Heather Roberts staff photo

Jan 04, 2019 / Spotlight

Get to Know our SRH Staff: Heather Roberts, Research Occupational Therapist

What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love that there is always something new to learn when it comes to research. It is great to explore the unknown with my amazing colleagues. You always hope for certain outcomes, but truly never know the result until the end.

What’s your favorite thing about the hospital? 
The supportive environment you receive as an employee, plus the individualized treatment we provide for our patients.
Describe a typical day.
Currently, I am planning and implementing “Pirate Camp.” A constraint induced movement therapy program for children with hemiplegia (paralysis of one side of the body). I work with a fabulous team to recruit patients, explain the intervention to families, score and analyze the outcome measures, complete IRB paperwork, analyze data and write abstracts, grant proposals and manuscripts. I also sit on the UT Southwestern (UTSW) Institutional Review Board (IRB), where I work with a UTSW committee and review research proposals from Scottish Rite Hospital, UTSW and Presbyterian Healthcare Systems; ensuring the proposal meets all necessary requirements. 

Explain the role of an IRB member.
The IRB at UTSW is a committee of physicians, scientists and community members that serve to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects. All research projects conducted by employees/physicians/students which involve living humans require review and approval by the IRB. Scottish Rite Hospital utilizes the UTSW IRB. Committee members ensure compliance with UTSW policies and procedures as well as federal, state and local laws. The board is very diverse, bringing together physicians, therapists, scientists across gender, race, ethnicity and affiliation. This allows each member to bring unique experiences to the discussion of the proposal.
How long have you worked here?
Since 2003
What made you want to work here?
The hospital has always had a reputation in the community for providing leading edge services to the children they treat. I wanted to be a pioneer to explore and provide evidenced based therapy services.
What skills do you need for your job?   
I was recently described as being a three-headed monster - an occupational therapist, a faculty member at Texas Woman’s University plus a research coordinator. Time management, patience and attention to detail are key, as I am always multi-tasking.
What was your first job?  
I taught gymnastics while in high school and college.
What path did you take to get here? 
I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Saint Louis University and then worked for about a year in my hometown of Belleville, IL. I moved to Texas and started working at Scottish Rite Hospital while completing my Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration, from UT Arlington. I was encouraged by Dr. Delgado and Nancy Clegg, Ph.D., to pursue further education. I then completed my Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman’s University.
What is your favorite…
  • Hospital event:  Pancake Breakfast
  • Food in the cafeteria: Tomato Basil soup and desserts
  • Place in the hospital: Allen Shivers Park 
What’s your favorite…
  • Place to travel: Belize
  • Type of food: Italian
  • Movie: Love Actually
What’s the last book you read?
On the Night You Were Born

Learn more about our Therapy Services at the hospital. 

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