Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

The latest positive news written by residents and organizations in our community.

OTD Program Awarded $100,000 Grant

Huntington University’s doctoral program in occupational therapy (OTD) has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation over a period of four years.

“We’re thankful that the English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation has come alongside us to support our investment in doctoral level education and in the Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana community,” said Dr. Ann McPherren, vice president for strategy & graduate/adult programs and professor of business and economics. “Our first class of graduates in 2017 will be better prepared to serve others because of the Foundation’s generosity.”

Dr. Beth Bright, occupational therapy program fieldwork coordinator, was instrumental during the grant process.

“We wanted a grant that would not only benefit current and future students, but local practitioners,” Bright said. “We’re very grateful for English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation. It will not only affect OT student education, but future research projects conducted by students, faculty and local researchers. We really hope to give back and further the medical field through the use of the equipment purchased with the English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation grant.”

The grant provides general support funds for the OTD program in Fort Wayne. Over the next four years, Bright and the OTD faculty will purchase additional educational equipment and technology for the 96 OTD students and 10 full- and part-time occupational therapy faculty.

“Our program is built on a foundation of laboratory and research activities,” said Dr. Ruth Ford, director of occupational therapy. “The grant helps support our focus areas in pediatrics, adaptive activities and fall prevention.”

The English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation is a charitable trust dedicated to providing financial support for not-for-profit organizations in the greater Fort Wayne area. It was established in 1972 as a tribute to Dr. Calvin English – the first medical director of the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company. A Fort Wayne native, Dr. English was instrumental in the formation and success of Lincoln Life. His wife, sister-in-law and daughter established the Foundation to honor Dr. English and to continue his legacy of community enrichment for the city he loved.

The Foundation has awarded more than $5 million to charitable organizations in the last year. Its criteria in selecting recipients mandates that organizations must be operated for public purposes and qualify for not-for-profit status.

Huntington University’s doctoral program in occupational therapy promotes students’ development in faith, health, leadership skills, advanced practice, research and professional service. Students complete clinical experiences in Indiana, across the country and internationally. The program was granted candidacy status by the American Occupational Therapy Association in April 2014 and launched in August 2014 with the first full class of 32 students and will welcome an additional class of 32 in fall 2015.

For more information about Huntington University’s OTD program, visit