The American Health Council has cordially invited Lisa Bader, OTR/L to join its prestigious Occupational Therapy Board, in recognition of her contributions to the field of Occupational Therapy.
As a young child, Mrs. Lisa Chiburis Bader was extremely active and played soccer competitively and regularly. This however, led to Mrs. Bader undergoing three knee surgeries and frequent physical therapy sessions. Mrs. Bader also liked the idea of teaching, but after exploring physical therapy further, she realized that occupational therapy would enable her to combine teaching and therapy in one profession. With a clear career path in mind, Mrs. Bader went on to study for her B.S. in Occupational Therapy at Creighton University, successfully graduating in 1996.
For the past 23 years, Mrs. Bader has worked as an Occupational Therapist at the CUMC-Bergan Mercy Medical Center (CHI Health). CHI Health is a regional health network with a unified mission: nurturing the healing ministry of the Church while creating healthier communities. Headquartered in Omaha, the combined organization consists of 14 hospitals, two stand-alone behavioral health facilities, a free-standing emergency department, more than 150 employed physician practice locations and more than 12,000 employees in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa. CHI Health brings together 15 acute care hospitals, 4 behavioral health facilities, 2 specialty hospitals, over 120 clinics, and multiple health services across the Nebraska and Iowa region.
Currently, Mrs. Bader specialises in the developmental outcomes of premature infants, however, her role has evolved over the course of her 23 year service. When Mrs. Bader started with the hospital, the NICU started requesting orders for Occupational Therapy for patients with Spina Bifida and other obvious “therapy” needs. She then became more of a developmental specialist in addition to Occupational Therapist, working on treatments and assessments for these fragile patients. One of Mrs. Bader’s jobs is to train nurses on proper positioning and developmental care of ‘preemies’. Furthermore, Mrs. Bader created individualized treatments for the babies based on several research studies and conferences. She wrote and developed a systematic delivery of therapy services for premature infants called The Ladder Approach in addition to a Training Module for NICU Therapists based on national guidelines. This revolutionary concept helped to remove the guesswork when considering appropriate treatments for premature infants at risk of poor developmental outcomes.
Mrs. Bader wrote the “Ladder Approach” in 2012 (revised in 2017) and has been using it since 2009 in her NICU with great success. She also invented a head shaping device, which is patent pending, and is currently being used at 17 different hospitals to correct head shape deformities acquired in the NICU. Her company is called “ The Shape Right System LLC”, where Mrs. Bader also works in a consulting capacity with nurses and therapists in the NICU. In addition, Mrs. Bader shares her work at www.OTPTintheNICU.com where people can read her articles and purchase her “Ladder Approach” and “Training Module” manuals.
Mrs. Bader spends a significant amount of time working with students and is an active member of several organizations including the American Occupational Therapy Association, the National Association of Neonatal Therapists, and Infant Massage USA. She is also a recent board member for The Foundation for Premature Infants based in Atlanta, GA. The esteemed professional has been officially recognized for her impressive contributions to the field, and was awarded the Nebraska Occupational Therapy Practitioner of the Year in 2010. She also received the Spirit of Mission Award from the hospital in 2011.
Looking back at her successful career to date, Mrs. Bader attributes her success to her passion for the work she does, both academically and clinically. She also enjoys support from her family, as her older sister is an Occupational Therapist and her twin sister is a Physical Therapist.
Looking to the future, Mrs. Bader plans to go back to school and earn a Doctorate degree, while continuing to undertake various research projects with doctorate students through Creighton University’s doctoral Occupational Therapy program. She is keen to continue mentoring students and would love to grow her involvement in research. Mrs. Bader eagerly awaits the approval of her patent for the head shaping device and hopes to continue to grow her personal companies.
When not busy working, Mrs. Bader, along with her husband, participates with her two teenage sons’ many sporting activities and show choirs and always looks forward to their family vacations. She is also extremely charitable and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Foundation for Premature Infants, as well as volunteering her time to the March of Dimes.
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NICU Occupational Therapist Allegiant Health Bergan Mercy Medical Center (CHI Health)
- CHI Health is a regional health network with a unified mission: nurturing the healing ministry of the Church while creating healthier communities.
- Headquartered in Omaha, the combined organization consists of 14 hospitals, two stand-alone behavioral health facilities, a free-standing emergency department, more than 150 employed physician practice locations and more than 12,000 employees in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa.
Professional Awards & Honors
- Awarded Nebraska Occupational Therapy Practitioner of the Year in 2010.
- Received the Spirit of Mission Award from the hospital in 2011.