Animals and Aquatics

Clinician Spotlight: Janet Weisberg, MS OTR/L HPCS

March 05, 2023 gina taylor
Clinician Spotlight: Janet Weisberg, MS OTR/L HPCS
Animals and Aquatics
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Animals and Aquatics
Clinician Spotlight: Janet Weisberg, MS OTR/L HPCS
Mar 05, 2023
gina taylor

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Introducing Business Barn Raising with Gina Taylor, OT HPCS: Ready to kickstart your dream OT practice in just 8 weeks? Join us for practical support and personalized guidance directly from Gina Taylor, a international educator in hippotherapy. With our easy-to-follow modules, weekly Zoom meetings, and step-by-step approach, you'll learn everything you need to know to turn a barn space into a thriving OT clinic. 


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Send us a Text Message.

Business Barn Raising is NOW OPEN

Introducing Business Barn Raising with Gina Taylor, OT HPCS: Ready to kickstart your dream OT practice in just 8 weeks? Join us for practical support and personalized guidance directly from Gina Taylor, a international educator in hippotherapy. With our easy-to-follow modules, weekly Zoom meetings, and step-by-step approach, you'll learn everything you need to know to turn a barn space into a thriving OT clinic. 


Gina:

Here. All right. So I am excited to have Janet on as our first special guest today, and we Janet and I have known each other for quite a long time, so this is gonna be a little bit of a catch up session and you guys are gonna be able to listen in on what's going on. Some really cool stuff. So I am excited to introduce Janet. And Janet. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work as an OT. Is it with animals or is it with

Janet:

aquatics? My work is primarily with animals. Although these days it's more behind the desk than out in the arena. Yeah, we work with horses. We have eight horses, two donkeys and two cats at our 69 acre farm.

Gina:

69 acres. Sounds wonderful. Right about now. It's nice to have a little bit of space. And so what are you doing a little bit with your space? You just were mentioning right before we started recording that you have modified some of your spaces. You're gonna tell everybody about that. Sure.

Janet:

We've been on this property going on seven years and it is our third property, but we rented in our first two places. And then this one is actually in the name of the nonprofit. So it's our forever home. And our work here is entirely dedicated to healing services. It is, like I said, 69 acres. We have one large building that has an indoor arena. And it had a, little caretaker apartment and some smaller spaces and a bathroom inside. And so over the, each year we've pushed into a little more of the indoor space. Cause as Minnesota has wonderful winters that last a long, time, so our challenge here has never been the outdoor. It has always been keeping robust caseload during the winter months and inclement weather. So most recently we turned four horse stalls into usable clinic and office space. That was a really beautiful transformation. I'm sitting in one of those spaces now and it's unfathomable to me that we made that transformation. But We had a wonderful contractor working with us, and I would say everybody on the team got their hands in the dirt, either with demo work or digging up the floor before we poured cement, making hoof prints in the floors. It was a, community. It was really a good team building project and a little exhausting. We also, years ago, took over what was a caretaker apartment. Turned that into office and conference space and and we have two tack rooms that are closed door spaces for clinic services and then a waiting area that sort of doubles as an OT gym So everything is we are I would say we are making best use of space here.

Gina:

Yeah. I think whenever we look at facilities, especially when it's horses, a lot of therapists tell me, Like, where am I gonna do my off horse stuff? Where am I gonna do those functional activities? And so we've been talking about like modular spaces, pop-up spaces, like depending on your climate. And I have a, sensory stall slated for spring and I actually wanna do like recording of. Beginning what it looked like, transformation, what it looked like. And since I am in rented spaces, needing to be able to put stuff in, but also be able to take stuff out if at a later time I do find my forever home. So it's so exciting to hear that all of us are working with that same sort of constraint

Janet:

I do. I think and I think as OTs we really have lots of opportunity to app apply our creativity. Our problem solving and our our ability to adapt. Yeah.

Gina:

Isn't that true? I feel like it's always a, process of oh, okay, this is what it's gonna be today. So I guess we're gonna work with that, especially when you're combining horses or animals and kiddos.

