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Governor Kempthorne to sign Proclamation

Boise - Governor Kempthorne will sign a proclamation Tuesday, April 16, declaring April as Occupational Therapy Month in Idaho. Idaho Occupational Therapy Association members,

Idaho State University OT students and faculty, and former patients will be on hand to witness the signing.

"Occupational therapy is holistic. We treat the whole person and provide skills for quality of life using a person's strengths to compensate for any weak areas and we teach strategies to use in every situation whether it's a physical, mental or cognitive deficit," said Myrna Harrington, president of the IOTA.

The occupational therapy program in Idaho is a master's level program housed at Idaho State University's Kasiska College of Health Professions in Pocatello. OT practitioners are skilled professionals whose education includes the study of human growth and development with emphasis on the social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness and injury. Treatment services typically include customized programs aimed at improving abilities to carry out activities of daily living, evaluation of home and job environments and recommendations on necessary adaptation, training in the use of adaptive equipment to replace lost function, and guidance to caregivers.

A wide variety of people benefit from OT, including those with work related injuries, repetitive stress injuries, limitations following stroke or heart-attack, birth injuries, learning problems or mental or behavioral problems including Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, substance abuse problems or eating disorders, spinal cord injuries, amputations, broken bones or other injuries from falls, sports injuries or accidents. The Idaho State Board of Medicine currently licenses 315 therapists with 258 employed in Idaho and 99 certified therapy assistants with 90 employed in the state. - April 12, 2002

Written by: Belinda Isley, 334-2257
Contact: Brenda Tominaga, Executive Director Idaho Occupational Therapy Association, 381-0294

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