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Des Moines, IA (April 16, 2019) – This morning Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation designating April as Occupational Therapy Month, recognizing occupational therapy as a vitally important profession that helps people across their lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do.

“Occupational therapy is an underutilized health care profession that provides treatment to help individuals improve their physical and mental capacity to function in all environments. We are pleased the Governor recognizes the important role occupational therapy plays in improving the lives of Iowans.” said Steve Bowen, President of Iowa Occupational Therapy Association.

Iowa Workforce Development recognized occupational therapy as a High Demand-High Growth Occupation in Iowa, ranking OT among the highest for health-related occupations. OT is one of the most underutilized health care professions in Iowa, particularly in the field of mental health.  Occupational therapy and mental health are inextricably linked. The ability to perform meaningful roles and tasks enhances one’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners operate in a variety of settings including hospitals, home health agencies, schools, clinics, nursing homes, and mental health centers. They provide services that support mental and physical health and wellness, rehabilitation, habilitation and recovery-oriented approaches. Practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.

Learn more about all the therapy services offered through Virginia Gay Hospital by visiting the Therapy Services page on our website, www.myvgh.org.

Occupational therapy practitioners and students joined Gov. Reynolds for the OT Month Proclamation signing.