Dr. Tamara Mills is an Occupational Therapist, educator, researcher and entrepreneur. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 1999 at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Dr. Mills then matriculated at the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a post-professional Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy in 2000, and a graduate level certificate in Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology in 2001. In 2004, she earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Mills was the first African-American woman to earn a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Science. After her graduate studies, Dr. Mills completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Center for Outcomes Research at Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation (KMRREC) in West Orange, New Jersey. Her research agenda during her fellowship focused on the development and validation of rehabilitation outcomes instruments to assess quality of life of individuals with spinal cord injury, development of a web-based index of restaurant accessibility for wheelchair users, and continuing with research from her doctoral study on examining functional wheelchair use of consumers in clinic and community settings.
In addition to her teaching experience at universities in Georgia and North Carolina, Dr. Mills has had years of clinical experience spanning multiple settings including acute care, home health, inpatient rehabilitation, sub-acute rehabilitation, and private practice.
Dr. Mills has several publications and has given numerous presentations in both professional and consumer forums comprised of practitioners, researchers, educators, students, caregivers, parents, and individuals with disabilities. Dr. Mills has a diverse range of experiences working with individuals across the lifespan, and conducting research to improve the lives of others through outcomes research related to functional performance and disability. Her goal is to bridge the inter-related parts of rehabilitation practice, academia, and research to assist consumers in living life to the fullest, and contribute to the advancement of the field of occupational therapy.
After leaving her role as a Rehabilitation Director for Gentiva Home Health, Dr. Mills assumed her current position as an Assistant Professor in the School of Occupational Therapy at Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. She also continues her private practice working with children with disabilities in their home setting specializing in handwriting and assistive technology, as well as wheelchair-seating mobility services for adults. Dr. Mills resides just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, is an avid tennis player, and enjoys international traveling, particularly in the Caribbean.