Capella University PhD graduate awarded the 2005 Minnesota Occupational Therapy Research Award

January 12, 2006

Capella University PhD graduate Kristine Haertl has received the 2005 Minnesota Occupational Therapy Research Award for “Excellence in Clinical Work, Teaching, and Research in Mental Health.” Capella University is an accredited online university headquartered in Minneapolis. More than 13,000 learners are enrolled in Capella’s undergraduate, master’s and PhD online degree programs. Haertl earned her PhD from Capella’s Harold Abel School of Psychology.

The award in part recognizes the research Haertl conducted for her Capella PhD dissertation, which was titled “Factors Influencing Success in a Fairweather Mental Health Model.” The study focused on factors that contribute to success, satisfaction, and retention in the Fairweather model, a peer-supported housing model in which four or five people with mental illness live together and provide support to each other in order to empower themselves to take charge of their recovery.

Haertl’s dissertation research influenced the Minnesota Legislature’s decision to include Fairweather mental health lodges in the definition of “evidenced-based practices,” and the Pennsylvania Legislature to fund new initiatives for more Fairweather lodges in Pennsylvania.

“I am honored to have received this award, and to know that my research has made a positive impact on the field of mental health,“ Haertl said. “This experience has inspired me to continue conducting research and promote findings that improve mental health opportunities and outcomes for all members of our society.”

Haertl is an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn.