Health and Happiness Start at Home: The World of Occupational Therapy with Shivanti Kariyawasam and Melissa Stutzbach

April 22, 2024
by Oluchi Pitts, Associate, Marketing at Rebuilding Together National

Step into the world of occupational therapy in our latest podcast episode, where we sit down with Shivanti Kariyawasam, Senior Manager of Programs, Research and Impact at Rebuilding Together’s national office, and Melissa Stutzbach, former Vice President of National Programs and Impact at Rebuilding Together’s national office. These dedicated occupational therapists bring a blend of personal experiences and professional expertise to their roles, shaping how they approach their work and making a lasting impact on the lives of others.

Shivanti's upbringing in a multigenerational household ignited her passion for working with older adults and their families. Growing up in an environment where aging in place with chronic health conditions was a daily reality, Shivanti gained insight into the challenges faced by seniors. This firsthand experience fuels her commitment to empowering individuals to remain safely and independently in their homes.

Melissa's journey to occupational therapy began with a simple act of kindness—volunteering and providing friendly visits to older adults. These interactions not only shaped her career path but also instilled in her a deep-seated belief in the importance of home accessibility and safety. Melissa's personal experiences, including her father's recent diagnosis of Alzheimer's, have fueled her advocacy for home modifications that enable individuals to safely age-in-place.

As we celebrate National Occupational Therapy Month this April, we invite you to learn more about Shivanti and Melissa’s journeys as Occupational Therapists in this episode of [Re]Builders, only on Spotify. Don’t forget to tune in on the third Thursday of every month for new episodes!