Free conference to focus on caring for caregivers

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (March 11, 2013) — The Milligan College Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program will present a conference for caregivers on Saturday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Boones Creek Christian Church in Gray, Tenn.

The conference is titled “CARE for Life: Caregivers Adapting Routines to Enhance Quality of Life.” The focus is on caring for caregivers. It is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Doors open at 8:30 a.m.

“CARE for Life will address caregivers’ needs by providing tips and techniques on how to make their lives a little easier,” said Karyn Garland, an OT student and one of the conference organizers. “Caring for yourself is one of the most important and one of the most often forgotten things you can do as a caregiver. When your needs are taken care of, the person you care for will benefit, too.”

The conference will include useful information and inspiration for people who care for friends or family at home, as well as professional caregivers who work in home-health or nursing facilities.

Rachel Ellis, the academic fieldwork coordinator of OT at Milligan, will be a keynote speaker for the conference. She has been an occupational therapist for six years and holds an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy from East Tennessee State University, a bachelor’s degree in public health administration from ETSU and an MSOT from Milligan.

Ellis’ focus has been primarily with geriatrics in skilled nursing facilities and home health. She has taught a course in home modification and currently instructs portions of the geriatrics course. She also has developed a therapeutic gardening program for a skilled nursing facility and assists with graduate projects focusing on healing through helping others.

The conference will feature four break-out sessions led by second-year OT students. They will focus on topics such as “Self-Care for the Caregiver,” “Making Memories: Adapting Activities to Do Together,” “Relaxation for Stress Management” and “Health and Laughter.”

Dr. Christy M. Fellers, associate professor of OT at Milligan, also will speak at the conference. Fellers has 13 years of experience providing occupational therapy services to adult populations. She worked full time for seven years as an acute care OT in a level 1 trauma center, where she specialized in the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with neurological illness or injury. She has also worked in outpatient rehabilitation, inpatient rehabilitation and several local skilled nursing facilities.

Also participating in the conference is Dr. Jil Smith, associate professor of OT at Milligan. She coordinates graduate and school based projects that provide services and support the community programs such as the Crumley House Brain Rehabilitation Program and Dawn of Hope.

Online registration is now open. To register or to learn more about Milligan’s MSOT program, visit or call Kristia Brown at 423.975.8010.

Information Session: Monday, April 15, 6-7:30 PM @ Milligan College


MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan College, visit or call 800-447-5922.

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