Blending form and function

Following a four-month renovation, space on the second floor of the 4444 Forest Park Avenue building was recently re-engineered to create a clinic for Community Practice. The new clinic is designed to treat clients of all ages and is home to a large multipurpose room, fully-operational kitchen, two treatment rooms and an accessible bathroom scaled accordingly for real-world living. It also features functional work and storage space for team members, and a casual waiting area for families and guests.

“Creating a clinic space for Community Practice will help us in our continued growth and development goals,” shares Pat Nellis, MBA, OTR/L, director of clinical operations. “The space was designed to function in a variety of ways so that we can more effectively impact the communities we serve. In addition to our practice-related goals, the clinic also provides our students access to adequate clinical space for their training and development. Whether it’s used for assessing a client’s ability to work independently, trialing an intervention, or functioning as the student stroke clinic, this space is flexible enough to adapt to our Program’s diverse initiatives and needs,” adds Nellis.

Although the new clinic is a much-anticipated resource for the team, the initial intent and purpose of Community Practice remains the same. “We will still be a community-based clinic,” says Nellis. “We will continue to provide therapeutic services where they are needed most, including a client’s home, school or work place as appropriate. Having an on-site clinic will allow us to work more efficiently, and offer us an additional option for our clients and families, but ultimately, OT is best delivered in a client’s actual environment. That’s one of the differentiators of our services, and is still very much the cornerstone of our practice.”

The clinic officially opened on Monday, Sept. 28 with the launch of the student-run stroke clinic for the fall semester. The new space was publicly unveiled at an open house on Oct. 26. The Rehabilitation Neuroscience Laboratory (RNL), led by new faculty member Scott Frey, PhD, was also be showcased at the event, which included tours of the new spaces to faculty, staff, physicians and friends of the Program.

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