Audrey Seib, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, coordinated with lead Occupational Therapist, Ruth Jeffries, to bring in art teacher, Georgia Hubnik, to provide a beneficial and cathartic program to Encompass Health, formerly Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital, in Texarkana, Texas.
The program began a few months ago and has become a very meaningful part in the lives of those participating. Most patients in the art program have suffered from strokes and are able use this program to improve their overall quality of life and their day to day occupations such as buttoning a shirt, opening a door, and even holding a paintbrush.
Seib explains, “it’s great that we could all pull together to bring Georgia in to help with the patients.”
Seib and Hubnik are able to combine the art class with traditional methods of occupational therapy. Art is unique in the way that it forces artists to use both sides of the brain, right and left. Since stroke patients suffer from damage to the left side of the brain, this can be a very rewarding exercise. For example, occupational therapists can use weights to help build patients’ physical strength while Hubnik’s teachings help patients to use their creativity to strengthen the left side.
Hubnik, former art teacher of 17 years in Texarkana has worked with Opportunities, Inc., and other students with disabilities to enable them with a skill that is truly life changing. She accepts her students for who they are and helps them learn this new skill, regardless of physical and emotional limitations that may ail them.
“The joy that we see on their faces is rewarding,” said Hubnik. “It’s wonderful to be able to give them a voice and some control back over their lives.”