Rising Star Award
The Rising Star Award recognizes an emerging leader in the health and rehabilitation professions whose record reflects his or her ongoing and exceptional growth in practice, research or service; demonstrated leadership and commitment to furthering his or her profession.
Benjamin Gross (Occupational Therapy, MOT '10)
BS – University of Pittsburgh, Psychology, 2006
MOT – University of Pittsburgh, 2010
While at Pitt, Benjamin Gross established the Distinguished Occupational Therapy Advocating Committee, a group that raised funds to support the efforts of organizations that ensure inclusion and coverage of OT services at national and state levels. A strong interest in international affairs and diversity led him to a year-long volunteer experience working with individuals from Israel. He was awarded a Jewish Healthcare Foundation Fellowship to explore ethical issues in the U.S. health care system. Benjamin was nominated by OT faculty for participation in Bridging Cultures, a summer program at Ataturk University in Erzurum, Turkey, and was selected to represent Pitt in the international diversity program. He organized hands-on education events for high school students, including ones that encouraged underrepresented students to pursue degrees in the health sciences and initiated the organization of the Rehabilitation Sciences Interdisciplinary Journal Club.
Currently, Gross is an occupational therapist with both Bayada Home Health and Therapy Matters, Inc., in Phoenix, Arizona. He has not only been transforming lives every day through his clinical and community practice, but also puts his heart and soul into elevating the field of occupational therapy and rehabilitation services. After identifying a need in his community, he founded Transformative Therapy Services, which aims to help clients achieve their goals of living independent and meaningful lives. He specializes in vocational rehabilitation for adults with traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and other neurological or mental health diagnoses.
Gross has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association with the Student Award of Recognition and by Pitt OT with the Award of Professional Excellence. He was also selected for the highly competitive American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Emerging Leaders Program. In 2018, he received the Arizona Occupational Therapy Association’s (ArizOTA) Outstanding OT of the Year Award. He has been a past president of ArizOTA, presenter at the Brain Injury Alliance, panel speaker for the BASC Workshop at the AOTA Conference and is a member of the state of Arizona’s Governor’s Council on Spinal and Head Injuries. Most recently he has been elected to vice chair of AOTA’s Affiliated State Association Presidents (ASAP) which started in July 2020.