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Department of Occupational Therapy

Jessica Harney

Program Director, Entry-Level OTD Programs
Senior Lecturer

Jessica Harney

Jessica Harney

Program Director, Entry-Level OTD Programs
Senior Lecturer

Phone 617-627-5921
Collaborative Learning & Innovation Complex (CLIC)
574 Boston Ave, Medford, MA

Program director of the EL-OTD program and senior lecturer in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Tufts University, Jessica has a B.S. from Boston University and a DPT from MGH-Institute of Health Professions. She is a Senior International Medical Classifier for World Para-Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding, members of the International Paralympic Committee. Jessica is the president of New England Disabled Sports, a 501-c(3) providing year-round adaptive sports for individuals with cognitive or physical disabilities.

Jessica has experience in evaluating and treating patients in a variety of settings, including acute inpatient and outpatient settings. She has a strong interest in orthopedics and sports medicine for young athletes. Jessica also has a vast amount of experience in hospital administration, having managed and directed a rehabilitation department. Carrying forth her passion for community outreach, Jessica has experience in developing and implementing health promotion programs for children, young athletes and adults. Her programs have focused on exercise and nutrition for children, strength and conditioning for young athletes, concussion education and exercise programs to reduce low back pain in the adult population.

Clinical Studies

As a Senior International Paralympic Classifier for World Para-Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding, I have the privilege to evaluate alpine ski and snowboard athletes from all over the world with different physical dysfunctions. Classification is an integral piece to elite competition, placing athletes in classes based on their physical abilities. The 12 alpine skiing classes allow athletes to compete on an equal playing field for fair competition. I believe that proper didactic and clinical training of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and physicians is critical to the classification outcome. As a result I have worked on a team of international health care professionals to assist in developing training for current and potential classifiers. Training must be client/athlete centered but also needs to demonstrate the hands-on physical assessment skills for various physical disabilities.

DPT, MGH-Institute of Health Professions
OT, Sargent College, Boston University

Rehabilitation Management, Evaluation and Treatment of physical dysfunctions, Evaluation and Treatment of Orthopedic Dysfunctions in the Athlete, Concussion Management and Education, Adaptive Sports as a Rehabilitation Tool

Research Interests: 

Adaptive Sports, Concussion Management of the Athlete and Student, Professional development of the Health-Care Manager

Selected Honors and Awards: 
  • AOTA Academic Leadership Institute
Selected Professional Activities: 
  • President, New England Disabled Sports
  • International Classifier – World Para-Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding
Professional Memberships: 
AOTA; National Board Certified Occupational Therapist
Massachusetts License; National Board Certified Physical Therapist
Selected Publications and Presentations: 


  • APTA CSM Short Course Accepted: From Catastrophic Injury to the Paralympics: How can Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants be involved in every step of the process?
  • AOTA 2020 Short Course Accepted: From the Clinic to the Classroom: The Role of Occupational Therapy Along the Continuum of Pediatric Post-Concussion Care
  • AOTA 2020 Poster Accepted: Developing a Level II Fieldwork in a role-emerging practice area: Adaptive snow sports


  • International Paralympics Expert Meetings: What does functional trunk performance assessment tell us about sports performance?
    American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists, New England Chapter Conference: Amputation to Elite Athlete: Opportunities for Patients in Adaptive Sports.


  • AOTA Education Summit: Community Based Practice-Bringing Students to New Heights


  • AOTA Poster Presentation:Parks for Aging Populations: Promoting Physical and Social Well-Being


  • MAOT: "Look aHEAD: Occupational Therapy's Role in Concussion Management"


  • Harney, J (Fall/Winter 2013) "Sports Related Concussions: Look aHEAD and Protect Your Athlete" Challenge Magazine (34)
Teaching/Courses Taught: 
OTS 204: Topics in Emerging Practice Areas
OTS 211: OT Foundations
OTS 233: Mangament
Previous Courses: Health Conditions, Clinical Reasoning, O&A Adult, Health and Community Systems