AOTA Appoints New Editor-in-Chief of American Journal of Occupational Therapy

BETHESDA, MD (June 10, 2014)—The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has appointed Lorie Gage Richards, PhD, OTR/L, as the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT). Richards is chair of and a tenured associate professor in the Division of Occupational Therapy at University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

“I am honored to assume the Editor-in-Chief role for the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, occupational therapy’s flagship journal,” said Richards. “I’ll work to maintain the prestige of the journal by continuing my predecessor’s efforts to raise its reputation among health care researchers, educators, and the general health care community by increasing the number and quality of submissions. I’ll also work to increase the impact factor by emphasizing the publication of high-level evidence for occupational therapy practice and education.”

The American Journal of Occupational Therapy is the official journal of the American Occupational Therapy Association, which represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 140,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. It is a peer-reviewed publication with a current 5-year impact factor of 2.021. AJOT focuses on research examining the effectiveness and ef´Čüciency of occupational therapy practice so that occupational therapy and other health care professionals can make informed, evidence-based decisions in their practice.

AJOT publishes six times each year in print with additional supplements online. For more information, visit or

As Editor-in-Chief, Richards will plan issues, solicit manuscripts, edit articles, maintain relationships with contributors, and manage the peer review process. In addition, the editor-in-chief will work to maintain and increase the journal’s impact factor and work with the AOTA Evidence-Based Research Project to publish content furthering the profession’s research base. The position is a 3-year appointment starting July 1.

Richards earned a B.S. in occupational therapy from Elizabethtown College in 1983, a M.S. in psychology in 1989 and a Ph.D. in psychology from Syracuse University in 1992. An active AOTA member, Richards also chairs the Nursing and Rehabilitation Committee at the American Heart Association, and sits on several academic committees at the University of Utah’s College of Health. She has acted as a journal reviewer and member of the editorial boards for dozens of academic journals, including the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Psychological Reports.

Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 140,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to

To schedule an interview with Richards or AOTA Press Director Christina Davis, call Media Relations Manager Katie Riley, 301-652-6611, ext. 2963, or e-mail,