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    Photo Jamie Leone

    January 23, 2023

    Jamie Leone ’22: Forge Your Own Professional Path

    Jamie Leone ’22 recalls the advice she received shortly after enrolling in Le Moyne’s master’s degree program in occupational therapy. Don’t be afraid to forge your own path in this field, particularly as it continues to grow and evolve. Leone took those words to heart as she began building her career. She committed herself to being curious and observant, someone who is self-possessed, open to change and committed to a lifetime of learning.


    Today Leone works at Engage Therapy and Wellness, which offers occupational, physical and speech therapy to people with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke or concussion. Every day she meets with six to eight patients, each with specific, personalized goals related to their health and well-being that require different interventions and accommodations. Leone helps them to cultivate the skills they will need to live as fully and independently as possible. In addition to working with patients one-on-one, she leads a regular exercise class for people living with Parkinson’s disease, with movements designed specifically to help improve their strength and agility. 


    Leone first became drawn to the profession when her grandfather became ill and began receiving OT as well as physical therapy. The Central New York native immediately saw the impact the profession could have on people’s lives and knew that she wanted to be part of it. She began the process of applying to different graduate programs, and found that Le Moyne’s close-knit environment, supportive faculty members and holistic approach to education appealed to her.  


    “It checked all of my boxes,” she recalled.


    As Leone looks to the future, she remains committed to growing as a clinician so that she can advocate for her patients and accompany them throughout their journey toward recovery, as she prioritizes their physical, emotional and mental well-being.   


    “The most rewarding part of this work is helping to make people’s everyday lives a little bit easier and more meaningful,” she said.


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for occupational therapists like Leone is expected to grow by 14 percent between 2021-2031.


    “Now is an outstanding time to enter the field of occupational therapy because our country and the world have a growing list of significant and complex problems that need fixing and occupational therapists have a unique skill set that can contribute to solving those problems,” said Caitlin Esposito, OTD, OTR/L, chair of Le Moyne’s OT program. “Occupational therapists regardless of the setting they work or the population they serve, are trained to find innovative and creative solutions that allow for improved participation in the day to day for all people, populations, and communities. In my opinion we offer hope and that is something many may be short on after the last several years.”



    This is part of a series of stories about Le Moyne’s master’s degree program in occupational therapy. Since its founding, the program has earned a reputation for providing students with exceptional academic preparation, as evidenced by consistently high program outcomes. Those outcomes include the current 100 percent pass rate on the National Board Certification Exam and a 95 percent graduation rate. Students learn from faculty members with diverse expertise and graduate well prepared to become general occupational therapy practitioners. They possess a deep understanding of the human body and how it moves and deep respect for human life that is reflected in the care they provide for their patients. 




    Category: Alumni in Action