Hazel L. Breland, PhD, ORT/L, FAOTA, CLA, assumes the role of ARHP president in October. She is the 50th person to hold that honor, and the organization’s first African-American leader.
Explore this issueOctober 2018
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“Several things came together at one time that I didn’t necessarily think about when I was asked what my aspirations in the organization were in terms of executive leadership,” says Dr. Breland, associate professor and academic fieldwork coordinator of occupational therapy at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), where she is also the director of the Dr. Raymond S. Greenberg Presidential Scholars Program. “What I hope to do is continue to have a passion for interprofessionalism and putting that on everybody’s radar, … yet I want to also maintain a focus on those things that are important to me—diversity, inclusion and those who are underserved in rheumatology.”
When Dr. Breland first began attending the University of South Carolina, she thought she might become an electrical engineer, in part because she was skilled at math. But she ultimately chose to pursue occupational therapy (OT). It was during this time she learned the important role OT had played in her father’s life as he recovered from several major on-the-job injuries that required surgery. He worked in construction when she was young.