Award-winning occupational therapy alumna gives back to CSU

Teresa Boynton
Teresa Boynton

Teresa Boynton, Occupational Therapy alumna, donor, and Alumni Association member, has been a strong advocate for safety in patient care throughout her career. Boynton was recently recognized with a prestigious award for her development of an assessment tool for care providers to improve safety while assisting patients.

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy presented Boynton with its NBCOT Innovation Award for her development of the Bedside Mobility Assessment Tool or BMAT. This award recognizes certified occupational therapy practitioners who demonstrate the delivery of an evidence-based, effective, and innovative program or intervention that enhances the quality of life for a person or persons.

Getting a start at CSU

Boynton received her Bachelor of Science in psychology from CSU in 1973 and her Master of Science in occupational therapy in 1989. While at CSU she met her husband Bruce, also a 1973 CSU grad. The couple have both had long and fulfilling professional careers before retiring.

They have two children, a son, Christopher, and daughter, Brooke Boynton Hughes, who graduated from CSU with a B.F.A. in 2002, and two grandchildren. They are CSU Alumni Association members and have consistently given back to CSU as donors, supporting multiple areas, including Student Diversity Programs and Services, the Wanda Mayberry Scholarship in the Department of Occupational Therapy, Rams Against Hunger, and the College of Health and Human Sciences. Read more about Teresa and Bruce in this member spotlight in CSU’s AlumLine.

For Boynton, giving back to CSU remains a priority which she attributes to her experience as a student.

“With the support of Ellie Gilfoyle, former head of the CSU OT department and then dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences, I was fortunate to receive two CSU fellowships when I pursued my masters in OT,” she shared.  “I think it’s important to give back and assist other aspiring OTs to reach their goals, have fulfilling careers, and promote a great profession. Bruce and I really appreciate all of the opportunities to give back and support the wonderful work CSU continues to do.”

Boynton recently became a member of the College of Health and Human Sciences Executive Leadership Council, a group that works closely with Dean Lise Youngblade to support and advance the college.

“Teresa and Bruce have been incredibly loyal and steadfast supporters of CSU over the years,” said Youngblade. “I was so pleased when Teresa recently accepted my invitation to join the CHHS Executive Leadership Council. Her professional experience, passion for occupational therapy, and deep roots at CSU will make her an instrumental voice on this very important Council.”

Occupational therapy career

Teresa Boynton hiking
Teresa Boynton hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand with Mount Ngauruhoe, also known as Mount Doom, in the background.

After earning her OT degree, Boynton spent 15 years working for an outpatient industrial rehab clinic, part of Banner Health. She then because the ergonomics and injury prevention specialist for 11 hospitals in the Banner Health Western Region. Boynton also led Banner’s Safe Patient Handling and Mobility program, where she developed, validated, and implemented the award-winning Bedside Mobility Assessment Tool designed for care providers to help maintain a safe environment. It is also instrumental in supporting patient outcomes as it decreases risks associated with immobility and the negative effects of bedrest, including falls.

The effectiveness of Boynton’s contributions has resulted in the use of safe patient handling and mobility programs (SPHM) nationally and internationally across multiple settings, including acute care hospitals, pediatric units, outpatient facilities, and ambulatory care clinics. After 26+ years with Banner, Boynton worked as a clinical consultant for Hill-Rom traveling to hospitals throughout the U.S. She helped build SPHM programs with a focus on effective education and training, protecting patients by mobilizing early and often, and improving efficiency and patient outcomes while increasing caregiver safety using a standardized assessment linked to SPHM interventions.

Although mostly retired, Boynton is currently an independent clinical consultant at Mobility Consulting and Presentations, LLC.

About the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy

The NBCOT is a national not-for-profit organization that provides certification to over 180,000 occupational therapy professionals to serve the public interest. The organization develops, administers, and continually reviews its certification process based on current and valid standards that provide reliable indicators of competence of occupational therapy practice.

The Department of Occupational Therapy is a part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.

Arlee Walls contributed to this story.