Occupational Therapy Month
April was Occupational Therapy Month. Infinity Rehab team members nominated occupational therapist, occupational therapist assistants, and certified occupational therapy assistants as heroes that were highlighted all month on our social media channels.
Celebrating this month gives us a chance to recognize and thank all the occupational therapists, OTAs, and COTAs that play a vital role in upholding our mission and vision statements. Now more than ever, we want to recognize them and thank them for their tireless efforts and compassion.
In no particular order, we highlight all of the nominees below.
Jaime Michel, OT
Jamie embodies perseverance and ingenuity. She gives 100%, thinks outside the box, and is able to cover two buildings as a treating OT and DOR, and covers all PT sessions at both buildings as the presenter for telehealth since she has no on-site PT. Her positive attitude and work ethic inspire all those she comes into contact with. Thanks for always striving for excellence!
First of all, the community/team should explain a lot! She divides her time as DOR for 2 facilities. Jaimie works tirelessly to communicate with her staff at both locations as well as making meetings, ordering equipment, submitting insurance paperwork, juggling multiple PRN schedules, but above all she genuinely cares for her patients and goes the extra mile to provide what they need. She is AMAZING!!!
Jaime has endured a lot over the past few years. She has gone above and beyond her duties during COVID and especially when one DOR had to go on medical leave and another retired.
Not only has she taken on new roles, but she also has to deal with the daily challenges of being a DOR in a very rural environment.
In addition to her new leadership role, she continues maintain an honest relationship with her “staff”.
But most importantly she is an awesome advocate and therapist of patient and resident care, their rehabilitation, and communication with family and making sure their needs are being met is ALWAYS her first priority.
Alisha Williams, COTA
Alisha is a great team player and always goes out of her way for our residents and patients. She is a hard worker for all her patients and is usually found looking for new ways to help solve age old problems that limit our community populations. Alisha has truly put her ethic of hard work and dedication on display this year as she transitioned from FT COTA to PRN COTA and OT student. She is working to reach the next level with her skills and ability to help the LTC and rehab patients of the Missoula area facilities. She is a vital cog in the wheel of our teams.
Taylor Michaud, OT
She goes above and beyond to ensure that the residents in the nursing home feel at home. She is full of enthusiasm and puts smiles on everyone’s face with her passion and love for therapy and life. She is an amazing therapist and deserves recognition!
Amy Hietpas, OT
Amy is the MacGyver of the Hood River Care Center. Amy is willing to spend time with all the residents of the care center to find solutions to problems with ADLs. Amy treats all our residents as family, and our rehab area is a social hub where all feel welcome.
Thank you, Amy, for being an excellent role model for our rehab team (during Occupational Therapy Month, and always)!
Jasper Montgomery, OT
Jasper has been an influential part of our team promoting and advocating quality patient care. She shows up every morning and dedicates every minute to the building up of every patient worked with while being a wealth of knowledge to our team. It is well deserved to nominate her at OT hero of the month.
Lyndal Missler, COTA
Lyndal is creative in generating holistic interventions that help the patients meet their goals and optimize their physiological capacity and quality of life. Her enthusiasm and warmth is authentic and heartfelt and seen by patients and staff in every interaction. Lyndal is the cornerstone of the team and her vibrancy fosters joy and connections that create an environment for everyone to thrive.
Leila Zemke, OT
Leila is a valued member of our team and has a steady and consistent approach to her clients. She is well liked by her residents and the staff, known for her calm demeanor and ability to engage a variety of patients for therapy. She has had to deal with a lot of change during the last 2 years because of the changes in health care due to COVID, but she has always tried to keep a positive attitude and help others.
Gina Edinger, OT
Gena is a tireless advocate for others and believes in the OT role to better people’s lives. She gives endlessly, craves new information and does so with a gracious and compassionate heart. She was “let go” because of Covid reduction in force but continues her effort to gracefully care for those around her. She deserves to be acknowledged for her years of service and her skills and her gifts. Thank you.
