SMOC therapist is certified

Published 10:41 pm Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jennifer Pelkowski of Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center has earned the certification for hand therapy, making her a Certified Hand Therapist.

A CHT is an occupational therapist or physical therapist who has a minimum of five years of clinical experience, including 4,000 hours or more of direct practice in hand therapy. In addition, a CHT must successfully pass a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation.

Pelkowski exceeded the requirements, with 12 years of experience and more than 8,000 hours working with the upper extremities. In preparation for the exam, she obtained a Certificate of Advanced Studies in upper extremity rehabilitation from Texas Women’s University graduate program in December.

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“My favorite part of the job is helping people do things we so often take for granted,” she said. “When a patient comes in, excited to tell me she was able to brush her teeth or wash her hair — that’s when I feel best.”

Pelkowski received her Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy from the University of Scranton in 2001. She has worked as an occupational therapist for 12 years and has worked as a hand therapist at SMOC for nearly five years. Previously, her career focus was in-patient rehab, working with patients suffering from the effects of spinal cord injuries, strokes and brain injuries.

Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center is a nine-doctor practice with four locations in Chesapeake and Suffolk.