Heather Locasha

Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Program

(319) 226 2522

Office Hours:

Heather Locasha joined Allen college in August 2023. She joins with a wide range of clinical experience and interest areas including assistive technology, adult intervention, therapy leadership, and program development. She has experience in a wide range of settings including acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient for adults and pediatrics, home health, skilled care, and long-term care. Heather spent the majority of her experience working in the inpatient rehabilitation setting and developed a strong passion for care for neurological conditions such as brain injury, spinal cord injury, and stroke. In 2018, Heather pursued a leadership position as an inpatient therapy manager for occupational, speech, and physical therapy at UnityPoint Health Allen Hospital. During her 5 years as a manager at Allen, Heather completed many process improvement and program development plans including leading a remodel and move of the department, implementing clear competencies and performance review plans, collaboration with the Emergency Department and the Intensive Care Department for best therapy practices, and guiding the department through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heather’s future vision within academic practice includes completing her Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational Therapy training, improving professional therapy education to shorten the research to implementation gap, OT’s role in obesity management including program development and intervention, and immersion of “off the shelf” technology for utilization of assistive technology within general occupational therapy practice.

Joined Allen College: 2023
Joined UnityPoint:

Currently enrolled for Ph.D. of Occupational Therapy, Nova Southeastern University (anticipated graduation 2026)
MAOT, Saint Ambrose University (2010)
BA, Psychology, Saint Ambrose University (2009)

Professional Certifications:
Certified Brain Injury Specialist

Professional Memberships:
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

Teaching Concentration:
Foundations of Occupational therapy, Health & Wellness, Culture in Healthcare, Leadership

Heather’s research interests include obesity management within occupational therapy practice, assistive technology innovation and integration.

Community/College Service:
Graduate Health Science Curriculum Committee
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Curriculum Committee
Graduate Admission, Progression, & Graduation Committee

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Allen College?
I enjoy developing students in their education process to become an occupational therapist. Seeing the sparkle in a learner’s eyes when concepts begin to “click” and seeing a strong passion for occupational therapy emerge is one of my favorite things about teaching others. I am excited to continue to grow the field of occupational therapy scholarship by collaborating with my students in their research projects.