Elant Partners with SUNY Orange Community Connections Program

Occupational Therapy Assistant program will develop programs for Elant residents

Goshen, N.Y. (May 26, 2011) – Elant is proud to become one of the first organizations to partner with SUNY Orange Center for Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology (CART), and will serve as a fieldwork and internship site for Occupational Therapy students as part of the Community Connections program.


Elant President and CEO Todd Whitney said, “I am very proud of the professional synergy Elant and the SUNY Orange OTA program has developed and I look forward to the future new projects that will benefit Elant’s residents.”


Under the leadership of Flo Hannes, chairperson of the SUNY Orange Occupational Therapy Assistant Program and director of CART, the college developed the program to expand and enhance the educational experience of students enrolled in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. The program also works to develop partnerships with organizations willing to serve as fieldwork sites for clinical internships and to develop programs which respond to community needs and emerging areas of practice.


“The Community Connections Project between SUNY Orange and the Elant System serves a dual purpose,” explained Hannes. “It satisfies both the mission statement of SUNY Orange, ‘…reaching out to all citizens of Orange County to enrich their lives…’ and the Occupational Therapy mission of living life to the fullest through meaningful and purposeful activities.


The students have developed and implemented a variety of programs to benefit residents in Elant’s rehabilitation program, including:

· The design and creation of adaptive gardening tools and a mobile garden which can be moved throughout the Elant Goshen facility allowing residents to get involved in gardening projects.


 The development of communication cards to be used at each of the six Elant facilities to assist in training and relearning therapy sessions with patients suffering speech and language difficulties due to a disability or injury.

· As part of the day’s therapy, students taught a Zumba class to residents, family members, and staff at Elant’s Fishkill location. Residents enjoyed the session so much that the students have offered to hold classes this summer.


“These projects are tangible examples of the benefits that can be realized when two organizations work together in partnership,” said Donna Frazier, Elant corporate rehabilitation director and adjunct faculty instructor with the SUNY Orange Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. “The SUNY Orange students not  only gained the experience of designing and building adaptable therapy equipment, or creating a specialized program, but they also learned the joy gained from giving to those in need.”