Janet:

Sure, yeah. We've also done some work in our outdoor space. Our, work here at the farm is is pretty much split 50 50 between OT services and mental health services. That partner with horse, but we also have some nature-based services as well. And so one of our clinicians has her outdoor office if you, in the summer you look out, there's this beautiful little setting with trees and she's got a couple of Adirondack chairs out there that look over the farm. We have a a peace garden in process where people who are able to, can Go and sit there and look at the farm. Reflect, we have some memorial sites there. So that's up and coming. And then in the way back of the farm we have cut trail. Again, our more ambulatory clients or in the mental health sessions, they can walk those trails in the trees, which is really, lovely. And then right now of course we can condition horses back there too, which is good for them. And then they're, there's still about 33 farmable acres on the property. And so we have a arrangement with a local farmer and he rotates crops on the, that acreage. So it's still. Giving some good use long-term. I wonder we're beginning some strategic planning now for the organization, refreshing our strategic plan, and I think long-term we're really thinking about how to use that acreage. Perhaps restored prairie or trail community use trails trying to offer something that's both available and accessible for our clientele, but also for the community. As the surrounding areas become transitioned from farmland to housing and whatnot. Having that space where people can come and just relax and let it all go.

Gina:

I think now you just said and I was peeking on your website last night cuz I wanted to get, all the updates and I, you have, I was like, wow, you guys, you have a big team, you have OTRs, you have some OTAs, you have your mental health folks. And I was wondering if you're seeing what I'm seeing here in New Jersey with anxiety in adolescence and, in children. I'm getting a lot of referrals right now for children with anxiety and so we've been working a lot with, the animals, whether that's the horse side of thing or our therapy goats in having them work with the animals and work on some of those coping skills for anxiety. Are you seeing that as well?

Janet:

Yes, obviously with so much of our practice being mental health focus, we we see a lot of that population, but also with referral. For we, we offer psych, social, ot. Which often can be more groundwork and, mounted. But it does of course work on regulation building tools for self-regulation. And we also, in some of our community programs we do work with groups for trauma survivors. We also have a group from. A Native American school in the city that comes out here once a week. And so with those communities, we have developed a co-therapy model. With OT and mental health. And Gina, the way I see that combination is that the OT. Is the doing and the mental health is the being. And combining those services for some of these kids is really impactful because they're not just sitting and talking and they're also just not trying to frustrate their way through a challenging task. They're having this lovely combination. And of course at the center of that is the horse. And it's just a lovely focal point for the service because they are observing those horse behaviors. They are helping to. Again, learn self-regulation strategies so that they can interact with the animal in a meaningful way. We teach a lot of Linda Tellington-Jones TTouch as well as other ways that they can interact in a meaningful way with the animals through through safe touch and things that they can also do on themselves. Ear slides and hair pulls. But I find that it's very interesting when we talk about teaching self-regulation and coping strategies for a population that is either experienced trauma or is very, anxious. And oftentimes with younger people, they have not really experienced calm giving them an opportunity to achieve that state and then helping them to recognize what that is, and then teaching them the tools and the coping strategies, right? So that's where the horse really, and the animals as well, or nature, whatever it is, for someone that brings that into the state of calm or grounded or more self-regulated or self-aware, bringing them out of a state of being dissociated or out of their bodies or wherever they are when the we talk about the monkey brain. Yeah. Right. You really can't teach these strategies to achieve something unless somebody really understands where you're going. And that's, always the challenge. I think with our especially with our mental health and OT co-therapy sessions.

Gina:

Yeah. I think we see some of that with the aquatics environment as well, because in the water they're really able to find that sense of calm, just like when we are in the outdoor environment and a lot of the clientele, I feel like they, they really are very much outta touch with their body. They don't have good introception skills. And talking with parents and, going through the checklist of potty training, thirst, sleep, and you find it's all a bit dysregulated that, there's a lot of kind of different areas within that they need support in. And for me, this is the semester that I teach psychosocial OT at the O T A program and so I'm going through a lot of this with my students and then in clinical practice, I am actually pairing with some of the counselors because it is telling my students it's a much more team-based model. And so it's interesting you have that team-based model, but you're right on site, which has gotta be awesome to be able to go in, like debrief in person after a session and, have it all right there.

