Children in northwest Wisconsin will have expanded access to occupational therapy (OT) and speech therapy (ST) services at NorthLakes Community Clinic in Ashland, in part due to a generous grant by the Otto Bremer Foundation. In fall of 2017, the Otto Bremer Foundation awarded NorthLakes Community Clinic $61,000 to expand treatment spaces and equipment in the clinic’s downtown location.
NorthLakes Community Clinic – Ashland Downtown delivers occupational and speech therapy to children birth through 18 years of age. NorthLakes’ speech therapists work with patients with a variety of challenges including speech and language delays, auditory processing deficits, cognitive disorders, autism, and swallowing and eating difficulties. NorthLakes’ occupational therapists work with patients who have challenges with self-regulation, fine and gross motor skills, daily living skills (i.e. dressing, grooming, sleeping), learning disabilities, and eating difficulties. Thanks to this grant and new space NorthLakes speech and occupational therapists will have an expanded ability to treat infants, children with bowel and bladder challenges, and individuals with social skill deficits. NorthLakes OT and ST department looks forward to being able to offer more group therapy sessions as well.
Funds from the grant supported a number of new features within current spaces, along with five new pediatric treatment rooms. This includes:
- Large treatment room that includes climbing structures called platforms as well as ceiling supports for suspended equipment essential to Sensory Integration therapy.
- Bathroom designated for therapy to target bowel and bladder challenges (like constipation, bed wetting, and incontinence) as well as daily living skills (like teeth brushing).
- Three medium sized rooms for patients who need a less stimulating environment and designated spaces to work on social skills training. One of these rooms will also have additional equipment for individuals with physical disabilities.
- Parent observation rooms to allow parent/guardians to view therapy sessions without being in the therapy room.
- Expansion of the infant treatment room to better accommodate two therapists and the patient’s family at the same time.
- Specialized equipment needed to expand services to a broader range of patients including a variety of therapy swings, adapted feeding tools, augmentative communication tools, and a hoyer lift to name a few.
Of the grant, Occupational Therapist and Therapies Director Angela Schoeppach, OTR/L says these dollars will go far in helping improve the long-term outcomes of our area’s youth. “We are honored that we were chosen for this grant and so excited about the opportunities this provides for our patients.”