Skip to main content

Occupational Therapists Providing Expertise in Hand Therapy

March 14, 2018

Farmington, Maine


The Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH) Occupational Therapy (OT) department is utilizing a new team approach for providing treatment of conditions and injuries of the upper-extremity. Best known as “hand therapy,” the treatment is actually much broader and may also include treatment of the wrist, elbow, rotator cuff, and shoulder.


The hand therapy treatment team includes: Jessaka Nichols MSOT/L; Theresa Desjardins, COTA/L; and the newest member of the team, Elizabeth Barton, MSOTR/L. Shelley Rau, MAOTR/L, who worked as a certified hand therapist for over 25 years, is providing on-site consultation to the team, and mentorship to Nichols who is currently completing requirements to become certified by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission.


According to Susan Loughrey, FMH director of physical rehab services and sports medicine, “Nichols, who specializes in hand therapy, supervises all upper extremity evaluations and treatments in the outpatient OT setting. The full outpatient orthopedic team works with a variety of upper extremity injuries including but not limited to musculoskeletal injuries, tendonitis, fractures, nerve injuries, wound and scars, arthritis, and post-surgical conditions.”


The team approach provides a continuum of care that often starts within days of a patient’s injury or surgery creating an individualized and comprehensive treatment program that may include therapeutic exercise, orthosis design and fitting, activity modification, compression therapy, sensory re-education, and pain management, among others.


The treatment plan is updated regularly to allow patients the ability to return to purposeful and meaningful activity at work, school, home, or leisure tasks as rapidly as possible.


A referral from a provider is needed for appointments. Call 779-2620 for appointments.

News from Around MaineHealth

View All
MaineHealth Earns 2020 CHIME Digital Health Most Wired Recognition
The CHIME Digital Health Most Wired program conducts an annual survey to assess how effectively healthcare organizations apply core and advanced technologies into their clinical and business programs to improve health and care in their communities.
Franklin Community Health Network offers flu clinics
Franklin Community Health Network is offering drive-up flu clinics in October for adults on the Franklin Memorial Hospital campus and via mobile outreach by the Healthy Community Coalition. No appointment is required.
Healthy Community Coalition awarded $1 million to address opioid use disorder
Healthy Community Coalition (HCC), an affiliate of Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN) and a member of the MaineHealth family, has been awarded a grant totaling $1 million over three years to implement a Greater Franklin County rural response to the current opioid crisis.
Franklin Memorial Awarded Hospital Accreditation from The Joint Commission
Franklin Memorial Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Hospital Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards.
Paramedic Scott Nile Earns Flight Certificate
NorthStar Paramedic Scott Nile, WNRP, FP-C (Wilderness National Registry Paramedic, Flight Paramedic Certification) recently received certification as a Flight Paramedic.
Physician Joins Franklin Health Surgery
Franklin Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce that Joseph Caruso, MD, has joined Franklin Health Surgery and Franklin Memorial Hospital.
Franklin Imaging Earns Nuclear Medicine Accreditation
The Imaging Department at Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH) has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in nuclear medicine as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology.
Credit rating agencies reaffirm strength of MaineHealth
Two credit rating agencies continued to give northern New England’s largest health system high marks for its financial strength even though the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant financial impact.
Field hockey teams are fundraising for the Battle for Breast Cancer
The annual Battle for Breast Cancer round-robin benefit field hockey event will not be able to take place in its usual way this year, but fundraising will still happen in July and culminate with a virtual event on the evening of July 25.
MaineHealth Receives Over $800,000 in Federal Funding for Telehealth Program
FCC awarded MaineHealth for costs associated with rapidly expanding the health system’s telehealth infrastructure and technology in response to the coronavirus pandemic.