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.

Thriving Despite Occupational Disruption: How OT Helps During COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak has launched the world into a major transition.  Everything we do, and how we do it, has changed. This is a period of occupational disruption and occupational therapists can help.  This is what we do.  

Occupational Therapy  

OTs understand that occupational disruption can be overwhelming, confusing and exhausting. It is normal to feel anger, denial and sadness. But the practical, client-centred approach to OT helps people get a sense of normalcy, routine and well-being; we help people create a new, healthy normal. 

OT Works! Approach 

We continue to provide quality care to our clients and know its importance while facing occupational disruption during COVID-19. Especially for those who were getting clinic-based services and find themselves without, or with very little, care.  

We embrace innovation. We have adapted the way we give care so that it continues to be meaningful and helpful, despite social restrictions.  We have: 

  • Tailored our services to optimize video, phone and text communications (via telehealth and online care) 
  • Created new, cost-effective, flexible ways to deliver services that weren’t possible in person 
  • Developed protocols to safely provide in-person care for urgent situations 
  • Enabled creative collaboration for our therapists, so clients are served best 

We protect your privacy and security. We are using Microsoft Teams for video sessions, which is a secure and private platform approved for telehealth use by the College of Occupational Therapists in BC (COTBC) and funders including WorkSafe BC and ICBC.     

Tips to Manage Better 

Loneliness and inactivity contribute to illness.  Our OTs help clients stay connected and maintain a balance of productivity and rest.  Here are some tips that our OTs have for you! 

  • Establish a daily and weekly routine.  Having set routines allows us to establish a sense of control over our own lives and even more so during transitions. 
  • Stay connected.  Reach out to friends and access resources and healthcare professionals when you need them. 
  • Practise good sleep hygiene.  A proper sleep schedule encourages increased energy and endurance during the day.  Stick to a consistent bedtime and wake-up schedule and avoid light or other stimulating substances (e.g. caffeine, alcohol, nicotine) before going to bed. 
  • Explore new hobbies and practise existing skills.  Learning a new skill or hobby is a great way to defeat boredom and motivate yourself further. 
  • Be kind to yourself.  Practise self-care.  Reward yourself for completing tasks and achieving goals.  Take a break when you need to.  When feelings intensify, breathe deeply and give yourself some self-compassion.   

These healthy strategies help us manage the current situation, as well as when the pandemic has passed, and during any other difficult transitions we face. 

Lives are changing but you can recover from this occupational disruption.  Our OTs are here when you need us.      

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. 

If you or someone you know could benefit from occupational therapy during this coronavirus outbreak, contact us today!  We are happy to answer any questions you may have. 

E-mail: info@ot-works.com 

Phone: 604.696.1066 ext 1000  

Related Articles 

Image credits: Richard Eriksson (license)

woman wearing headset

Telehealth and Remote Care

When clients can access few other services, occupational therapy via remote care is a vital link to wellness. 

About Telehealth 

Telehealth refers to using electronic communications to manage a client’s health and wellbeing. OT Works! is delivering remote care as a telehealth service during the COVID-19 outbreak. Remote care is therapy that is: 

  • Provided via phone, email, text messages or video 
  • Live, private and confidential 
  • Guided by the College of Occupational Therapists of BC (COTBC) and the Provincial Health Services Agency (PHSA)

How OT can help with Remote Care

Telehealth allows clients to safely receive the prompt care they need while social distancing is required. Through remote care, our therapists help clients: 

  • Maintain or improve workplace tolerances  
  • Develop a daily structure that simulates their typical (work) day 
  • Create healthy routines 
  • Increase resiliency 
  • Deliver health education 
  • Promote connection with the workplace and decrease isolation 

OT Works! Remote Care Approach 

OT Works! therapists provide a creative healthcare service that develops client-centered solutions that are: 

  • Cost Effective 
  • Customized to optimize outcomes (including remote session length and frequency)  
  • Tailored towards cognitive and emotional gains 
  • Focused on the long-term goals, including Return to Work 
  • Provided with integrity and therapeutic value 

Services Considerations 

The following services are difficult to deliver remotely, yet we have solutions to help: 

  • Home environment – possible with video technology 
  • Objective assessments of range of motion and strength – possible with video technology 
  • Functional assessments (e.g. transfers, stairs, community access) – inferred from client reports, questionnaires, camera observations and medical documentation 
  • Wheelchair or home safety assessment – if urgent, in-person assessments can be considered after completing a client risk assessment and while using personal protective equipment.

