The Occupational Therapy Institute (OTI) recently celebrated it’s one-year anniversary since opening its doors for client care in January 2021.OTI Clinic

OTI provides occupational therapy services while offering a valuable clinical experience to graduate students in the Salus University Department of Occupational Therapy. The clinical facility offers both pediatric and adult assessments and screenings with individual and group intervention sessions to promote increased independence in activities associated with daily living, including feeding, bathing, dressing, household management, education, play and social participation and support for families and caregivers/care-partners. There is no charge for services, and both in-person and telehealth appointments are available by request.

Since opening, OTI has made contributions to the community through direct care, educational programs, and participation in local community events. The staff have completed 168 visits as of March 2022, both in person and through telehealth, averaging six to nine patient visits per week and provided seven educational programs for pediatrics and adults.OT measuring patient arm

Occupational therapy students receive supervised hands-on training to refine skills they've developed during their educational curriculum. Students contribute to administering assessments, completing documentation, and developing intervention plans based on the goals and needs of their clients. Among the populations treated in the clinic, a majority have been clients in recovery post-CVA (stroke), and several have been children with fine motor skills concerns. They receive weekly one-on-one care that focuses on regaining function to participate in meaningful activities. Some target areas for treatment include upper body strengthening and mobility, fine motor strength and coordination, balance, proprioceptive awareness, and tactile discrimination.

OTI clinical director Brianna Brim, MTR/L, CPAM CLIPP has collaborated with various organizations to emphasize the role of occupational therapy to support community needs. Hand Helpers was a pediatric program established under her supervision to support the development of handwriting skills, dressing, and feeding for preschool and kindergarten aged children.Brianna helping young boy with handwriting

The site also has an ongoing partnership with Center on the Hill, where students and faculty provide community education classes to older adults that focus on occupational wellness strategies. Some previously discussed topics include sleep hygiene, internet and home safety, and decluttering. Recently, OTI virtually participated in the Grand Rounds for Montefiore Einstein Medical Center in February 2022.

The clinic also offered a six-week virtual asynchronous summer camp for kindergarten and first grade students with activities to increase gross and fine motor coordination, motor planning, following directions, sensory integration, emotional regulation, simple snack preparation, and caregiver education. The program received 60 downloads a week on average from their website. Hand therapy

“The success of the clinical facility has been guided by strong leadership, passionate students, and dedicated OT faculty to include Anna Grasso, OTD, MS, OTR/L, CAPS, ECHM, Sharon Marcy, MS, OTR/L, Lauren Sponseller, PhD, OTD, MSOTR/L, MEd, and Andrea Tyszka, OTD, MS, OTR/L, SIPT whose contributions and commitment to the clinical facility have been invaluable,” said Brim.

OTI looks forward to evaluating and treating current and future clients in the years to come. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 215.276.3646 or contact OTI today.