Occupational Therapy Month at WW Health

April is Occupational Therapy Month and a great time to learn about the practice formed over 100 years ago!

Loreen Ranals has been working in Occupational Therapy (OT) since approximately 1975. She started her career in the US Army as an Army Orthotist when she was 17 years old and served 6 years. After leaving the military, she continued her education in Occupational Therapy and received her degree from Loma Linda University in California in 1987. She went onto work in OT at various rehabilitation and community hospitals along the west coast. After being away from her hometown of Baldwin for many years, she decided it was time to move back closer to her mother where she joined our team here at Western Wisconsin Health. She has been a part of the rehabilitation team for over 13 years!

Loreen’s passion for OT is admirable. She describes occupational therapy as a medical profession first, and is based on engagement in meaningful activities of daily life (such as self-care skills, education, work, or social interaction), especially to enable or encourage participation in such activities despite impairments or limitations in physical or mental functioning. “I help you with activities which have meaning and value to you,” said Loreen about her goal of the care she provides.

Loreen works with people that suffer with arthritis, have had recent knee or hip replacements, are recovering from hand injuries, have edema, experience impaired cognition or visual spatial skills. An OT can treat symptoms of many other chronic and acute illnesses. She also completes wheelchair assessments, ergonomic consultations for our staff, and for the injured worker. Pre- driving evaluations can be sent to the OT.

Occupational Therapy is a referral-based treatment; patients with any of the above health scenarios are referred to Loreen to help get them back into their daily routines. If you feel that you could benefit from occupational therapy, discuss this with your care provider in order to receive a referral.

OT can help with the following conditions:

  • Difficulties with ADLs and IADLs.
  • Difficulties with neuromusculoskeletal, gross and fine motor challenges, sensory-perceptual, visual, cognitive, and pain issues.
  • Performance skills such as praxis, impaired social skills or problems developed as a result of CVA, TBI or ANY acquired brain injury.
  • Adaptive equipment for disabilities and motorized mobility needs.
  • Any edema in any part of the body as well as Lymphedema management.
  • Home management concerns as it relates to a temporary disability such as wheelchair ramp specifications.
  • Hand/wrist/elbow conditions of any kind and custom splinting.
  • Modifications to enhance a purposeful life including home modifications and adaptive equipment recommendations for the loss of some function.
  • Durable medical equipment recommendations.

To learn more, visit wwhealth.org or call 715-684-1505. If you would like to obtain a referral from your primary care provider, please call 715-684-1111 to schedule an appointment.