Janet:

It's it's really beautiful. I think part of the challenge of this work that many of us who have gone into in particular working with horses and some of the animal assisted work is that it can be very isolated from your, peers from other professionals. You're doing very challenging work physically and emotionally, and sometimes as as you were describing your work scenario, you may be working in an environment that isn't entirely focused on your service, right? So there may be other things going on, or you may be at a site that is really far from other services that you would normally connect with and interact with. So I've really over these last almost 17 years, My goal has been to bring in other professionals, other disciplines so that you create a community of support with shared goals to do what's best for our clients, of course, but it also serves the professional community to have that interaction, that support, and that teamwork.

Gina:

Yeah, I think that definitely reflects what I hear from other clinicians of working in a silo or that it can be so isolating and they see the value that it brings for the clients. But you need that opportunity to process or reflect or it didn't go exactly the way I thought it was gonna go and just have someone to bounce those ideas off of. And it's, great that you're able to create that community on site and have everyone together because it's, so much more convenient just to be able to sit down and. Right after, or by the end of the day, rather than oh, I'm gonna get, I'm gonna get on a, Zoom call later this week or I got a call at the end of the month where I'm gonna we're all gonna get together and talk about these things. By then, I feel like you've worked through, now I have my husband, and so a lot of times we do it. on the car ride home we get a little break and it's just him and I and we don't have the kiddos asking for something. And so it's okay, let's go through these sessions right now. And what are we like, what didn't we like? What are we gonna change? Make some notes with that. And I think do you guys work with fieldwork students as well?

Janet:

Yes. Yeah, I've had Oh, let's see, over the years, probably 35 or 40 OT and OTA level two students and some, level one. And I I, do interview pretty carefully before they come out to this setting. We it is a, it Obviously our goal is to teach students how to be OTs and. There is so much distraction in this setting with horse and another discipline and the environment that it really, it's gotta be a good fit. Yeah, because one it's, as this, specialty area is so much more than it seems on first glance. It's Cake. Right? And the more you learn about it, you start to peel back the layers of what's really going on. And so yes, lots of lots of students out here that have really made beautiful contributions to this setting. And having a student is really important, I think, to professionals. It keeps you curious and it keeps you asking questions and it can also just put you in a pretty vulnerable spot because as soon as someone says, why did you do that Or Where is that coming from? You have to stop and think about it. And when I treat, I really get into flow and I've been doing it so long, I don't take time to think about it as much. So that's been, that's was always really good for me and, really balanced out the, extra work of having students was recognizing that there was a benefit to me professionally and to our other clinicians who help out with those students. So

Gina:

Yeah, I think our processes become very internalized as we become more experienced. And I show new clinicians and my students, they said this is what I actually have some of. Like treatment plans from like my first year treating, and I said this is, this was like first year, this is third year, this is like fifth year. And you can see like first year it's like everything is written out. And then after that it's Theme for the, like plan for the day. And then after that it was like, themes, And I was like, now I don't need to write anything out. I have enough of a library in my head. I can pull that out and Right. And use that. And I you said you interview very carefully and I just did an episode on key skills. For OTs and OTAs who really wanna work in this area, what do you think are those key skills? If you're interviewing, whether it's a fieldwork student or someone to come on your team, what do you think are the key skills you're looking for?

