In a recent news release, Kean University announced its appointment of Geraldine Pagaoa, MS, OTR, as director of its new Kean Community Cares Clinic. Pagaoa previously served as a healthcare manager for the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation and brings more than 12 years of occupational therapy (OT) leadership experience to the new clinic, which the release notes will open this month.

According to a statement in the release from Pagaoa, a lifelong Union County resident, Kean is the only university in the tristate area and one of only 17 nationally with an occupational therapy clinic. Pagaoa adds, “The Kean University OT Community Cares Clinic offers an exciting opportunity for both students in the form of field experience and local residents who need services.”

Pagaoa has served as an adjunct professor in Kean’s OT Graduate Program since 2006, and previously served as a clinical manager at Kessler and OT student coordinator of Kessler’s Chester campus. The release reports that she has also worked with The Johnson Rehabilitation Institute at JFK Medical Center in Edison and Motorika USA of Mount Laurel. Pagaoa holds an MS in Occupational Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and a BS in Exercise Science from Rutgers University.

Jeffrey P. Beck, Dean of Kean’s Nathan Weiss Graduate College, emphasizes the university’s fortune in having an individual with Pagaoa’s level of expertise lead the new OT clinic.

“In addition to having a great background in the field, Geri has the dual advantage of being very familiar with Kean and the local community, all quite strong assets for our program going forward,” Beck says.

The release notes that the OT clinic will provide both adult and pediatric care, offering treatment to develop, recover, or maintain daily living and work-related skills for individuals with physical, sensory, motor, cognitive, mental, or developmental conditions. It will also benefit the community, Pagaoa says, by providing an affordable option for traditional OT services, specialized OT programs, and community-based OT programs, all under one roof.

The clinic is intended to service all ages, providing OT service for children, adolescents, and adults, with a primary focus on rehabilitation and disability, mental health, productive aging, and health and wellness. The release adds that from an academic perspective, students will be able to utilize the clinic for splinting, working with clients during seminar classes, and fieldwork placements.

“Because we are directly linked to the Kean OT Department, the students will have on-site learning with clinicians who not only are skilled in their practice area, but also are also familiar with the Kean OT curriculum. From the academic side, the clinicians will be able to provide direct feedback to the OT department on student performance and suggestions on improving our overall OT program,” Pagaoa explains.

[Source: Kean University]