Thomas Fisher

Dr. Thomas Fisher retired from Indiana University (IU) after twenty years of dedicated service. During his time with IU, he served as Department Chair of Occupational Therapy, Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the IU campus in Indianapolis. In addition, he then served as the Dean of the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences at Indiana University South Bend campus. He is a Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus as of July 2022. In the Dwyer College of Health Sciences, he led the School of Nursing, the School of Applied Health Sciences, the School of Rehabilitation Science. In addition to these academic units, he had the responsibility for a Dental Clinic, Medical Clinic, and Speech & Hearing Clinic. The Graduate Professional Programs (Master of Science in Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Language Pathology) are at the IU South Bend Elkhart Campus in Elkhart Indiana.

Dr. Fisher received his BS in Occupational Therapy from Indiana University School of Medicine at IU in 1977, his MS in Education from Purdue University in 1983, and a post-masters Education Specialist (EdS) degree in Educational & Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 1995. His PhD in Psychology is also from the University of Kentucky in 2000. s.

Prior to his tenure at Indiana University, he was faculty at Eastern Kentucky University, for eight years, as well as part-time faculty in the Department of Occupational Health in the College of Medicine at University of Kentucky.

“Thom” as he likes to be called held multiple leadership roles in the Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association and Indiana Occupational Therapy Association. Before entering academia full-time, he practiced for 18 years full time in several practice areas: mental health, pediatrics, home health, SNF, acute care, out-patient and inpatient rehab, holding positions as a staff occupational therapist, supervisor of OT & PT, Director of Outpatient Therapy Services & Director of Occupational Medicine services for a large rehabilitation hospital in Lexington Kentucky. He has been a certified case manager since 1994. He served as an injury prevention specialist for a national skilled nursing organization. He currently is self-employed doing consulting, medical acting and case management. He is also an instructor for course preparation for the NBCOT Exam through TherapyEd International.

Dr. Fisher served on the AOTA Board of Directors twice, once as the Vice President. He served on many commissions and committees throughout his professional career. He was inducted into the Roster of Fellows of the AOTA in 1994. He received the Lindy Boggs Award twice for successfully leading licensure in both Kentucky and Indiana. In 2016, Thom was the recipient of the AOTA Award of Merit, the highest award given to an occupational therapist through the AOTA, recognizing his significant contributions to the profession. At the AOTA Centennial Celebration in Philadelphia (1917), Dr. Fisher became one of the 100 Most Influential People in Occupational Therapy, in its first 100 years of the profession. 

Dr. Fisher is married. They have five children and five grandchildren. He and his wife reside in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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