM is derived from the Latin “Universitas Viridis Montis” (University of the Green Mountains)

9.6.2022. BURLINGTON, Vt. – The University of Vermont


Comments are closed.