CHICOPEE — When the Strive Clinic opened in mid-December 2020 at ServiceNet’s Enrichment Center in Chicopee, its had nine physical- and occupational-therapy visits that first week. Three months later, the staff is seeing 29 different people and averaging 63 visits per week. Most of the participants live in ServiceNet’s residences for individuals with brain injury, a few live with their families in the community, and all are glad to be making progress.
Some people are coming in twice a week, some three times, and the Strive Clinic is poised for further growth. Led by occupational therapist Alyssa Bustamante and physical therapist Alexis Stockwell, the clinic recently added additional staff to meet the demand for services.
“This clinic offers an alternative for people who need continuing therapy services but may not want or be ready for the Enrichment Center’s full day program,” Stockwell explained. “The Strive Clinic gives us a safe way to do this, with all the extra distancing, cleaning, and other precautions necessary during COVID-19.”
The effort has paid off, with several program participants making significant gains, according to Bustamante. “Many folks lost ground when they were at home for several months because of the pandemic, and not getting as much exercise as they had before. One of our participants became very withdrawn during that period, but has made huge strides cognitively as well as physically since getting back into therapy. Increased movement and interaction were just what she needed.”
Another participant, who moved into a ServiceNet residence from a nursing home in mid-February, arrived at the Strive Clinic still needing hands-on assistance to transfer from his bed to a chair. Just a month later, he is able to walk with a walker and get to the bathroom on his own. “His strength and endurance are improving with every visit,” Bustamante said, “and it’s affecting his whole outlook on what’s possible.”
The Strive Clinic is for adults with an acquired brain injury who qualify for services under the ABI/MFP waiver. To learn more, visit www.servicenet.org/services/brain-injury-services/striveclinic or call the Enrichment Center at (413) 206-7160.