Learning Hands On: Development of a Pro Bono Pediatric OT Clinic at Rutgers University

I developed a handbook of guidelines and suggestions for a pro bono OT pediatric clinic, with the long-term vision to have a year-round clinic with continued involvement of capstone students.

Student name: Lindsey Zadok
Name of Mentor: Aaron Dallman, Ph.D., OTR/L; Stephanie Hubbell, M.S., CCC-SLP
School: Rutgers University, School of Health Professions
Capstone setting: Rutgers University
Virtual / In-person / Hybrid: In-Person

Capstone Objectives:
Primary Outcome:

  • Develop handbook of guidelines and suggestions for an OT pediatric clinic.

Secondary Outcomes:

  1. Improving and gaining knowledge on running a clinic as well as providing adequate service for pediatric clients.
  2. Demonstrating professional reasoning and competence in developing and implementing best practices for clinic programs/services.
  3. Develop and pilot the initial clinic services to gain insight on logistics for future implementation of the clinic.
  4. Improving interpersonal and advocacy skills to allow for better community-based service provision from OTs to pediatric clients.


  • Meet with stakeholders that already had existing clinics within the university that were similar in terms of goals and purpose
  • The need for the clinic in terms of academia as well as the community was established.
  • A mentorship was also established with level II pediatric fieldwork students to determine the gap in knowledge and preparing students from academic classes to fieldwork
  • Literature review
  • Pilot clinic → creation of proposal/handbook


  • This experiential and project set out to investigate two things: a peer assisted learning approach and feasibility of a student clinic.
    • Both the level II students and the year I student when participating in peer-to-peer mentoring increased confidence levels. Students reported increased levels of professional reasoning, clinical competency and overall confidence of pediatric OT skills.
    • Main concerns when looking to establish a clinic were space, faculty need, clients, costs, and sustainability


  • Community clinics developed in Universities allow for all stakeholders to gain something.
  • There are many models for university clinics and from meeting with other existing clinics and piloting our own clinic it was evident that an educational-service model with a peer-to- peer approach was the most beneficial for all stakeholders.
  • These kinds of clinics allow for all kinds of service and learning experiences and can be utilized to teach students about other professions when treating the same client- cotreat (SLP, PT, Nutrition, etc.)
  • School-based OTs whose clients get free services and might not received outside services should refer clients to these clinics

2-3 ideas for future directions to build on on this project:

  • The next steps of this clinic are future implementation. In the fall of 2024 this clinic will be piloted into the OTD curriculum working with level I students and the pediatrics courses.
  • The long-term vision is to have a year-round clinic with continued involvement of capstone students.

Reflections on how you see this project influencing your OT career trajectory:

  • This project allowed me to work with pediatrics more as this is a population I would enjoy working with in my future career. This project also allowed me to see the facilitators and barriers of creating a clinic if I ever wanted to open a practice in the future.

Capstone Final Presentation.pdf (232.0 KB)
Capstone Manuscript Factsheet.pdf (224.7 KB)