Dr. Penina Weiss

Department of Neurology and Occupational Therapy at NYU Steinhardt School of Education, July 2015

My name is Penina Weiss and I am an American born Israeli. I am an occupational therapist (PhD).

Over the years, I have had the privilege of making a substantial contribution to the development of the neurological and cognitive sub-specialties in Occupational Therapy at the Beilinson hospital at Rabin Medical Center, for the benefit of our patients.

I developed the cognitive–neurological outpatient services in which we carry out cognitive assessments, intervene and provide instruction to patients and their family members. Our patient population suffers from a variety of neurological conditions (Parkinsons' disease, dementia, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Stroke survivors, Adult ADHD, etc.).  The purpose of the interventions are to enable patients to live life to its fullest, with and beyond disability, thanks to strategy training and compensatory techniques provided in the interventions.

Additionally, following my exposure to the  field of driving rehabilitation in the scientific literature, while I was doing my Master’s degree, I traveled to the United States to study and became one of the leading Occupational therapists in Israel in promoting the field of Driving rehabilitation: clinically, in theory and research. I convinced the hospital management to enable the occupational therapy departments to develop this field, and as of now we provide services to patients whose medical fitness to drive may be compromised. I am currently collaborating with a number of leading physicians in the hospital on research projects relating to medical conditions and driving. I teach driving rehabilitation at Tel Aviv University and am often a guest lecturer at professional conferences.

My areas of interest are acute care occupational therapy, assessments and interventions for cognitive-perceptual impairments suitable in acute care and OT outpatient clinics, chemo-brain, driving rehabilitation, family caregiver education and training.

The fellowship offered would be a wonderful opportunity to update, learn and develop tools to further advance interventions for the acute care and outpatient neurological populations in the hospital. One of the major setbacks in medical care today is the gap between the time scientific evidence is published and the time it is carried over into practice.

The opportunity provided by the OT department at NYU, working together with YaelGoverover, Associate professor with over 30 published scientific papers, combined with exposure to best clinical practices, will definitely enable me to bring innovative and up to date cognitive assessment and rehabilitation methodology and practice back to Rabin Medical Center.

I would like to try and combine three professional related experiences—an academic learning experience, a clinical exposure and participation in a professional conference if possible.

Past Fellows