Janet:

I, number one, they need to be an adult learner. And that expectation is is mandatory that they Have demonstrate initiative in their own learning and are comfortable asking questions. at some point. Many of them, I'll hand them a journal and say, write it down, because sometimes they're not gonna be able to ask it in the moment. But taking responsibility for their own learning, I think that's very important. I also look to ask students about their comfort level with a lot of stimulation. What is their How, do they manage stress? And what do they do when they get overwhelmed? Are they able to let somebody know that they need a break, that they're overwhelmed? Can they advocate for themselves when they don't feel safe or have been asked to do something that's out of their comfort range? So those kinds of skills that maturity level. Is very important in a setting that. Pretty dynamic. And then I wanna know not that they're the most experienced horse person on the planet, sometimes that can even be a problem because they come in with their own paradigm of how things should be done. But what is their comfort level? Walking next to a 1200 pound animal as much as five hours a day. and their willingness to learn about horse behavior and or their innate understanding of it. I used to feel that students had to have a lot of horse experience, but I found that when they come out, I get them around the horses and I can usually tell pretty quickly what their comfort is. And the horses also always help with interviews. They help interviews of students. They help with interviews of new employees. They help train in volunteers, right? Our team of horses, they are professionals. And I look to them often for guidance about people and not in a judgmental way, but it opens the door to what that individual might need from this setting. We, try to offer a, trauma responsive work environment as the culture of our organization. And it's a safe place. It's a place where people learn about connection. And it's a place where people learn about their emotions and very often People get cracked wide open and that it just happens, yeah. Working with animals goes deep. So I do look for students who have have done some of their own emotional work as well, because that. Helps some in this environment. And I know that's all pretty, pretty steep ask. And then there's you find students along that arc at various points. And I've worked with everybody along that arc, but it is a more successful experience for them if they're a little further along in that work.

Gina:

Yeah I think you brought up some really important points as far as the horse experience side of things and some basic safety. I, always thought I can't teach you to be a horse person or an equestrian in eight to 12 weeks. That's that's not something that I'm here to do. This is a clinical rotation Kind of basic safety awareness I always require, because I, can't be worried about their safety and my safety and the cl. Like I, I need them to have some basic safety awareness around the horses. And then reflecting on what you were saying about I don't necessarily want the lifelong equestrian, or that brings its own set of challenges with it, because they already have a model of what working and interacting with horses is sometimes in, in the, the OT role that's not the same. I think we see that whenever we're switching from equestrian brain to clinician brain and it it looks different. It looks different when I'm interacting with the horses just to go ride or, schooling as opposed to when I'm getting ready for an OT session. What do you think working with the horses has brought to your career?.

Janet:

Oh for me, yeah, horses have been lifelong learning for me, for sure. Yeah, I grew up in a a fairly stakes were high in my family. And I was a little different than the rest of my family members. And in order to Find a place where I could do my own thing and get some feedback and learn about myself as well as learn about failure, success all those good themes. Trial and error in a sort of a non-judgmental realm. Horses, that was my place. And. From a little, from a child, from six yearold child at day camp. Right. We all have our stories of when we first fell in love In, in terms of my work, I I started out my career in writing, pr marketing and then transitioned in my thirties to become an occupational therapist. With the intention of doing this work with horses. So it offered me an incredible opportunity for life work transition. It was a great use of my my a d work style. Right. everything everywhere, all at once. seemed to pull everything together for me. And just as a to bookmark that is a difficult style for teaching students. So I'm often quite aware that they get really overwhelmed in the first week with me So I'd like to break it down into steps. But I think having work that was such a good fit for my interest and. Was really a gift and I never stopped appreciating that. And it taught me gratitude early on. And now as I've transitioned I, had the opportunity to work for other organizations and then started my own about 17 years ago, as you can imagine going forward I am now looking at job responsibilities that aren't as much in my wheelhouse. And trying to recognize that and bring in other talent and support and get out of the way of the growth of what I started, because that's the most important thing. And really taking time to look at. What are your where do you wanna be? Where, what are the skills that you can contribute to this organization and what do you need to let go of so that others can take the organization where it needs to be. And That's a big challenge and it really touches on some of my vulnerable points as all of us horsewomen. We're strong-headed, right? So we're good at control. Letting go is not easy because then the. You lose your animal. It's been just great life learning for me and I think I might get it figured out before before this ride of a lifetime comes to an end Yeah.

