Helping Others “Do”

OT program class 4-19

As seen in the May 2019 issue of St. Patrick Center Chronicles

One of St. Patrick Center’s newest programs is a partnership with the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine.

What is occupational therapy, or OT, for short? “OT helps people do the things they want and need to do, at their learning levels,” said Dr. Quinn Tyminski, instructor in occupational therapy and psychiatry. “Therapists adapt to the person’s environment, so someone with cognitive or physical challenges may acquire the skills he/she needs to manage everyday life and achieve goals.” Examples of skills include cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, shopping and paying bills.

The new OT program blossomed from a pilot program in our Shamrock Club. It now resides in its own space on our first floor. Licensed OT instructors and students hold half-day sessions twice a week. Case managers from any program can refer clients to OT, as well as intake specialists in our Welcome Center.

The successes are adding up. “One of our clients, homeless for a long time, has been stabilized in an apartment for several months,” Tyminski said. “We visit him each morning to assist with his health care, and teach him nutrition and home maintenance skills.” Another gentleman, who previously was chronically homeless, will move into housing next month. Therapists are working with him on social skills to better navigate the world around him.