Jana Salvadori, COTA
Jana is an OT hero during Occupational Therapy Month for many reasons! When the OT DOR was ill with COVID and had an extended leave, she was the member of the team who filled in for the DOR and managed any OT related needs. When the DOR would contact her by text asking her how she was, she never had any issues, she just said “Get well and take care of yourself!” Another incident that reminded me of what a great HERO she is, was when we had a patient who had a visual impairment and on admission would not sign any admission paperwork as the patient could not see it. Jana quietly and quickly ran down the street to the dollar store and purchased a magnifier for the patient so she could complete her admission paperwork. I appreciate Jana for all she does and love working with her! Jana is our HERO!
Matt LeBlanc, OT
Matt is not only a phenomenal OT, but also our DOR and always keeps us together. Patients love working with him and he helps the rest of us problem solve.
Gail Hudson, OT
Gail, OTR/L is a bright light! She is a CCL2 and is disciplined, positive and flexible. She leads by example in delivering high quality care to our patients. Gail cares deeply for others and is well-known for encouraging her team members and advocating for her patients. Her laugh is infectious and her competitive, fun-loving spirit make time with Gail a joy!
Megan Pierce, OT
Megan isn’t just an amazing OT, although, her skills as an OT alone would be more than enough to warrant her the title of “OT Hero.” I’m nominating Megan because she goes way above and beyond her OT job description. She assists with DOR duties both at her home facility and in other programs, provides ongoing training for our RAs, fields sometimes very difficult questions from facility staff, families, and nursing, adheres to the clinical model and coaches other clinicians in this way, and consistently develops her skills and craft to be the best therapist she can be for her patients… and all the while doing so with grace, composure, professionalism, and kindness. What she is capable of never ceases to amaze me. She is a treasure and we are so fortunate to have her on our Infinity Rehab team!
Erin Willems, OT
Erin Willems is committed to making the lives of others better. She supports excellence in patient care through her clinical care and the guidance she provides to other clinicians. She is an exceptional leader that has supported multiple programs throughout the Infinity Rehab landscape. She is the first to step up and find solutions to make an impact whether it be in delivery of direct patient care, telehealth, launching new partnerships or supporting her professional colleagues to reach and grow. Erin–YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Dessaray Noon, COTA
Desi has become our entire OT department, doing group every day, seeing up to 18 patients a day, doing multiple caregiver training sessions a day, and being the nicest and hardest working person for over four years now. She’s amazing and a tremendous asset to our very appreciative team!
No Pham, OT
Strong advocate for patient and family care needs. Supportive of colleagues and nursing staff. Outstanding clinician!
Grace Manabot, OT
Kind, thoughtful, strong patient advocate, outstanding clinician!
Nicole Wilson, COTA
Nicole has been a level head in times of uncertainty and a great asset to our incredible therapy team. I’d nominate them all if I could. I feel lucky to be a part of this team.
Isabelle Cainon-Brewer, OT
Isabelle joined our outpatient team in January after previously working in a Covid facility for Infinity. She is AMAZING! She jumped right in and has already established great relationships with our facility, residents, patients, and families. She has amazing experience and is a valuable patient advocate! I cannot say enough good things about Isabelle.
Tana Ostrowski, COTA
Tana is a very skilled therapist who truly cares for those she sees. Tana quickly adapts therapy plans and goes above and beyond to meet patient needs and help them succeed. Tana provides thorough education to those that she serves and is a constant source pf knowledge for patients and for the rest of the rehab team.
Melissa Haidle, OT
Missy (Melissa) is an outstanding OT. She is quick to adapt materials to suit patient needs (including making a leg press with a ball/slideboard/and weight machine). Missy’s care for the patients is evident, and everyone who works with her can see it. Missy is incredibly resourceful and knowledgeable, always providing the best evidence-based care for patients and new information to her rehab team.