Occupational Therapy

Biography of William Sisco

Picture of Bill Sisco

William M. Sisco, M.A., M.S., OTR
Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Fieldwork Education
Occupational Therapy Program
College of Health Professions
Grand Valley State University


William joined the GVSU OT faculty in May 2001 and was tenured in August 2007. His degrees include a Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences from the United States Air Force Academy, a Master’s degree in Human Physiology from the University of Colorado, and a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University. In addition he has a graduate specialty certificate in Holistic Health Care from Western Michigan University.  He is also a graduate of the Air Force School of Applied Aerospace Sciences with a certificate in Health Care Administration.

As an Occupational Therapist, he has specialized in workplace wellness and work programming for the past 23 years. During that time he has received significant post-graduate training in ergonomic sciences, engineering sciences, and occupational health sciences. From 1991-1992 William served as the Director of Occupational Therapy for the Valley Pain Clinic in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he developed a comprehensive treatment and return to work program for chronic pain patients. From 1992-1994 he served as the Work Hardening Program Manager for the Center for Industrial Rehabilitation for St. Joseph’s Medical Center in South Bend, Indiana. From 1994-1997 he served as the Clinical Specialist for Ergonomics for Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was the Manager for CorpFit Prevention and Rehabilitation Services for Borgess Health Alliance in Kalamazoo, Michigan between 1997 and 1999. He also served as the Coordinator for the Borgess Back-To-Work Center. From 1999-2001 he was a principal and Vice-President for Kalamazoo Area Rehabilitation Services, and also created OT WORKS, the business/industrial consultation program. From 2000-2001 he taught at Western Michigan University as adjunct faculty for the Occupational Therapy program.  During 2000-2002 he served as the Director, Occupational Health Services, for Physician’s Physical Therapy Services, a multi-discipline rehabilitation services business with five clinics in the Detroit and Lansing, Michigan markets. He created their worksite wellness/work service line, PREVENTION WORKS, in 2000.

Before becoming an Occupational Therapist, William was a Health Care Administration officer in the Medical Service Corps of the United States Air Force. For 16 years he served in a variety of positions at major Air Force facilities worldwide to include 5 states, as well as Guam and Turkey. This included being the Coordinator for Aeromedical Evacuation for U.S. armed forces stationed in the Middle East and facilities administrator for the Air Force’s largest medical center (1,000 beds and 5,000 personnel) in San Antonio, Texas. During his service he was awarded the USAF Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal with 5 oak clusters.  

Additionally, William is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the Michigan Occupational Therapy Association (MOTA) and their respective Work Program Special Interest Sections. Since January 2002 he has served as the Chair for the MiOTA Work Special Interest Section.  He has served as member of the Michigan Council for Occupational Therapy Education from 2001-2007 and Michigan Occupational Therapy Education Consortium since 2008.   In 2005 he was appointed to the Michigan Board of Occupational Therapy by Governor Jennifer Granholm and served through 2012.

His research and practice interests include ergonomics, work injury prevention concepts, and worksite wellness initiatives; as well as OT-based community wellness initiatives and occupation based OT intervention throughout the lifespan (Life Transitions). He is a guest speaker both nationally and internationally at conferences and for organizations and business.  He also continues to maintain his own specialty practice, In Balance, which provides worksite and lifestyle wellness consultation services.

He developed the Worksite Wellness Model, a human-centered systems process design to optimize the occupational health and safety, the occupational performance, and the well being of both the individual employee and the employer. He presented this model at the 2002 National Safety Council Congress and Expo in San Diego and conducted daylong educational Institutes about the model at the 2003 and 2004 American Occupational Therapy Association National Conferences. Additionally, he presented two workshops at the 2004 National Safety Congress and Expo in New Orleans titled “Considerations for an Aging and Diverse Workforce” and “Optimal Work Practices for Injury Prevention”.         

Since 2010 he has devoted his time to creating positive aging programming for seniors in collaboration with his wife, Linda, a Certified Aging Services Professional.  They have presented the model at both national and international conferences.  He is also currently working on developing life transition programming into the retirement years for the Baby Boomer generation  

William is married to Linda and they have two daughters and seven grandchildren. They have three dogs(two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Otis and Lilly, and a long haired miniature dachshund, Chloe) and a cat, Ella.  Otis is a certified therapy dog and also participates in agility trials and obedience trials.  Lilly is in training for therapy work and agility and obedience trials.  William played rugby for 25 years (1960s to 1990s); and was a member of the 1981-1982 U.S. Armed Forces Worldwide All-Star Rugby team. He is a certified Tai Chi instructor through the Arthritis Foundation. He and Linda are very active in Kiwanis and devote time to children’s projects and a special needs bowling league. They also devote time to their 1991 Corvette convertible, which the grandchildren also enjoy. They live in Lansing on 5 acres, which also contains the building for their business, Embroidery Wizard. 


Page last modified July 14, 2014