Lindsey Dhans, MOT, OTR/L, a recent graduate of the UF Masters in Occupational Therapy program, and current MOT students, Kelsey Iglesia, Shannon Plunkett, Meghan McMullen and Alyxandra Aldrich, welcomed the first clients to the new Occupational Therapy Equal Access Clinic last month. The clinic will provide free services to uninsured adults needing occupational therapy. Volunteer clinicians and UF OT faculty will evaluate and treat clients, while UF MOT students have the opportunity to attend and develop their clinical skills.
The Occupational Therapy Equal Access Clinic (OT EAC) joins a network of student-run free healthcare clinics at the University of Florida. EACs serve adults age 18 and older who are uninsured, or otherwise unable to afford provided services.
The mission of the OT EAC is to improve the health of the community by providing free adult occupational therapy services for residents of Alachua County and surrounding areas who are unable to access or afford such services, serve as an educational resource to the community and provide a learning environment for student therapists.
Fewer than 10 free OT community based clinics exist across the country. The only free occupational therapy clinic in Florida is now right here in Gainesville. According to Ms. Dhans, “our patients have a resource for continuing therapy and reaching their full therapeutic potential (increased potential for return to work, decreased caregiver burden, increased quality of life…).”
The OT EAC will service clients needing OT at the UF Health Family Medicine on Main Street the third Thursday of each month from 6:00 to 9:00pm. Clients can be referred to the OT EAC by calling 352-672-6555.