ProjectChangeFoundation

Giving Back to the Community

2020 was a different year for everyone.
More than ever, it is important to give back to our communities and to support initiatives that provide change and promote social justice.

As part of our annual efforts to give back to the community, OT Works! is pleased to support Vancouver-based Project Change Foundation for another year. Change is central to the philosophy of occupational therapy and our therapists facilitate change to promote health and recovery.

Project Change Foundation provides financial and other support to early-stage charities in Canada with significant potential for creating social or environmental change.

In previous years, the Foundation has already provided grants and support to charities such as Chilliwack Restorative Justice and Youth Advocacy Association, The Lipstick Project, Backpack Buddies, and Binners’ Project.

This year, Project Change was able to support two organizations: Inspire Community Outreach and Refugee Women’s Network.

Inspire Community Outreach is an incorporated non-profit social services agency providing evidence and culturally informed, family-centered education and programming, designed to meet the needs of those living with mental health issues and neurological/cognitive differences.
Read more about the Inspire Community Outreach on their website: inspirecommunityoutreach.ca

Refugee Women’s Network empowers refugee and new immigrant women with tools and resources to enhance and develop their skills through education to successfully integrate into Canadian society while still maintaining respective cultural values.
Read more about Refugee Women’s Network on their website: refugeewomensnetwork.org

Learn more about Project Change: projectchangefoundation.com

OT Works! also continues to support other organizations as they empower people in Canada and around the world, such as WWF, Plan Canada and Because I am a Girl.

We're Open

OT Works! Holiday Hours

OT Works! is open during the holidays and will be accepting new clients throughout the holiday season.  We are accepting new clients immediately in Vancouver and Metro Vancouver, and we are scheduling new clients for Victoria and the Comox Valley for January 2021.

Our Holiday Schedule

Monday, December 21, 2020Open
Tuesday, December 22, 2020Open
Wednesday, December 23, 2020Open
Thursday, December 24, 2020Closed
Friday, December 25, 2020Closed
Monday, December 28, 2020Open
Tuesday, December 29, 2020Open
Wednesday, December 30, 2020Open
Thursday, December 31, 2020Closed
Friday, January 01, 2021Closed
Monday, January 04, 2021Open

Regular business hours resume on January 04.

We wish you a very Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year! 

Get started with an OT

All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).  Our approach is based on current research and evidence-based practice.

If you or someone you know could benefit from occupational therapy, contact us today!

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com

Vancouver:  604.696.1066 

Victoria: 250.999.8896

OT Works! awarded New Contract from WorkSafeBC

We are happy to announce that OT Works! was awarded a new contract from WorkSafeBC!

OT Works! is dedicated to helping Injured Workers gain, maintain, and improve skills in self-care and productivity.  Our goal is to increase Injured Workers independence and help them return to work in a safe and timely manner.

Through a longstanding relationship with WorkSafeBC, OT Works! has established a reputation as a reliable and consistent partner in the WorkSafeBC provider network.  OT Works has continuously served both Community Occupational Therapy Services (COT) and Community Brain Injury Services (CBIS) since the beginning of these programs.  We are excited to continue helping injured workers through this new contract. 

Our approach to addressing the psychosocial barriers to rehabilitation with Injured Workers has translated into proven return-to-work results.

The strength of OT Works! is in our people.  We have strong clinical leadership, and we invest in qualified and experienced therapists.  All therapists are supported through on-going mentorship and rigorous Quality Assurance processes.

OT Works! has helped hundreds of Injured Workers and their employers.  We are proud to be part of the WorkSafeBC provider network and we look forward to continuing this successful partnership with the new contract.

With this new contract, we will be able to serve workers in all of our current locations:

  • Metro Vancouver (Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, North & West Vancouver, Richmond, Delta, Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam)
  • Fraser Valley (Langley, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Mission, Abbotsford)
  • Sea-to-Sky (Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton)
  • Vancouver Island: Victoria (Victoria, Esquimalt, Sooke, East Sooke, Saanich, Sydney, Langford, Colwood, Metchosin); Central Island (Campbell River, Courtney, Comox, Cumberland, Fanny Bay, Nanoose Bay, Union Bay)

Contact Us

All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and have additional training in areas such as mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, home safety and chronic pain.

Contact us and get started with an OT today.

October 27th is World OT Day

October 27th is World Occupational Therapy Day! 

OTs make a difference in the lives of many today, here in Canada and around the world.
Occupational Therapists help people improve their function in their daily lives.  Occupational therapy is a type of health care that helps to solve the problems that interfere with a person’s ability to do the things that are important to them – everyday things like:

  • Self-care – getting dressed, eating, moving around the house,
  • Being productive – going to work or school, participating in the community, and
  • Leisure activities – sports, gardening, social activities. 

Occupational therapy is a regulated profession in Canada.  All of our occupational therapists at OT Works! are registered with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) 

.

At OT Works, this month we celebrate our team and the difference OTs make to their clients!


