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Need to attract attention to health sciences and technology

carmen dijovinCOLUMBUS, OH – Carmen DiGiovine, PhD, ATP/SMS, RET, new chair of RESNA, believes educational opportunities for students specializing in assistive and rehabilitation technologies are approaching a “critical mass” .

DiGiovine, a clinical professor at Ohio State University, who is building a new assistive rehabilitation technology certification program, talks about the growing interest in the profession in academia and his new role as president of RESNA. I’m here.

HME News: You have been involved with RESNA in various capacities. How did you get involved in the first place?

Carmen DiJovin: After all, it is serendipity. That’s how many people join her RESNA in the first place. I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the professors I worked with were doing research on wheelchair racing and invited speakers about this organization called RESNA. I ended up attending his 1994 annual conference in Nashville. From there, RESNA has always been a way for me to address challenges related to assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering.

HME: What do you think you could propose as president?

Dijobin: I love learning, what does it take to coach others to be their best, personally and professionally? I am passionate about teaching people to take on leadership roles.

HME: What are your top priorities as president?

Dijobin: It may sound cliche, but my focus is on the strategic planning of the organization. He has two goals. 1) professional and educational development and 2) value enhancement. I am clearly an avid advocate of education and one of the things I personally try to do is create pathways for students interested in assistive technology and rehabilitative engineering. It matches the first goal. Another priority is our annual conference, which aligns with both goals. We learned what it takes to hold a virtual conference and create educational content that meets real learning goals. , now you know how you can do it all year round.

HME: How did assistive technology and seating and mobility get more and more attention in academia?

Dijobin: We’re getting to a point where it’s no longer difficult for people to get into this space. We have reached that critical mass. In college, there are engineering pinnacle projects and there are always student groups interested in design projects for people with disabilities. Fast-forward five years and there’s an influx of those students, and it’s truly a fusion of her two disciplines: health science and technology. There are over 30 students enrolled in Ohio State University’s accredited programs, and we’ve reached capacity for courses that teach assistive technology. The University of Pittsburgh, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the University of Illinois at Chicago feel they have paved the way for other universities to step up and meet the needs of a growing number of students who want to combine their interests in health sciences with those in health sciences. increase. technology. There is an interest in it and we need to find a way to capture it.

HME: How will RESNA continue to evolve in the future?

Dijobin: It’s all about emerging technology. I often say that we are in the field of technology integration. Think about what you can do by incorporating and fusing technologies from various fields. The fundraising environment has taken some of the fun out of it, so it’s part of our RESNA role and advocacy. But what really excites people within organizations is new technology and technology integration.