Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) Rehabilitation Services and the City of West
Plains recognize April as Occupational Therapy Month. Occupational therapy
enables people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them
live better with injury, illness, or disability.
“At OMC Rehabilitation Services, we are very fortunate to have a
staff of certified occupational therapists and certified occupational
therapist assistants that strive to help our patients return to the activities
of daily living,” said Pam Ream, director of OMC Rehabilitation
Services. “Occupational therapy helps people stay active in their
daily routine, whether that is work, or just their everyday activities.”
According to Ream, occupational therapists and therapy assistants focus
on helping patients return to work or activities, which are meaningful
to that individual. This can be accomplished despite their challenges
that they face.
Ream said therapists work with patients to maximize their potential so
that they can thrive at school, work, home or in any setting. Occupational
therapists help people overcome their disabilities or medical conditions
so they can accomplish their everyday tasks. “Our mission is to
work with our patients and help them with the skills they need to live
life to its fullest,” Ream added.
Connie Henry of West Plains received occupational therapy at OMC’s
Rehabilitation Services. “I credit the work with my occupational
therapist, Brian Cote, and my surgeon for being able to use my hand today.
I was extremely impressed with Brian’s professionalism and his one-on-one
attention that I received. He didn’t let me off easy during our
sessions, and he spent my scheduled time working just with me. Pam would
always check in to see how I was doing, too. I truly felt like the staff
at OMC genuinely cared about me and that I was not just another number.”
Occupational therapy takes into account a person’s psychological,
physical, emotional and social makeup as well as their environment. The
therapists work with the clients to achieve their goals, function at the
highest possible level, concentrate on what matters most to them, maintain
or rebuild their independence, and participate in daily activities they
need or want to do. Solutions may include: adaptations for how to do a
task, changes to the individual’s surroundings or helping them to
alter their own behaviors.
Ream said occupational therapy can also help with fine motor skills and
visual perception. Occupational therapy can be of assistance to those
who have had a stroke or head injury, or those who have developmental
delays or neurological problems. Specialized occupational therapy is offered
at the Hand Clinic, a clinic dedicated to treating injuries that affect
hand function, which is staffed by a Certified Hand Therapist.
Rehabilitation Services also offers sensory integration testing and therapy
for those people who have problems interpreting and processing information
they receive through their senses. Sensory integration therapy aids in
the behavioral aspects of autism and Asperger's disorder.
In addition to occupational therapy, OMC Rehabilitation Services also offers
physical therapy and speech-language pathology services in the hospital
and at area clinics, schools, and work places, and through Riverways Home
Health of OMC. For more information about OMC Rehabilitation Services
or occupational therapy, call 417-257-5959 or toll-free 888-242-9329 or e-mail