Jerry Johnson retired as program director in 1982, and Ellen Twining Tyson again served as acting director from 1982 to 1983. In 1982, School of Medicine administration decided to phase out the master’s degree program. Mary Ann Boyle became the Elias Michael Director in 1983, and focused her efforts on enrollment and recruiting. She expanded the 3-2 program, bringing in students from colleges in Tennessee, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon, Utah, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota and Indiana to the Program. She also initiated Discovery, a summer recruitment program. Boyle’s efforts were supported by a group of alumni who disseminated information and roused interest in occupational therapy on career days at local high schools and colleges.
During this time, the occupational therapy services at the Irene Walter Johnson Institute were expanding under the leadership of Dr. Michael Brooke, director, and Dr. M. Carolyn Baum, director of occupational therapy. The Institute provided a wide range of occupational therapy services to the community including home health care, driver evaluation and training, and long-term rehabilitation.
In 1987, Mary Ann Boyle resigned as program director. Ellen Twining Tyson served her last term as acting director from 1987 to 1988. In 1988, M. Carolyn Baum became the Elias Michael Director and the academic program and clinical services at the Irene Walter Johnson Institute were joined.
The end of the decade saw the Program faculty committed to building an academic discipline to build a body of knowledge to support the occupational performance needs of individuals.