Well, the good news is that we are through 2020 and are looking forward to a much better 2021. I certainly hope that each of you had a safe and happy holiday season.
We have certainly had our share of ups and downs. Since the therapists started going back in homes, we have had to have at least 15 of our therapists quarantine. Fortunately, everyone seems to be doing well and there are no serious COVID-19 issues at FECTS.
As anticipated, some of our families have declined services until things improve with the pandemic. These families will have an opportunity to reapply for services once they are more comfortable. This does give us an opportunity to reduce our waitlist, although we continue to get new applications daily.
Our therapists are happy to be treating in homes again, but this continues to be very tricky. We require that they ask COVID-19 questions each time they go into a home. This is to protect our therapists as well as the other children that they treat.
We had an extremely successful midyear convention. A special thank you goes to our COO/State Secretary, Carl Seibert, for making us all look so good at our board meetings. I would also like to take the time to thank Shannan Wilburn and Jenny Chatham for all they did to make the convention such a success.
Pearl Johnson, OT spoke at our major projects meeting Sunday and she covered how occupational therapy (OT) focuses on active participation in occupations, or in the case of our patients, in daily activities which are meaningful to our patient and family. She also talked about physical therapy (PT) which promotes the physical function and helps the child maintain, restore and improve movement and activity. Whether it is OT or PT, the ultimate goal is to help the family and child gain the knowledge and skills to improve quality of life and independence with daily functioning.
Pearl also spoke about the plan of care which means the therapists “assess need of services and level of functioning” and they “establish goals, implement a treatment plan, construct a home program and support follow-through” as well as educate the family about community resources and help the family utilize these resources.
Pearl also shared a couple of stories about her patients. Thank you, Pearl, for doing such an outstanding job speaking with our members.
I would like to say a special thank you to all the lodges that sent in funds to help purchase toys for our patients this year. So many of our patients’ families have suffered job losses and would not have much of a Christmas without the help of the Florida State Elks!
Each year at our midyear convention, the Past State Presidents’ wives present FECTS with $25 gift cards. Each wife, as well as a few of our guests, contribute two $25 gift cards. This goes a long way in allowing us to help our most needy families at Christmastime. We were so fortunate to be able to provide each therapist with the cards that they requested. Thank you so much, ladies. This is an incredible gift for our families and we sincerely appreciate each of you.
FECTS is proud to recognize Heidi Pennella, our occupational therapist in the Central and North Central districts. Heidi has been offered and accepted a volunteer position on the board of directors for the Masgutova Foundation which is a nonprofit dedicated to increasing research, education and support to further the advancement of NeuroReflex Integration. She accepted this position in hope that it will increase visibility for the underprivileged children of Florida and increase our ability within FECTS to access high-level services and opportunities. It is a great honor for Heidi professionally and will support increased knowledge and best practices within NeuroReflex Integration. Congratulations, Heidi, from all of us. We are so proud of you and all your accomplishments.
I sincerely hope you all had a safe and happy holiday season. I am praying for a much better 2021!