Gina:

Yeah. So you've brought on who, have you brought on for support staff outside of the clinical side? Because you're, you've grown so much.

Janet:

Right. So we do have a designated barn staff, of course, so that I don't have to be I think with small organizations you wear so many hats. So having a designated barn staff that are focused on both property. Horse and special projects, like the million things that break on a farm at any given time. And then administratively we've always had just an amazing office manager that has. Saved my butt on a daily basis. And then this past year we did some really intentional capacity building and I brought on a director of operations and I promoted one of our mental health clinicians to a clinical manager. And that also created what I thought was gonna be a beautiful offload of some of the things that I was doing that wasn't really in my wheelhouse. But it, and it has been phenomenal and with growth, it's created more work. So as we revised our org, org chart and our job descriptions and creating new policies and protocols you it's already starting to really feel like work around here,

Gina:

I think, yeah, I think when you start out like that org chart is all like me, horse poor school of me. Yeah. And as you said, as you grow, it's. What, do I want to give away? What can I give away? And I've, sat in that director of operations seat. I've sat in that clinical manager, director of therapy seat, and feeling like what are the things that I'm passionate about that is a good skill match for me is so big. And, now moving into private practice where it's, my husband and I we're looking. Which are the skills that I'm best at, which are the skills that he's best at, who should take which portions? And it sounds like you are in that next level of that. Going through that and deciding you know what to let go. Do you still treat, you still have some of your own clients?

Janet:

I do I went from a hundred percent direct service to probably 20% direct service. And some of the clinicians I it's nice cuz if they're out I can cover for them. And very often a mental health, one of our mental health clinicians will say, would you do a co-therapy with me? Or would you see this client on an alternating a week basis. Or something. So I have a little bit of that enough to keep me in the arena. So much of my job now is I think I'm moving more towards working with our board committees and of course fundraising and development and when you do that if you have those stories to tell from the direct service, that is what makes the ask really impactful. And I think if you get too far away from that, you you're not able to tell the story with the authenticity or the impact necessarily. I, I, don't think I could go out and do fundraising for any other type of work. I really have great respect for people who can just plop themselves down in an organization and make that happen. But it is it is, I'm able to do it for this organization cuz it comes right out of my heart, yeah. And when you find a, donor or a a grant opportunity and it's a, good fit it's a great, it's a great.

Gina:

Yeah, I think all those kids and stories and, moments stay with us and like you feel just the right time to, it's like it's time to tell this story to this person. Right. So you were talking about fundraising and obviously with the facility you need fundraising. How do you set up your payment model for services?

Janet:

We are fee for service. And we have a A sliding fee scale that is aligned with the federal poverty guidelines. And we still subsidize the cost of that service with obviously donations. Yeah. So that even clients that pay out of pocket full price are not paying the full cost of the service. We have. There have been some clients from time to time that have wanted to use their insurance and we try to support that with whatever documentation. We do we have electronic health records. We do all the documentation to support an ethical clinical service. So if they want to self submit, we can. Things available to them. Being a very small organization in a challenging climate for healthcare reimbursement it's a pretty low success rate. Yeah. But I know there are other practitioners out there who have been very successful and I know it can be done. I have great. Faith in the future. That's kinda why we transition to electronic health records to be poised for when that insurance industry starts to catch up, get its poop in a group It doesn't, it sadly feels like a broken system right now. And want our clients to be able to use the resources they have and, sometimes it's just easier to to raise the funds, to support the service for them than to see them go through the difficulty of getting insurance reimbursement whether it's for oT with horse or OT in the clinic. Yep. Or durable medical equipment. It is a huge, challenge for our families. It is never a one step event. So that's a piece that in a way we like to be able to offer. We deem this to be an important service for your family member, and that's where the clinical judgment comes in, as well as whatever the family's goals are or that individual's goals. Once that aligns, we can go to bat for them and help them get this service in a way that is accessible for them, and take out some of those roadblocks to getting a service that will help improve their quality of. And so that's always been a strong philosophy of mine and one that we carry in the organization. And one day it might be different. We've always been pretty lean administratively. And so again, the time it takes to make those inroads with insurance companies, but it can be done. People are doing, I support it, absolutely. But right now we're, in a good place with that.