World Occupational Therapy Day – October 27th – Reimagine Doing

The theme ‘Reimagine Doing’ celebrates the expertise of occupational therapy for reimagining participation in occupations that provide value and meaning to everyday life

OTs help their clients in a number of different ways including Driving Desensitization, Ergonomic Assessments, Life Skills for Anxiety, Falls Prevention and even Return to Work Planning.

OTs can help you getting back to work, to school, to the sport that you love, and more.

To our OT Works! team and to all OTs we say thank you!

Contact us and get started with an OT today. #worldotday

Find out more:

Pamela Russell featured on The Jeneralist Podcast

We’re proud to announce that our Clinical Lead Pamela Russell was featured on ‘The Jeneralist’ Podcast by Jen Taubensee.

The Jeneralist explores and shares Canadian Occupational Therapists perspectives. On this episode, Pamela and Jen talk about being a leader, connecting as a team and coping and healing through stories.

We’d also like to thank Jen Taubensee for this amazing opportunity!

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or use the link: https://thejeneralist.podbean.com/e/s2-e3-pamela/

text: COVID-19 Occupational Therapists: Essential to Mental Health, image: lighthouse with water spilling over the guardrails

Occupational Therapists are Essential to Mental Health

OT interventions such as activation and exposure therapy, as well as daily routine implementation, are instrumental in getting clients back to work and life while managing mental health concerns.

Especially during COVID-19, and afterwards, caring for our own mental and emotional well-being is necessary to foster healthy, supportive communities.

A lack of funding for occupational therapy means that many Canadians aren’t getting the services that they need. Click here to learn how you can advocate for improved access to occupational therapy services!

Message from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)

“It’s time to recognize OTs as mental health providers!

“Now more than ever, we need “all hands-on deck” to help Canadians with the mental health care they need following the unprecedented disruption that COVID-19 has wreaked on everyday lives. The Mental Health Commission refers to an ‘echo pandemic’ of mental health impacts in the wake of COVID-19 – a critical societal issue for which OTs are an essential part of the solution.

“Unfortunately, most Canadians cannot access occupational therapy services as occupational therapy is not covered under most public and private health care plans.

“Critical decisions are being made by employers, insurance companies, and unions to increase access and coverage for mental health services following the impact of COVID-19. OTs must take action now, to inform decision makers that OTs should be recognized as mental health providers and included in public and private health care plans.

“Visit www.caot.ca/mentalhealthOT to find sharable case studies and a template letter you can send to your insurance provider, union, MP and MPP.”

Image: Courtesy of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

4 volunteers with varying ethnicities

Respect, Inclusion and Equality

OT Works! is an organization committed to respect, inclusion, and equality.  We stand against the legacy of systemic bias, racism and unequal treatment that continues to plague our communities. We acknowledge the history and current challenges that Black, Indigenous and people of colour communities have in Canada and elsewhere.

As occupational therapists, we recognize that cultural, economic, and racial justice factors influence how our clients experience life and impact their health.  Our clients’ and customers’ safety and dignity are important to us. 

We are committed to delivering care that is client centred.  Our clinical practices and business operations are based on a set of core values, the center of which is Respect.  As OTs, we are guided by a Code of Ethics that  states the expectation that occupational therapists uphold clients’ rights to be treated with respect and dignity within a safe and nonjudgmental environment.  The Code of Ethics also values peoples’ right to self-determination and occupational therapists’ responsibility to acknowledge diversity and uphold the principle of equity.

We support the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists position on “No silence in the face of inequality and injustice”.

We are listening carefully right now. We hear what is being said, and we are here to learn and support when we can. It is where we must start. But it is also not enough.

We have a responsibility and an opportunity to do more than just listen and learn. We also have to find ways to apply those lessons. And we have to be part of creating meaningful action.

In the coming months we’ll be doing more work to determine the most appropriate ways for OT Works! to take action – including developing the framework of a policy and training that will move us beyond the values of respect and inclusion and into a space where we are actively engaged in creating a more equitable and fair society.

In the meantime we commit to continuing to listen and grow as we engage in a variety of learning opportunities. We will do this both as individuals and collectively–looking at the roles we can each play in creating necessary and vital changes.

Combatting Inequality and Racism

Improving cultural respect and acceptance in healthcare settings is essential to inclusion and diversity.

We want all our clients and customers to feel safe and feel heard.  If you or someone you know experiences disrespect or discrimination while interacting with one of our team members, please let us know.

Image Credits: Raw Pixel Ltd. (license)

Alone Together Run: Supporting Global Communities During COVID-19

Team members at OT Works!, and their families, participated in the Alone Together Run to stay active and raise funds for at-risk communities in Ethiopia. 

Run For Water and Food For The Hungry Canada have partnered to promote a virtual race. The annual Run for Water has been postponed due to the public health situation and COVID-19 in British Columbia.  Instead, they encourage BC residents to go for a run on their own.

