Member Feature - Sue Nelson

My name is Sue Nelson

I have been an occupational therapist since 1953, when the University of Minnesota awarded me a bachelor of science degree in occupational therapy. In professional life and in my private life I have followed the philosophy of helping others and problem-solving in many diverse environments and cultures.

My practice has been in the VA system during the Korean War, with the blind, juvenile amputees, and infants with developmental disabilities. I am an OT thru’ and thru’. Sometimes folks ask me when I retired. But I don’t think I really have. In OTAO, I have a long history of wearing many hats and it is very exciting to gain numerous friends and meeting the challenges of professional projects. The legislature process is one that had my attention, and in 1974 I partnered with OTAO in gaining state licensure. I was then involved in the development of the OT school at Pacific University, was SOTA advisor for 10 years and was then on the Advisory Board for 10 years.

My greatest accomplishment in life is having 2 wonderful children, a daughter living in Seattle and a son in Colorado. And they, in turn, blessed us with 4 wonderful grandchildren.

So since we don’t have any family around us, (and since I am not retired !) my last 4 years have been spent writing a book about OTAO We have so many things to brag about and the professional development of our communities, that I felt those accomplishments should not be forgotten. I have been fortunate enough to know and worked with most of the grey-haired OTs that are still living. When I moved here in 1957, there were only 19 OTs in Oregon. So when my book comes out (hopefully by the state conference in October 2017) you will just be dying to buy one and read about those people who started occupational therapy in 1947.

Also, my book is being published by Pacific University, and all proceeds will go towards the Audrey Kerseg Fellowship Fund. This fund was established in 1997 in
memory of my mother. She, and our family have always been interested in International travel. Out of the Fund, awards are made to qualified students who are interested in doing international fieldwork.

And, yes, I still have the travel bug, and probably will, as long as someone can push my wheelchair up the ramp.

Three cheers for Occupational Therapy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sue Nelson