Patty’s Story

Dr. Patricia J Scott- Occupational Therapist- Educator- Transplant Recipient

Pattywith poster

Professional qualification: An academician with over 20 years of experience, Patricia J Scott, PhD, MPH, OT, FAOTA,  currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at Indiana University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Transplant Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Her academic degrees in Occupational Therapy (BS), Public Health (MPH) and Public Policy Analysis (PhD) give her a broad perspective on the relationship between productive health and lifestyle, and the health care system. She is a licensed occupational therapist.

Personal qualification: Dr Scott was diagnosed at age 27 with Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH). Her disease was managed though courses of steroids until age 45 when she had liver failure, with severe hepatic encephalopathy. Her first transplant in 1998, was complicated by hepatic artery stenosis, followed by a Hickman misplacement causing a bi-lateral brain-stem stroke in 2000. Two years later she had a spinal lymphoma, and in the course of chemotherapy was withdrawn from immunosuppressant drugs.  This withdrawal resulted in  chronic rejection requiring re-transplantation 5 years after the first transplant. Despite her nearly 7 years of continuous hospitalizations, she has not only survived, she has dedicated her life to assuring future transplant patients have access to evidence based information about recovery, and how to lead a healthy productive life following transplant.

Relationship to the transplant community: During the time of her transplants Dr. Scott lived in Miami. She became involved in the Transplant Foundation INC and was responsible for the Annual Education Forum. In this Forum, medical professionals from the University of Miami Transplant Service presented cutting edge research and Dr Scott presented her research on recovery and post-transplant wellness. She was a trainer for the Transplant Mentor Program, representing the Foundation in places such as the University of Edmonton Transplant Center in Alberta Canada, and John’s Hopkins in Baltimore. In 2006 she was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Foundation. She started formally researching the experiences of people with recovery in 2004. In 2007 she and her husband Karl moved to Indianapolis where she maintains an active research agenda at the Indiana University Health Hospital in Indianapolis.

Personally, her path to wellness has led her to be a frequent speaker on transplantation, and an active participant in the US Transplant Games, where she is the recipient of many medals in swimming. In 2003, she and her husband Karl were featured on an A&E documentary about transplantation.

Accomplishments: In 2012 Dr Scott received the Allied Health Research Award from the American Society of Transplantation. This award is in recognition of her work in collecting evidence to measure the recovery process following liver transplantation. This research was started with a grant from the Transplant Foundation in 2008. Progress to this point includes many published manuscripts, national and international professional presentations.

To follow the course of her disease and how she integrated work, family and her repeated hospitalizations,  read the article she wrote in OT practice about her experience.

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