Monica S. Clark, OTD, OTR

Assistant Professor

Dr. Monica S. Clark is an Assistant Professor and the Clinic Coordinator for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a double minor in biology and art from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas, in 2004. Two years later, she earned her master’s in occupational therapy from Texas Woman’s University in Dallas, Texas. After eight years of clinical experience, she went back to Texas Woman’s University for the inaugural class of their Doctor in Occupational Therapy program. She earned this degree in 2016 with a focus on Stroke Rehabilitation.  

Clinical Experience

With over 16 years of clinical experience, Dr. Clark has worked in a variety of settings: acute care, inpatient and outpatient mental health, outpatient adults and pediatrics, skilled nursing, home health, and inpatient rehab. However, her niche is working with the acute neurology population. Early in her career, she worked as a travel therapist. This made her flexible and knowledgeable about a variety of payment systems, the effect of regional culture on therapy goals, and alternative methods of treatment.

Additionally, she started numerous occupation-based and psychosocial programs at a local hospital, including vision, cardiac, oncology and antepartum programs. She opened an inpatient rehab during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was ranked in the top 10% of the U.S. for quality within three months. It is currently one of the top rehabilitation centers in San Antonio.

Teaching Experience

Demonstrating her commitment to the professional development of others, Dr. Clark has supervised more than 20 fieldwork students in the clinical setting, including doctoral capstone students. She started a mentorship program for new graduates and continues to mentor past students and team members. She has also developed an on-site clinical fieldwork program to ensure flexibility based on student learning styles.

As previous adjunct faculty member for six years, she has taught a multitude of classes to include professional communication, theory development, neurology lab, adult service delivery, OT process and scholarly inquiry. Dr. Clark was nominated by past students and rewarded the Clinical Educator of the Year Award from the Texas Occupational Therapy Association for her enthusiasm for growing and mentoring students. Additionally, she has presented at numerous conferences on leadership and management techniques as well as occupation-based program development. She is one of the founding faculty for building the OTD program's curriculum and design.

Grants and Research

Using Narratives in OT Treatment, the title of her master’s thesis, was her first endeavor into scholarly inquiry. Using music with the stroke population, creation of occupation-based programs in the acute setting, and increasing the visibility of occupational therapy are several of Dr. Clark’s other research interests. She is in the process of publishing an article about creating an occupation-based Antepartum program based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act model as well as the development of a therapy protocol for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), which was crucial to the survival of numerous COVID+ clients.

More recently, Dr. Clark is a co-investigator for a $5.2 million grant awarded from the Department of Education to bring more mental health professionals into area school systems (Mental Health Service Providers Demonstration). The grant provides scholarships for UIW OTD students, the creation of trauma-informed training, and a pathway program for high school students to successfully enter the profession.

Community Involvement

Currently, Dr. Clark is the chair for the Alamo South District of the Texas Occupational Therapy Association (TOTA) where she serves the occupational therapy community in South Texas. Following her passion and experience with mentorship, she has created an ad-hoc committee on mentorship to develop a mentorship program for Texas OT practitioners. The program is in its first year, with plans to become a permanent benefit to TOTA members in the future.

Additionally, she serves as a consultant to Hutch Farms, a nature therapy program for children with trauma. Recently, she became the UIW representative for the San Antonio Special Olympics Committee. Finally, she founded the Occupational Therapy Benevolence Endowment, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping OT practitioners and students after a significant life event.