Gina:

Yeah. One of, one of our mottos because we it's, our family business at this point is, to keep things simple. And every time we look at the insurance route, we're like that does not, align with our values because it's not simple for us. It's not simple for the families. Like right now our process is pretty simple and we're in a direct access state, like we have a lot of benefits here. And so we have a conversation with families. What insurance wants versus what the family wants. Right. And often there is a misalignment between what insurance is willing to pay for in terms of ot. And again excluding or, not even considering whether we're talking about horses or the pool or whatever. Just in OT services in general 45 minutes for 30 visits and, that's it. Period. That's not, what a lot of our families want. That's not gonna get them to those goals that we're trying to work towards. So we talk about kind of family first, we wanna support the communication between us and the family working with those other team members. And that's all part of our package of services to the family. Whereas insurance is gonna say this is your 45 minutes. That's it. Have. And trying to keep our prices as reasonable as we can with our expenses that we have, and really focusing on client service rather than on outsourcing our billing or something like that, where yes, we could get more volume, but with two people, like how much volume you really gonna have, right? To, what end, that's what we asked ourselves, like to what end? What is that really gonna do? We're better off serving the people who really need us and we can connect with right now and focusing on those families and the insurance situation just does not support that and does not support the way that we work because even for some of our clients who do submit out of network, the goals in which insurance is, willing to cover, is so limited compared to what the scope of O of OT is. And we talk with families like our scope can include working on some of these I A D L community integration types of tasks and insurance is just, they're not gonna cover. They're not gonna cover those types of things. They're well within our scope of practice in our state. They're within our licensure. But insurance is gonna look at that and be like, no, you don't need to be able to navigate in the grocery store.

Janet:

Yeah. Yeah.

Gina:

So yeah we've, found the same thing as a, more fee for service model works. And it, it also helps to keep my stress level down, which it's like, A this, is our income that supports our family. And we want our families to know that they're directly supporting us and our livelihood. But then also just, being able to calculate, okay, this is what our income is for the month. This is where we're going, and not waiting on that. Is the insurance gonna approve it? Is it not gonna approve it? Approve it. Where's that gonna go? Yeah, I think it's been a big thing. And, again, like you said, I do know some people who are very successful with insurance and, it's really worked well for their business model. So I think there's lots of opportunity out there, but for each, business, each clinician kind of needs to find their way with that.

Janet:

Yeah, absolutely.

Gina:

So I. It's been very interesting to hear how your vision has grown, your organization has grown and, where you're at now. What's next? You talked a little bit about your undeveloped area, but what do you think is next?

Janet:

For me, more time at my cabin, Excellent. I do think I just turned 60 this year. Congratulations. And I do think about the future and how much I wanna work and what is gonna be needed to get this organization to a sustainable level. That's the goal. Right? And it's really horrible. But we were, what was I? Oh I'm in a PATH innovation circle. Yep. Course right now. And I identified the the hit by a bus theory, like if you got hit by a bus Yep. Would your practice continue, right? In the early days of starting a practice, the answer was no, it would not continue. And and then for a number of years, it wasn't no necessarily me, it was my, office manager, not be able to continue. But now honestly and it's, so I hate to use this really Macab example, but if we both got. Let's just say hit by a bus, but flown to Tahiti permanently or something like that. Yes, that sounds excellent. I, think the organization could go forward not with bold strides, but it would definitely survive. So the goal is to, how to see this organization go forward boldly and confidently and continue to, serve serve the community. that's what's next. So that means strategic planning and more fundraising and probably flushing out the org chart with a few more brilliant souls if we can, find the funding. I don't see growing our animal population. We. what we have right now with the eight horses, the two fabulous little donkeys, and a couple of really bonus therapy cats. They gave their resumes without any formal training, but we we grandfather. Yes. Yes. I think that the, intentionality of, growth is important too. We, I can't see this facility having even any more than 10 horses max. I like the number we have right now keeping those horses adequately conditioned. Mm-hmm. Car. And working. And a couple of them as they retire, we'll bring in others. But our horses stay with us a long time. One of them has been with me since the very beginning. We, most of the grandfather and grandmother horses are, gone. But we, there is still one gilding who's still hanging in there. And intentional growth, looking at what the organization wants to do and how to best support that with team with animals and with the property. So those three areas we've toyed with the idea of a new build. Frankly, Scares me to death. I don't know how we could sustain a building given all the beautiful gifts this building offers us with various water problems and electrical issues. and roofing, et cetera. But there may be the vision of a, facil, a teaching arena where if, cuz we do pre pandemic. We had started some education and workshop opportunities. We've always done some hosting, but really again, planned restorative workshops, for other professionals, workshops for other service and frontline folks. And having a, space to teach that wouldn't interfere with the ongoing individual or other therapy sessions that are happening here. Yeah, concurrent work could require some more structural buildings. So we're really gonna look hard at that. And you think, wow you've got 69 acres just throw up another building. Right? When you look around at a property and you get you, this is Dakota land. It has a, an energy to it. There's a peacefulness about it. There's a. a vista that you look at and just peppering it with buildings really disrupts that flow. So you really wanna think about where would you put another structure that might interrupt that visual aspect of, and the energy of what goes up. Living through the construction just of these stalls and some of the other construction projects we've done is it's exhausting. It is exhausting and it's very disruptive and trying to maintain a peaceful treatment environment with all of that going on is a lot to think about. And we've come through a lot of that and oh yeah, the pandemic and. You look around at your staff and, they need restoration. They need to be attending to their wellness and. In order to bring their best game to work. So right now, the other focus is how do we engage our staff, how do we support their wellness? How do we create a culture a healthy workplace environment? And those human resources challenges are also on the docket. And those are big, challenges. Yeah.

Gina:

I think that's a beautiful kind of summary of what you hope to achieve, where you're going, but also where you see there needs to be space and be space left. So I think as we're starting to wrap up here what's one of your favorite things about being an occupational therapist?

Janet:

Oh I think OTs will save the world. I think the opportunity to spread your wings and not. Necessarily get overly routinized and that's not to say there aren't important treatment protocols, but the world is a very diverse place and everybody that walks through the door. Brings different skills and talents and interests and roles, and the OT sees that and treats that whole person and that kind of vision on, human beings and human doing is Is really beautiful and really one that is is meaningful to me. And I think people that come to this profession really appreciate that opportunity to, treat holistically and to see see the world with a little broader lens and how we live in it.

Gina:

Is there anything else you want anyone to know, either about you or about hold your horses?

Janet:

No, come visit us. come to Minnesota.

Gina:

Maybe in the summer.

Janet:

In the summer, but I have to say the winter is beautiful as well and we do keep hiking paths open on the property when it's not a blizzard.

Gina:

Did you get any snow?

Janet:

We've had record snow this winter. I think we're up over 60 inches. And it just turned March 1st. And for those of you who don't know, we often see a little snow as late as May in Minnesota. So it's I think we don't, we're not gonna be going into a drought. As we have had in the last few summers. So hopefully the, it's always the challenge of the ground thawing quickly enough to accept all that wonderful moisture. But there's plenty of it on the ground now. Excellent. Yeah, I just, I think my, closing message to people who are OTs and maybe want to work with animals or work in a farm setting or do this tool of working with Hippotherapy as a, treatment tool. You're in OT and that gives you the ability to do a lot of wonderful things with people, bring a lot of skills bring a lot of specialty techniques, and this is a wonderful one. But I really encourage people to think of their role as a, as an occupational therapist and how they bring, how they enhance that when they treat their clients.

Gina:

Excellent. Thank you so much for your time today. I think this was amazing and there was so many learning moments here. Thank you.

Janet:

All right, thanks Gina.