January 20, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sally Sedgwick

Bigfork Valley

(218) 743-4249

publicrelations@bigforkvalley.org

Caption: Trinity Hemmila, OTR/L

BIGFORK VALLEY INTRODUCES PEDIATRIC OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

Bigfork Valley welcomes Trinity Hemmila, OTR/L, occupational therapist with specialties in pediatrics, and child and adult hand therapy to its Rehab Department. Hemmila has a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from the College of St. Catherine and has 14 years of experience in the field. Most recently, Hemmila practiced at Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital.

"It is a child’s ‘job’ or ‘occupation’ through play to develop physical coordination, social skills to interact with other children and self confidence to try new experiences, explore new environments and learn," Hemmila explained. "When children have limitations – physical, developmental or social – which interfere with their daily performance at home, school, in the community or at play, occupational therapy may be the solution."

Occupational therapists have expertise in evaluating children’s neurological, muscular and emotional development. Pediatric occupational therapy serves birth through teen years and beyond to improve gross and fine motor skill development, social skills development and learning. Some pediatric diagnoses seen include autism, Aspberger’s Syndrome, Down’s Syndrome, sensory integration dysfunction, fetal alcohol syndrome and developmental delays.

Hemmila has had additional training in pediatric conditions through the Autism Society of Minnesota and the Scottish Rite Clinic in Duluth, and has completed a certificate program on autism through the University of Lacrosse, Wis. She has had extensive training in sensory integration and has provided community education to parents and caregivers on the topic.

"We are very pleased to add this specialty to our Rehab Department," said Dan Odegaard, CEO. "It increases our ability to provide care to all ages in our community, and we welcome Trinity to our staff."

Hemmila joins the rehab team at Bigfork Valley which includes Randy Herme, PT, manager; Chuck Gibbel, RPT; Melissa Nelson, MA, OTR/L; Courtney Olson, DPT; Roberta Votava, PT; and Ray Crea, MS,CCC,SLP. The Rehab Department at Bigfork Valley can be reached at (218) 743-4133. A physician referral is required for outpatient services.

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