Occupational Therapy month continues as we work toward the end of April. Many of our OT counterparts are at the American Occupational Therapy Association conference in Kansas City this week and we wish them a great time full of learning. Our blog series on our OT team at Imago Rehab continues with the energetic and inspirational John Paul.
Imago Rehab Spotlight: John Paul Bonadonna, OTD, OTR/L, LVST BIG
John Paul is the Lead Occupational Therapist at Imago Rehab. He graduated with his Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2021, where his thesis focused on the combined effects of robot-assisted therapy and task-oriented training on functional performance after stroke. He now splits his time between clinical practice at Imago Rehab and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and research with upper-limb rehabilitation robotics at Harvard University in the Biodesign lab.
How did John Paul become an Occupational Therapist? As a person living with epilepsy, I always knew I wanted to pursue healthcare with a neuro population. However, it wasn't until I observed an OT in an outpatient neuro clinic that I knew this would be my passion. There, I shadowed an amazing OT who integrated traditional neurorehabilitaiton with assistive technology, including robot-assisted therapy. It was then that I knew I wanted to pursue this combination in my career.
Favorite OT story or moment: There are too many to choose just one! However, one story that stands out is treating a young patient who experienced a hemorrhagic stroke. Prior to his diagnosis, he was a talented cellist; however, after his stroke he no longer had the motor control or coordination to play. Over the course of several weeks, we worked together utilizing the Active Learning Program for Stroke used at Imago Rehab. By the time he was discharged, he was able to play several notes again and was on his way to returning to his favorite leisure activity. As a musician myself, this moment was so special!
Best OT lesson: In grad school I had a fantastic mentor, Dr. Susan Fasoli, who taught me so much about stroke rehabilitation and incorporation of rehabilitation technology. Her development of and research with the Active Learning Program for Stroke taught me how important it is to not only improve motor impairment of the arm and hand, but also to generalize those specific movements to everyday activities. Now in my clinical practice, I ensure my clients know WHY they are performing certain exercises and how they can be translated to the activities they need to do on a daily basis. By integrating exercises with functional activities within a session, I have witnessed clients quickly generalize movement practice to successful use of their arm in hand in meaningful activities.
Are you ready to experience the Imago difference with our #lifeistherapy approach?
Give us a quick call at 617-671-0789 or click today to get started working with Imago Rehab. Our blog series interviewing all of our OTPs will continue throughout April, as we celebrate our profession during Occupational Therapy month!