Parent Page: Research Centers & Labs id: 25674 Active Page: Health-Promoting Activity Lab (Health-PAL)id:28945

Health-Promoting Activity Lab (Health-PAL)

In the Health-Promoting Activity Lab (Health-PAL), we improve participation and reduce disability in adults and their care partners with chronic conditions through the use of health-promoting daily activity. Our projects deliver empowering and goal-oriented treatment to older adults with multiple chronic conditions and functional limitations and find innovative ways to integrate occupational therapy into existing healthcare systems.

Grant Funding

Presbyterian Health Foundation New Investigator Seed Grant
Behavioral Activation and Occupational Therapy: An Innovative Approach for Empowered Self-Management of Multiple Chronic Conditions
07/01/22 – 07/31/23

Publications and Press


Participate in our Research






Our People


Tara C. Klinedinst, PhD, OTR/L

Tara Klinedinst, PhD, OTR/L

I am an occupational therapist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Allied Health at OUHSC located at the Schusterman Campus in Tulsa. I was thrilled to join OUHSC in October of 2021 following doctoral training at Colorado State University and a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. My research projects address two core foci 1) interventions to prevent and reduce disability and improve participation in health management in adults and their care partners with chronic conditions, and 2) integrating occupational therapy into primary care clinics using evidence-based screening and referral pathways. I am an active member of the Gerontological Society of America and the American Occupational Therapy Association. I am interested in growing interdisciplinary partnerships that will improve health care experiences and outcomes for older adults and their care partners.  During my free time, I enjoy camping, hiking, biking, and swimming with my husband, daughter, and dog, Sammy.

Research Interventionist

Nicole Colvin, OTR/L
Research Interventionist

Nicole Colvin

I am an Occupational Therapist and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Allied Health at OUHSC in Tulsa, where I graduated with my Master of Occupational Therapy degree in 2018. I joined the Health-PAL study as a Research Interventionist in late 2022. I am driven to use creative problem-solving strategies to promote independence and quality of life for people throughout the continuum of care, more recently working with people in their homes. I'm also a Pure Barre obsessed, travel enthusiast, avid baker, and hot tea drinker. 

Graduate Research Assistants

Kiernin Lewis, OTS
Lab Manager


I am a first-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy Student at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. I obtained my bachelor's from Oklahoma State University in May and promptly moved back home to Tulsa to begin graduate school. While at OSU I majored in Applied Exercise Science with an emphasis in Strength and Conditioning. My degree has allowed me to further my understanding and passion for exercise, nutrition, and coaching. My other interests include pediatrics, NICU, women's health, and exploring my potential in research. In my free time, I love running, taking my dog, Lily or “Goon”, on short walks, reading, and binge-watching embarrassingly bad reality tv.

Sarah Joseph, OTS
Graduate Research Assistant

Sarah Jospeh

I was originally born in Chennai, India and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma where I have been living with my family for 19 years. I attended Oral Roberts University where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in Pre-Occupational Therapy. I am now in my first year in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. I am excited to begin my journey in embracing the creativity of Occupational Therapy. My areas of interest include pediatric and adult neurology. My free time endeavors include antiquing, being a food junkie, and exploring the best spots in town.

Grace Keese, BS, OTS
Graduate Research Assistant

Grace Keese

I received my bachelor's in Exercise Science and Management from the University of Central Oklahoma before beginning the University of Oklahoma’s Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program in the Tulsa location in 2023. A previous professor in my undergraduate class expressed that we would likely only work on physical or mental health in our professions. I wanted a career that incorporated both and proved that this is not the way society has to function. That is how I found occupational therapy, a holistic approach to a person’s enhancement or adaptation to life. My areas of interest include mental health for pediatrics, prenatal care, reproductive health, and neurological rehabilitation. I like to read, garden, travel, take care of my dogs, and complete random crafts in my free time.


Amna Ahmed, MBBS
Amna Ahmed

I was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. As a result, I had the opportunity to observe firsthand how the socioeconomic determinants of health contribute to a variety of complicated medical presentations. I studied at Dow university of Health Sciences and completed my clinical rotations at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center where I served the underprivileged people. I am so grateful for these institution for giving me the resources to pursue my interests. My areas of interest in research are primary care and chronic care innovations, as well as oncology and palliative care. I am also interested in Global public health, reproductive and children's health. I am so excited to be a part of the Health-PAL lab which will provide me an amazing opportunity to learn and become a seasoned physician. In my free time, I like to work out with my husband, go hiking, bake, and socialize.

Heather De, OTS

I am a Tulsa transplant from Minneapolis where I attended the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. I received my bachelor of science degree in Kinesiology and moved to Tulsa to become a fourth-grade teacher with Teach for America. After some great experiences I was finally ready to complete my dream of becoming an occupational therapist and am now a first-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy Student at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. I am fueled by my caretaking experiences with my family to help others live life to the fullest in every condition. My areas of interest include chronic pain management, mental health, and geriatrics. When not in the health sciences buildings, you can find me streamside flyfishing with my husband almost every weekend in our local rivers and lakes. We also love to travel to new wilderness areas to camp and hike.

Mia Koch, OTS
Mia Koch, OTS

Although born in Oklahoma City, Mia spent most of her life by the beach in Virginia.  Mia received her Bachelor's degree in psychology from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia where she was a member of the women's golf team. Mia is a third-year doctor of occupational therapy student at Shenandoah University and an aspiring researcher. Her broad research interests are caregiver ethics, palliative care, productive aging, and cognition. Together, Mia and Dr. Klinedinst are working on a few projects to address rehabilitation providers' experience with Native American caregiver training. In her free time, Mia likes to garden, read, and spend time outdoors. Mia is rarely seen without her dog, Scout, a Nederlandse Kooikerhondje, who is training to become a therapy dog if he could ever learn how to "leave it." Mia and her preschool-sweetheart-now-fiancé are moving to Oklahoma City and getting married next summer.