Walsh University Appoints Dr. Bernadette Schmeltz Interim Program Chair of Occupational Therapy

Walsh University has appointed Dr. Bernadette Schmeltz as the Interim Program Chair of Occupational Therapy within the School of Behavioral and Health Sciences. Dr. Schmeltz brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her new role, where she will oversee the graduate programs in occupational therapy, including the master's, post-professional doctorate, and new entry-level doctorate programs.

With over 23 years of clinical practice as an occupational therapist, Dr. Schmeltz's appointment underscores Walsh University's commitment to excellence in healthcare education. She is licensed in both Ohio and Pennsylvania and has worked across various settings, including acute care, outpatient, pediatrics, skilled nursing, and inpatient rehabilitation. Additionally, Dr. Schmeltz owns a small private practice specializing in driving rehabilitation, demonstrating her dedication to advancing occupational therapy services.

"Dr. Schmeltz's extensive experience and qualifications make her the ideal candidate to lead our occupational therapy programs," said Dr. Pam Ritzline, Dean of the School of Behavioral and Health Sciences. "Her leadership will undoubtedly elevate the quality of education and training we provide to our students, preparing them to excel in the field of occupational therapy."

Prior to joining Walsh University, Dr. Schmeltz served as an Assistant Professor at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania for four years. Since joining Walsh University in 2023, she has served as a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Occupational Therapy Program, where she has already made significant contributions to the department.

Dr. Schmeltz holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy from Chatham University. She is also certified as a Lymphedema Therapist, Board Certified Telepractice Specialist, and Driving Rehabilitation Specialist. In addition to her academic and clinical achievements, Dr. Schmeltz serves as the Chair for the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee.

Dr. Schmeltz's appointment is effective immediately.