Parkinson’s Researcher Named OT Director

November 12, 2012

Experience in the classroom and in the clinic highlight the occupational therapy career of Nathan “Ben” Herz, the most recent addition to the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences (MDCHS).

The former associate professor and program director at Georgia Health Sciences University was named founding director of Mary Baldwin’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program, one of the first OTD post-baccalaureate programs in the nation.

During the past 20 years, Herz held numerous positions in private practice and served on the faculty of institutions with respected occupational therapy programs. At Georgia Health Sciences University, Herz treated clients in the Movement Disorder Clinic and devised unique therapeutic strategies for patients with Parkinson’s disease using the Wii and WiiFit game systems.

“Dr. Herz comes to Mary Baldwin with a wealth of experience as a professor, clinician, and researcher,” said Linda Seestedt-Stanford, founding vice president for health sciences. “He is passionate about OT and cares deeply about creating a quality Doctor of Occupational Therapy program that will reach out to our community to support health and rehabilitative initiatives.”

Herz is treasurer for the American Occupational Therapy Association. He previously served that organization as research and educational liaison for the administration and management special interest section. Herz earned his OTD at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and his MBA from Averett University in Danville. In addition to his education at Averett, Herz’s ties to Virginia include positions at Jefferson College of Health Sciences and clinical and private business experience around the state.

The announcement of Herz’s hiring comes less than a month after the groundbreaking at the Fishersville site for the new health sciences facility. MDCHS plans for the first class of students to enroll in June 2014.