About Integrative Education
Our Mission: To create a community of passionate, life longer learners who support pediatric intervention services
To create a safe learning environment that fosters curiosity and engagement in the learning process in a meaningful way.
To set the foundation for clinical reasoning that allows practitioners to find the right tools to improve the lives of the clients or students that they serve.
To inspire speakers to create innovative methods and connections of concepts that move our generation forward.
I have always loved learning! As a pediatric occupational therapist, the more continuing education (CE) courses I went to, the more I realized how much there is to know & how much more there is to learn. As a young therapist I was fortunate to connect with the folks at Camp Avanti, an OT treatment intensive model embedded in a summer camp setting, where I was introduced to & learned techniques from leading pediatric therapists that changed how I practice. Every year one of my go-to places for CE courses was attending the annual PDP Symposium and later the RAIR Symposium, both spearheaded by Eileen Richter. These conferences were a trusted source of information from dynamic speakers and brought together therapists from around the Twin Cities metro, Midwest & country – I connected with old friends, colleagues, and beloved Camp Avanti therapists. There were few CE companies that I enjoyed learning from, so I looked forward to at least once a year knowing that I would have the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business and fuel my connection with other like-minded professionals.
That all changed in 2018, when Eileen announced her retirement and the end of the RAIR Symposium. It was about this time that I was leading a team of amazing therapists providing OT services to charter schools. My goal was to support my team, so when staff surveys came back saying they wanted more ways to connect with other professionals & more learning opportunities, the wheels started turning. I got this crazy idea to take over the Symposium, approached Eileen with my quest, and thus began Integrative Education. Eileen & I partnered for the inaugural 2019 Integrative Education Symposium, that was well received with enthusiasm & excitement. The 2020 event brought in 400+ registrations over our 3-day event, which was such a blessing to be a part of not knowing that a few weeks later the world would shutdown due to a global pandemic. The spring of 2020 spurred me to think more about how to connect people when we felt so isolated, how to adapt to the new online world of learning, and how to bring the spirit of the Symposium to other learning opportunities. Live webinars, on-demand courses, and the soon to launch Lunch & Learn series was born out of this inspiration.
We are excited to serve you! To inspire you. To become that trusted source of learning for you, that Eileen and her Symposia were for me. Stay curious my fellow practitioners. I look forward to connecting with you at our next event!
Heather Schmidt, MS, OTR/L
Founder, Integrative Education