Mary Kasch Scholarship: Carrying the Torch of Hand Therapy Giants

Sarah DiDomenico
Posted by Sarah DiDomenico Ogburn, MS, OTR/L, WCC, CHT on 01/04/2018

Receiving the 2017 Mary Kasch Hand Therapy Certification Scholarship has meant the world to me.

The scholarship itself allowed me tremendous learning opportunities as I prepared to take the CHT Exam. Having access to resources such as webinars, review books and practice exams made preparing for the CHT Exam much less daunting.

Moreover, through the process of applying for this award, I was able to better appreciate the great leaders in the hand therapy field – past and present. It was such a pleasure to reflect on the life and contributions of Mary Kasch through the application process. Without pioneers and visionaries like her, the specialty of hand therapy would not have the recognition, respect and positive patient impact that it does today. I also had the pleasure of interacting with the leadership of the Tri-Alliance upon receiving my award. I cannot say enough about their professionalism and commitment to supporting, equipping and motivating aspiring CHTs. As I develop my career and clinical knowledge, and as I sit for the CHT Exam, I truly feel as though I am “standing on the shoulders of giants.”

With the great honor of becoming a CHT comes great responsibility. Leadership, mentorship and a zeal to continue learning ought to be trademarks of every CHT. To me, passing the CHT Exam will be like picking up the torch that leaders such as Mary Kasch ignited. How can I press forward to improve the profession of hand therapy and ultimately patients with hand injuries? Personally, my answer to that question is advocacy, teaching and research. To know a lot is impressive, but to share that knowledge and to persevere in exploring unanswered questions is paramount. I am fortunate to have been mentored by CHTs at my clinic who model this behavior extremely well. When I become a CHT, I look forward to being an exemplar alongside these heroes of mine.

I would like to thank the Mary Kasch Scholarship Committee, valued leadership and members of the ASHT, HTCC and AHTF, as well as generous donors. Your hard work and dedication to fostering learning inspires newer therapists like me.

I look forward to being a CHT like Mary Kasch: dedicated to my patients, my peers and the next generation of hand therapists.

After writing this post, Sarah DiDomenico Ogburn, MS, OTR/L, WCC, CHT passed the November 2017 certification exam, earning her CHT credential.

The Mary Kasch Hand Therapy Certification Scholarship is a financial scholarship awarded to a well-deserving occupational therapist or physical therapist preparing for the Hand Therapy Certification Examination. The scholarship is valid for the November 2018 and May 2019 examination. (If you do not plan on taking the exam on one of these dates, please do not apply this year.) The application window for the scholarship is open now through March 1, 2018. To learn more, please visit the scholarship information page. To apply, please complete the online application