Get Started 

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. 

We’re here for you when you need us.  

E-mail: info@ot-works.com 

Phone: 604.696.1066 ext 1000 

OT Works! is OPEN

OT Works! continues to serve clients and customers during the COVID-19 outbreak. We believe occupational therapy is essential to maintaining the health and wellbeing of the public. OT Works! is adapting to better support everyone – our clients, customers, therapists, staff and our communities – in the most responsible manner possible.

Telehealth and Remote Care

OT Works! is enabled by telehealth. Our occupational therapists can provide remote care services by phone, email, text messages and video. Telehealth can allow live, confidential and safe interactions with an occupational therapist during times social distancing. We have developed protocols and plans that follow guidelines by the College of Occupational Therapists of BC (COTBC) and the Provincial Health Services Agency (PHSA). Our goal is to provide remote therapy through telehealth that is meaningful and appropriate.

We will continue to provide in-person home visits on an urgent basis.

Benefits of Telehealth

Remote care is a vital link to wellness when clients have limited or no access other in-person services. For many of our clients, remote care is the only service available to them after other health providers and rehab team members have closed their doors. Through telehealth, our OTs can provide clients with prompt and personalized care while maintaining social distancing.

Remote care and telehealth can help clients by:

  • Maintain or improve workplace tolerances
  • Develop a daily structure that simulates their typical (work) day
  • Create healthy routines
  • Increase resiliency
  • Deliver health education
  • Promote connection with the workplace and decrease isolation

Occupational therapy is client-centered. Our clients’ remote treatment plans are specific to individual needs and goals. While some rehab goals may not be accessible during times of social isolation (eg. return-to-work), remote care maintains clients’ readiness for rehab upon return to in-person sessions.

Occupational therapists are creative and adaptive. With remote care, our therapists are able to adjust the frequency and duration of sessions to provide appropriate and effective care during our current situation.

Remote OT allows us all to socially distance ourselves and prevent the spread of disease while still connecting, progressing on goals and maintaining well-being.

Service Areas

OT Works! continues to serve the following areas :

  • Metro Vancouver
  • Fraser Valley
  • Sea-to-Sky (Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton)
  • Vancouver Island

With telehealth, our occupational therapists can also assist clients outside of these geographic areas. Contact us to learn more.

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.

We’re here for you when you need us.

E-mail: info@ot-works.com

Phone: 604.696.1066 ext 1000

Jaclyn (white shirt, long brown hair), Pamela (green shirt, short grey hair), Nicole (black shirt, long brown hair)

OT Works! and Your Safety

COVID-19 Update

The health and safety of our clients, occupational therapists, and staff is of the utmost priority. With the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) spread in Canada, OT Works! is taking additional precautions  and following recommendations and guidelines set out by the BC Center for Disease Control, Government of Canada and World Health Organization (WHO)

What OT Works! will do for you

Our occupational therapists will:

  • Not visit you if they are ill or have been exposed to the virus
  • Give you the option to switch to phone or video sessions (even if there is not an obvious risk at this time)
  • Inform you if they develop symptoms or get a diagnosis of coronavirus within 5 to 15 days since your last visit together.
  • Follow guidelines set out by the Center for Disease control to reduce risk of transmission (hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, social distancing, self-monitoring and use of masks as needed).

