The School of Health and Human Services offers the Rochester community an array of benefits, including mental health and primary rehabilitative services such as social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, creative arts therapies, and the speech and language clinic, that is probably unique for a school of Nazareth’s size. These clinics provide invaluable training experiences for students as well as free or low-cost services for clients in the community, many of whom have maxed out their insurance or have no insurance altogether.
William Lutz, then six, was a client of Nazareth’s occupational therapy clinic in 2012. William was having difficulty in kindergarten but didn’t qualify for OT services in school, and his mother Margot was concerned about his fine motor control and writing skills. Friends whose children had received speech therapy at Nazareth suggested that the Lutzes look into whether the College offered OT services. William was evaluated by Dr. Liz Baltus Hebert, OTR/L, who determined he had underlying factors that needed development to help William gain the skills that concerned his family. Addressing low muscle tone, poor postural stability, and trouble with bilateral coordination required a wide variety of activities, such as pulling himself on a scooter board to increase his upper body strength and bilateral skills. William enjoys his OT sessions, says Margot Lutz, and she has noticed a big difference in her son as a result. “We made several donations because the whole experience was so well worth it,” she adds.
Going forward, the School of Health and Human Services will be greatly enhanced with the opening of the Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute in 2015. Although fundraising continues, the institute will be made possible in large part by major gifts received this year from Nancy and Larry Peckham, Dawn and Jacques Lipson, and an anonymous donor. The splendid new facility represents a quantum leap for Nazareth College and the region it serves. “This expansion enables Nazareth College to provide thousands of qualified graduates who will fill regional and national health care jobs over the coming decade,” says President Daan Braveman.