OT EAC Improves Service Delivery through Enhanced Operations and Student Involvement

The Occupational Therapy Equal Access Clinic (OT EAC) is a student run clinic serving the greater Gainesville area. The vision is to improve the well-being and quality of life of underserved community members by providing equitable, client-centered care through (re)engagement in meaningful activities.

Over the last year, a needs assessment and SWOT analysis were completed to ensure high-quality care is provided to the community. Logistical changes have been implemented, including streamlined documentation templates, improved care plans, and realigning board roles to ensure equity of roles and responsibilities of the student board members. These changes have resulted in more student involvement in the clinic as well as more individualized interventions focused on returning our clients to the things they want to and need to do.

Two student executive board members with the OT faculty liaison. From left to right: Kayla Ramos, Dr. Anna Galloway, and Cara Steinberg
Two student executive board members with the OT faculty liaison. From left to right: Kayla Ramos, Dr. Anna Galloway, and Cara Steinberg

Student involvement has been expanded to include students from all cohorts. First-year students are invited to observe virtually with the goal of applying for a board position during the spring of their first year. Second-year students are appointed to serve on the board as one of the five members and with a future goal of involving other second-year students to volunteer with specialty projects outside of the clinic. These specialty projects include supporting fundraising events, offering education to the community, and creating individualized home exercises programs. The board members rotate clinic days and gain experience with evaluation, goal writing, treatment planning, implementation, measuring outcomes, and the discharge process. Third-year students are invited to volunteer in the clinic to gain supervisory experience, offering expertise and guidance to the second-year students who are leading the session.  Faculty members and community clinicians are present each week as the licensed therapist and to provide supervision and guidance.

Over the last 10 months, the OT EAC has served 18 clients across 33 sessions addressing a range of needs from newly acquired injuries to chronic illness. Specialty programming provided outside of the clinic includes Diabetes Education courses as well as a support night for clients and families of stroke survivors.

A client works on fine motor skills, coordination, postural alignment, cognitive sequencing, and problem solving while wrapping presents during a December treatment session.

We look forward to continuing the enhancement of clinic operations to provide continued high-quality care via telehealth and on-site services within the Gainesville community.