What we ask of you

  • Tell us if you are ill
  • Tell us if you or have been diagnosed with, or exposed to the coronavirus
  • Tell us if you develop symptoms or get a diagnosis of coronavirus within 5 to 15 days since your last visit
  • Tell us if someone you are living wil becomes ill, has been diagnosed with or exposed to the coronavirus
  • Clean frequently-used surfaces, if possible, to prevent the spread of disease

If you have fever, cough, headache, difficulty breathing, pneumonia or have recently travelled abroad, call your primary care provider or the BC Healthline (811).  They will discuss with you the most appropriate setting for clinical assessment and, if warranted, testing.

For the latest recommendations and guidelines in our community, please visit the our regional health authorities (Vancouver Coastal  Health, Fraser Health) and the BC Center for Disease Control.

Resources:

Megan and Jodie

Meet Megan DeLeon & Jodie Comerford: Occupational Therapists

Welcome Megan DeLeon and Jodie Comerford to the OT Works! team.  They are graduates of the Occupational Therapy program at the University of British Columbia.  Megan and Jodie work primarily with ICBC clients, individuals with 3rd party health coverage and privately-paying customers.  They guide clients with various diagnoses in managing their daily activities at home, work and in the community.  They help their clients manage their pain and anxiety to improve their independent functioning.

Megan journeys alongside her clients as they try out strategies to achieve their greatest potential.  She brings a wealth of knowledge regarding mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) and concussions due to her previous experience working in the Head Injury Assessment and Treatment Services Program.  She enjoys working one-on-one with her clients to foster both mental and physical wellbeing.  Megan serves clients in the Metro Vancouver region from Vancouver, Richmond and Delta to Langley and Maple Ridge.

Jodie emphasizes the importance of the biopsychosocial approach to fully understand all the factors that affect a person’s health.  She has formerly worked with adults with development disabilities and therefore has a well-structured approach to behaviour modification, skill development and goal attainment.   Jodie also serves clients in the Metro Vancouver region from Vancouver, Richmond and Delta to Langley and Maple Ridge.

Like all of our therapists, Megan and Jodie are full registrants and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).  

Get started with an OT

If you or someone you know could benefit from working with an occupational therapist, contact us today!

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000. 

Mathilde and Bronwyn

Meet Mathilde Bleuze & Bronwyn Cormack: Occupational Therapists

Welcome Mathilde Bleuze and Bronwyn Cormack to the OT Works! team.  They provide community OT services for individuals with musculoskeletal/orthopaedic injuries, chronic pain, mental health, concussion/traumatic brain injuries and mixed diagnoses.  They guide clients in managing their daily activities at home, work and in the community in order to foster increased independence.

Mathilde enjoys thinking outside of the box and supporting clients in their own environments.  Originally an OT in France, she has a wealth of experience particularly in return-to-work planning, home safety and seating and mobility.  Mathilde serves clients on Vancouver Island, particularly in the Comox Valley region.

Bronwyn finds that private practice allows for a dynamic work environment.  She enjoys learning about the different roles people have in their communities.  She provides workplace assessments, return-to-work planning and activation, among other services.  Bronwyn serves clients in the Sea-to-Sky region, primarily North Vancouver to Whistler.

Like all of our therapists, Mathilde and Bronwyn are full registrants and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).  

Get started with an OT

If you or someone you know could benefit from working with an occupational therapist, contact us today!

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000. 

2 woman high-fiving while doing planks outside

23 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Develop healthier habits and reduce stress by trying Healthline’s goals. Make sure that you are realistic about what your goal entails so that you can effectively maintain the habit.

When choosing one of these goals, remember to make sure you plan them the SMART way.

  • Specific – Know exactly what you want to accomplish.
  • Measurable – Track your progress.
  • Achievable – Outline the steps you will take to reach your goal.
  • Relevant – Ensure the goal fits in with your current and upcoming needs.
  • Time-Based – Choose a target completion date and set up check-ins along the way.

Get an OT’s Help

All of our OTs use goal-planning to develop effective and personalized treatment plans for their clients. Our OTs are university-trained and certified by the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).  Many of our OTs have additional training in physical OT treatment, mental health, and goal-planning.

Contact us today if you or someone you know could benefit from goal-planning with an OT.

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000