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Meet Meghan, Certified Occupational Therapist

Meet Meghan | Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant

July 15, 2021
Mike Ralston

Meet Meghan, certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA). A member of the Solace team for nearly two years, Meghan earned an associate’s degree in occupational therapy at Pima Medical Institute and a bachelor’s degree in behavior analysis at Northern Michigan University.

Describe your role at Solace:

Providing therapeutic interventions to families in their natural environments to support increased engagement in their meaningful occupations. What’s a meaningful occupation? It’s anything that a child needs or wants to engage in that might be impacted by a physical or developmental delay. So, a meaningful occupation could be engaging in play for our younger kiddos or money management skills for our older kiddos.

What do you like most about your job?

One of the things I love most about working at Solace is the opportunity to bring hope to children and families in my community. For many children and families, the introduction to Occupational Therapy is filled with questions, concerns, and uncertainty. I love to step into challenging situations and immediately work to build trust and confidence for the journey ahead. Every child has unique strengths that should be celebrated and tended in order to help the child thrive. When I work with children on skills that don’t come as naturally, it is crucial to integrate individual strengths and work toward what is motivating. Empowering parents to utilize the incredible knowledge they have of their child(ren) to guide the journey is one of my top priorities.

What do you find most challenging about your role with Solace?

One of the aspects of my work that I find most challenging is helping children and families connect the dots with the comprehensive “team” that is needed to thrive. This often means working diligently to build connections with doctors, teachers, community resources, and caregivers to create consistency and fluidity of care in order to help the child as comprehensively as possible. This is a very good and important challenge.

What do you like most about your job?

I love that I’m able to support so many families in a variety of ways — direct care with caregiver education and by connecting them with community resources. I also love the culture of Solace. We are encouraged to collaborate and co-treat with other disciplines to provide holistic care. It’s the ongoing and endless support that makes the culture of Solace so unique.

What do you find most challenging about your role with Solace?

Being in our client’s homes, you learn a lot about the families we serve and the hardships they have had to deal with or are currently going through. We always provide outside resources to support, but sometimes it’s not enough or there isn’t anything that can be done. It can be difficult to see families go through hard times.

What are your hobbies?

My husband and I moved to Colorado for outdoor adventures! My husband, dog and I love to hike, camp, go to concerts, be on the water and enjoy this beautiful state. If we aren’t outside, you’ll find us playing board games…during quarantine our collection grew and now we have around 100 board games!

What is your proudest accomplishment?

In 2020, I became the communications chair on the board for the Occupational Therapy Association of Colorado. I increased social media engagement, updated the website and focused on better communication which resulted in an increase in membership engagement. I was one of the leads in making our annual conference 100 percent virtual for the first time ever in 2020. Our conference was very successful and had participants, as well as speakers from across the world. In recognition of my hard work, I received two awards in my first year practicing as an OTA. The Agatha Jackson COTA Award of Excellence and the Dottie Davis Service Award.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I take inspiration from a variety of people and things, but overall, I am my biggest inspiration. I strive always to focus on my growth and how I can create balance in my own meaningful occupations. When it comes to work, I am inspired by the families I serve! I am inspired by their strength, advocacy and love for their children. My clients motivate me to build on my skills as a clinician and never stop learning! Every kiddo is different so my caseload is ever changing which means my skills have to evolve with my caseload.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I made an impulsive decision to move to Alaska one summer and it changed my life! I met my husband there and we moved to New Zealand after only dating for a few months. In New Zealand we worked, traveled and went on the world’s largest bungee swing.

How would someone describe you?

Passionate and highly motivated to help others.

What would you be doing if you weren’t working at Solace?

On a sabbatical somewhere traveling and enjoying some time on the beach! 🙂

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