As Pat Nellis, MBA, OTR/L, works to advance her vision for Community Practice, she’s pairing it with new team members, targeted tactics, and attainable goals to create a powerful strategic plan to best position the Practice for future growth and success. Like every good strategic plan, Nellis’ plan will take time to implement successfully; however, it is currently bringing several opportunities to the forefront of the team’s focus.
Children, Youth, and Family (CYF)
Whether it’s in the clinic, home, or school setting, the CYF team partners with parents, teachers, and key caregivers to best meet the unique needs of each family it serves. This summer, the team welcomes several new faces, as well as a new base of operations, as they relocate office space to the second floor of 4444 Forest Park Ave. Catherine Hoyt Drazen, OTD, OTR/L, and Cambey Mikush, OTD, OTR/L, have recently come onboard to share their expertise with the Practice. Hoyt Drazen specializes in infant/toddler development, early childhood development, development of fine motor skills, and sickle cell disease. Mikush started with the Practice in May and her areas of interest include community participation for pediatric and adult populations, autism, women’s health, international development, and the role of occupational therapy in developing practice areas. Both Hoyt Drazen and Mikush have been named emerging leaders by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA).
In addition to serving the pediatric population, Mikush will also see adult clients via the in-home services arm of Community Practice. Here, Mikush is joined by Becky Russell, BSCOT, OTR/L, an experienced clinician who started with the team in January. Russell comes to Community Practice from Barnes-Jewish Hospital (BJH), and brings a wealth of expertise in the areas of adult neurology, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and gerontology. Since coming onboard, Russell has taken lead on the effort to develop standards of care and a consistent documentation process for the Practice.
Over the years, Monica Perlmutter, OTD, OTR/L, SCLV, assistant professor, occupational therapy and ophthalmology and visual sciences, has developed a niche in the world of low vision services for an aging population. Now, through a new procedure called IMT, her awareness is on-the-rise with area physicians who are using it to treat patients with end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In the procedure, a tiny device, or Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT) is inserted behind the iris during an outpatient procedure to magnify images in order to enhance central vision for distance activities. Following surgery, patients must participate in an extensive visual rehabilitation program with an interdisciplinary care team, including an occupational therapist, for approximately 6 to 12 months. Given her unique knowledge and experience, Perlmutter is well-positioned, and increasingly requested by physicians, to step onto these teams to fulfill the OT need for patients undergoing this treatment.
Continuing Education at the Program
Beginning this summer, the Community Practice team is embarking on a new endeavor to establish the Program as a premier provider of continuing education in the St. Louis area. “Within our Program faculty and clinicians, we have exceptional talent in the field of occupational therapy available at our fingertips,” shares Nellis. “Through the development of a robust continuing education program, we can share that expertise with others, and strengthen our brand awareness in the community. Our goal is to offer high-level, quality programming that touches on timely topics to enhance the participant’s knowledge-base and skill set.” By offering such high-caliber material, Nellis plans to use the programming as an additional revenue source for the Program.
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Current, future, and accepted applicants are encouraged to visit. We also welcome people who are exploring career options and considering occupational therapy. Dr. Kathy Kniepmann, one of our faculty members, opens our visit sessions with an informal presentation and discussion, followed by a tour that’s led by one of our current occupational therapy students.
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