Jennifer Pitonyak PhD, OTR/L, SCFES, CIMI

Jennifer Pitonyak MS, OTR/L, SCFES, CIMI

Jennifer Pitonyak PhD, OTR/L, SCFES, CIMI

Vice Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy

Interim Program Director, Master of Occupational Therapy

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

Education

BA (Allegheny)

MS (Washington University)

PhD (University of the Sciences)

Research Interests

Jenny is interested in maternal and infant health policy, family mental health, breastfeeding promotion, nutrition and preventative health-care, sensory processing and self-regulation, evidence based practice, and clinical reasoning in occupational therapy. She has conducted projects on the scholarship of teaching and learning, and was the lead investigator on the pilot study, The Occupation of Mothering: Mother-Infant Social Engagement using Infant Massage, a collaborative project with The Philadelphia Department of Health, Division of Maternal Child Health.

Synopsis

Dr. Pitonyak earned a Ph.D. from University of the Sciences, an MS from Washington University in St. Louis and a BA from Allegheny College. She holds AOTA Specialty Certification in Feeding, Eating and Swallowing.    She recently presented a series of webinars on topics in pediatric and family mental health for OccupationalTherapy.com.

Occupational Roles

Mother, Wife, Doctoral Student, Occupational Therapist, Educator, Traveler, and Outdoor Enthusiast

Occupational History

Jenny joined the faculty at USciences in 2007 and teaches a variety of courses in both the Master and Doctor of Occupational Therapy Programs.  She has been on the Roster of Accreditation Evaluators for the American Council of Occupational Therapy Education since 2004 and has served as an officer for POTA District V.  She defended her doctoral dissertation, “The Contexts of Life Course Health Development Associated with Exclusive Breastfeeding in the United States” and graduated with a Ph.D. in health policy in May 2013.

Jenny balances her work with family roles and other leisure interests of running and gardening.  She and her husband, who is also an Occupational Therapist, love to travel and spend time outdoors with their children.  They especially love traveling, hiking, and camping in the Pacific Northwest.

Education 

Jenny received a Bachelor of Art in Psychology from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  Her doctoral studies were completed at University of the Sciences.   

Clinical Practice

Jenny has worked as an occupational therapist in a variety of pediatric and community-based practice settings, including Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore and the feeding program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  She recently mentored a group of graduate occupational therapy students in a project developing a parent support group for mothers in Philadelphia’s Healthy Start Program.  She holds specialty certification in feeding, eating, and swallowing and is a certified infant massage instructor.

Selected Scholarly Activity

Recent Juried Presentations:

Kearney, P., Mendonca, R., & Pitonyak, J. (April 26, 2013).  Infusing cultural competence across an occupational therapy curriculum. Workshop at the Annual American Occupational Therapy Association Conference.  San Diego, CA. 

Pitonyak, J., Jessop, A., Parvanta, C., Pontiggia, L., & Crivelli-Kovach, A.  (October 28, 2012).  Sociodemographic & life course factors that impact exclusive breastfeeding:  an analysis to inform health policy.  Poster presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Conference.  San Francisco, CA.

Pitonyak, J.  (October 4, 2012).  Contextual factors that impact occupational engagement in exclusive breastfeeding.  Poster presentation at the annual research symposium of the Society for the Study of Occupation:USA.  Portland, OR.

Pitonyak, J.  (April 28, 2012).  Infant massage for mother-infant social participation.  Poster presentation at the Annual American Occupational Therapy Association Conference.  Indianapolis, IN. 

Pitonyak, J.  (April 12, 2012).  Community partnerships:  program development for family wellness & social participation.  Poster presentation at University of the Sciences Annual Faculty/Student Research Day.  Philadelphia, PA. 

Pitonyak, J. (November 2, 2011).  Infant massage classes in a Healthy Start Program: a pilot study of mothers’ satisfaction and knowledge. Poster presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Conference. Washington, DC.

Pitonyak, J. (October 28, 2011).  The occupation of mothering. Poster presentation at Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference. Erie, PA.

Pugh, E., Haas-Mahoney, M, Snyder, J., and Pitonyak, J.  (October 29, 2011).  Post-partum depression:  supporting families in co-occupations.  Poster presentation at Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference.  Erie, PA. 

Pitonyak, J. (September 27, 2011).  Infant massage classes in a Healthy Start Program: a pilot study of mothers’ satisfaction and knowledge. Poster presentation at Pennsylvania Public Health Association Annual Fall Conference. Philadelphia, PA.

Pitonyak, J. (September 16, 2011).  Infant massage classes in a Healthy Start Program: a pilot study of mothers’ satisfaction and knowledge. Poster presentation at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Fourth Annual Pediatric Global Health Symposium. Philadelphia, PA..

Pitonyak, J.  (2011).  Developing community partnerships for family wellness.  Presentation at the Annual American Occupational Therapy Association Conference.  Philadelphia, PA. 

Kearney, P., Pitonyak, J., Blumberg, P., and Schroeder, S.  (2011).  Effective teaching for student learning in classroom environments:  Strategies for clinicians in guest lecturer, adjunct or new faculty roles.  Presentation at the Annual American Occupational Therapy Association Conference.  Philadelphia, PA. 

Dimayuga, K., Graff, K., Patel, M., Pitonyak, J., and Schroeder, S.  (2010).  Is there really a developmental frame of reference?  Presentation at the 33rd Annual Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association Conference.  Scranton, PA. 

Pitonyak, J. (May 10, 2010).  Problem-based learning using popular media.  Poster at the Innovations in Teaching Poster Session at University of the Sciences..

Recent Invited Presentations:

Pitonyak, J. (May 8, 2013).  Interventions for the co-occupation of feeding: considerations for the experienced clinician. Live webinar presented for OccupationalTherapy.com

Pitonyak, J.  (December 19, 2012).  Opportunities for OT in breastfeeding promotion:  environmental & contextual interventions.  Live webinar presented for OccupationalTherapy.com

Pitonyak, J.  (August 1, 2012).  Infant massage:  an intervention for the occupation of family social participation.  Live webinar presented for OccupationalTherapy.com.

Pitonyak, J.  (July 6, 2011).  Infant Massage for Social Participation.  Inservice training to staff at Youth Services Powelton Village Home.  Philadelphia, PA. 

Pitonyak, J.  (November 18, 2010).  Evidence Based Practice in Public Health.  Presented to Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Division of Maternal Child Family Health.

Pitonyak, J. (July 14, 2010).  Infant Massage: Teenage Mothers Engaging with their Babies.  Presented to Youth Services clients and staff, Chestnut Street Home, Philadelphia, PA.

Contact Information

Office location: 4500 Woodland Ave Room 129
Mailing address: Box 8
University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 215.596.8694
Email:

j [dot] pitonyak [at] usciences [dot] edu