Susan L. Stark, PhD, OTR/L
Susan L. Stark, PhD, OTR/L, assistant professor of occupational therapy, of neurology and of social work, is being honored for her outstanding community contributions that enable older adults to safely age in place.
Through evidence-based research and innovative community collaborations, Stark has developed a variety of educational and therapeutic strategies that serve to enhance safety and improve the overall quality of life for older adults. These nationally recognized interventions, including home modification and fall-prevention programs, have been adopted by multiple organizations where she has held voluntary leadership positions, including the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging, the St. Louis Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC), and Home Services, Inc., a local organization that provides free assessments, home modifications and repairs for aging adults wishing to remain in their own homes.
With her extensive community collaborations, Stark has been able to offer outstanding clinical and research opportunities for her students, regularly instilling in them her own passion for community service. Together, she and her students offer hundreds of free fall-prevention workshops, nutritional evaluations and home assessments to older adults each year.
She has been a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging and is a past recipient of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Cordelia Myers Writer’s Award and the Arlene and Meyer Kopolow Award for excellence in geriatrics, psychiatry and neurology. In 2010, she was named the Most Influential Therapist by Therapy Times.
Stark earned her master’s degree from Washington University and received her doctoral degree from the University of Missouri.