Susan Stark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is a Professor of Occupational Therapy, Neurology and Social Work and Co-director of the TL1 Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Stark earned a master’s degree from Washington University and a doctoral degree from the University of Missouri.
She is currently Principle Investigator of the Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory in the Washington University Program in Occupational Therapy, where she conducts research focusing on the influence of the environment on the occupational performance and participation of community-dwelling older adults with chronic conditions. The goal of her work is to support aging in place and to prevent falls. To achieve these aims, she conducts clinical trials and implementation studies among community-dwelling older adults (including medically unserved older adults) and promotes the participation of older adults with functional limitations through the provision of intensive, tailored environmental interventions that are designed to enhance the performance of daily activities.
Stark conducts community-based clinical trials and interventions, focusing on the implementation of evidence into clinical practice. These nationally recognized interventions, including home modification and fall-prevention programs, have been adopted by multiple organizations where she has held voluntary leadership positions, including the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging, the St. Louis Naturally Occurring Retirement Community, and Home Services, Inc.
Through evidence-based research and innovative community collaborations, Stark has developed a variety of educational and therapeutic strategies that serve to enhance safety and improve the overall quality of life for older adults.