The Alone Together Run is raising funds to help communities in Ethiopia manage the pandemic.  COVID-19 may be more dangerous in Ethiopia due to higher levels of poverty and limited access to healthy nutrition, clean water, sanitation services, and education.

OT Works! raised $514.72 for the cause.  All donations to the Alone Together Run were matched by Run for Water’s sponsors for an overall impact of $1,029.44.

We look forward to participating in the next Run for Water race at Mill Lake Park.

Louise Chiasson captures the beautiful Vancouver skyline during her run
Pamela and Jason Russell caught on camera by their son, Stuart.

OT Works! Phase 2 Restart Plan

The health and well-being of our therapists, staff and clients is our top priority.  Since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, OT Works! has taken precautionary steps to reduce the risk associated with transmission and infection.  As BC begins its Phase 2 Restart Plan, OT Works! has developed a series of steps that we will take together.  We strive to protect the people in our networks and are committed to resuming operations with thoughtful consideration given towards everyone involved.

Policy, Procedures and Training

OT Works! has developed specific Covid-19 policies and procedures to keep clients, therapists and staff safe.  We have provided training on our Safety Plan to all our therapists and staff.  We regularly monitor developments and guidance from the Public Health Officer of BC, BC Center for Disease Control, the Government of Canada, WorkSafeBC, regional health authorities and the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).  We review all guidance and update policies and procedures accordingly.  

Remote Working for Operations

Remote working is the default mode of business for non-clinical operations.  Our office remains closed for staff at this time.  Our collaboration takes place online and by phone. 

Service Delivery: In-Person and Telehealth

We continue to deliver services by telehealth during BC’s Phase 2 Restart Plan.  Our telehealth platform is private and secure.  Telehealth remains our preferred method of service delivery when the services can be delivered safely and effectively.

In-person services can proceed for clients whose anticipated clinical benefits outweigh the risks, and only after completing a COVID-19 Point of Care Risk Assessment.

Our therapists will assess themselves daily for symptoms of the common cold, influenza or COVID-19 before delivering any in-person services.  They will not conduct in-person services if they are ill, have travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days or if they are identified as a close contact of a confirmed case.

In-Person Services

Our therapists will limit the number of in-person visits following the recommendation of COTBC to 40-50% pre-pandemic caseloads.  All clients considering in-person services will complete a Point of Care Risk Assessment with their OT before the session proceeds and at the start of their in-person session.  Upon completion of the screen, the OT may adapt the session plan to maintain the health and safety of both the client and therapist if necessary.

Our therapists will provide clear communication outlining expectations such as requesting clients wash their hands and limiting the number of people in their home/environment prior to the occupational therapist’s arrival.  Our therapists will also wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for every in-person client visit and will conduct hand hygiene before and after the client encounter.

Clients are invited to wear masks if they have them and prefer to, but they are not obliged to do so.  Whenever possible, the therapist will maintain 2 meters (6 feet) between themselves, the clients, and anyone else in attendance (e.g. family member or employer).

Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Therapists are required to wear face masks for the entire duration of any in-person visit and will follow procedures to safely manage and care for PPE.  Training has been provided on the proper use, management and care of PPE.

Hand Hygiene

Therapists will perform proper hand hygiene when interacting with clients.  Training has been provided on hand hygiene protocols with specific attention given our operations in the community.

Working with Support Workers

The Occupational Therapist will confirm that remote support worker sessions are necessary by determining feasibility, therapeutic value, the activities involved and the feepayer’s support before proceeding.  Any support workers providing urgent in-person services must follow the same safety protocols as all our occupational therapists.

Self-Isolation and Quarantine

All therapists, consultants and employees must self-isolate, follow guidelines from the Center for Disease control and contact 8-1-1 if they travel internationally or develop symptoms associated with COVID-19.  Therapists with new or a worsening cough will not work in-person with any clients, client representatives, fellow providers, fee payers, employers or OT Works! employees for at least 5 days after their onset of symptoms OR until symptom resolution, whichever is sooner.

Compliance

OT Works! has policies and procedures in place to monitor the effectiveness of our Safety Plan.

Questions or Concerns

If you have questions or concerns about our Safety Plan or the actions of our occupational therapists, please contact us.  You may also request a copy of our detailed Safety plan via email.

E-mail: risk@ot-works.com.

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Every day, 60 people in British Columbia experience a brain injury.  Acquired brain injuries (ABIs) can greatly affect people’s lives.  They can alter thinking, sensations (including touch, taste, light, sound and smell), language and emotions as well as mobility and physical health.

British Columbia recognizes June as Brain Injury Awareness Month.  You can access a list of Brain Injury Associations in the province here.

Occupational Therapy and Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Occupational therapists are equipped to positively transform the cognitive, physical and emotional wellbeing of clients who have experienced concussions and other brain injuries.  At OT Works! we strive to keep up-to-date with current and emerging research and clinical evidence surrounding acquired brain injuries.  Many of our clients with ABIs have returned to the activities that bring them joy through collaboration with our occupational therapists.

For more information on our brain injury services at OT Works!, please visit the links below.