Our officers serve in a volunteer capacity. The 2020-21 officers are:
Hilary Valentine, President
Hilary graduated from Boston University in 2006 with her Masters in Occupational Therapy. Upon graduation she moved to Hawaii and has never looked back. She has worked in a variety of settings including Rehab Hospital, SNFs, assisted living, and started the OT department at Manakai O Malama with focus on health and wellness OT services in a primary care setting. Hilary recently stepped away from Manakai in pursuit of her own business, Windward Maternal Wellness, focusing on serving the community through in-home women’s and maternal health OT services. Hilary hopes to increase membership and active involvement from OTs in all practice settings during her time as OTAH president. When not advocating for OT in growing practice areas, Hilary can be found at Kailua beach with her husband and 2 daughters.
Stacie Kamitaki, Treasurer
Stacie received her Bachelor’s Degree in business at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA and her OTD from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Since then she has moved back home to Honolulu in 2016 and has been working at Kaiser Permanente with adult patients in the outpatient setting. Outside of work Stacie enjoys staying busy with trying new foods, staying active, being outside, and enjoying the company of family and friends.
Kara Crosson, Secretary
Kara is born and raised in Hawaii and is a graduate of Creighton University where she received her OTD. She currently works in the outpatient setting at Kaiser Permanente. Kara has been a member of OTAH since 2010 and has served as secretary since 2019. What she enjoys most about occupational therapy is interacting with her patients as she helps them get back to their meaningful activities.
Steve Nakata, Honolulu Board of Directors
Steve is a Rehabilitation Services Supervisor at Kaiser Permanente Oahu Clinics. After graduating from Kapiolani Community College (KCC) Occupational Therapy Assistant program in 1989, Steve worked part time at Queen’s Medical Center for a year while employed full time at Rehab Hospital of the Pacific for 9 years and is currently employed at Kaiser Permanente for 22 years.
Steve has served as past treasurer and president on the OTAH board and is currently serving as Oahu director.
Steve holds an AS from KCC, BS in Healthcare Administration, and MBA from University of Phoenix.
Claire Nagatori, Outer Island Board of Directors
Claire received her BS in OT from the University Puget Sound in 1983. After completing her fieldwork assignments in Washington state, she moved back home to Oahu. Worked for 9 years at Hawaii State Hospital and then 2 years at Kalihi Palama Mental Health Clinic as a Vocational Rehab Specialist. Later she moved to Hilo to work at Hilo Medical Center. She would rotate working on all the units including acute behavioral health, acute medical/ surgical, long term care, home health, and in the outpatient clinic. For the past 7 years, She primarily worked in the outpatient clinic. She is grateful to be a part of an amazing profession and for this opportunity to represent the outer island therapists.
Kari Whitaker, Education Committee Chair
Kari Whitaker graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science (cum laude) and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. She started her occupational therapy career in acute care rehabilitation with additional experience in inpatient rehabilitation and subacute rehabilitation settings and is currently working full time in outpatient rehabilitation services. Kari has future goals to pursue certifications in both hand therapy and neurological disorders in outpatient rehabilitation.
She maintains current active status with NBCOT and Hawaii State Licensure and is a current member of AOTA and OTAH. She has been chairperson or member of OTAH’s education committee for over 10 years including planning and executing the annual state conference and variety of seminars as well as other continuing education opportunities. OTAH had its first virtual conference October 2020, which was a completely different undertaking and learning experience all on its own! In addition, Kari has been a guest lecturer at KCC’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program.
Kari enjoys participating in volleyball and basketball activities; fun fact – she has successfully finished 3 marathons. She loves spending time with her husband and two energetic sons.