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JACKSON, Miss.—They work in ways that aren’t always obvious. Whether they’re helping a first-grader master handwriting, a senior citizen cope with arthritis or preparing a workstation to prevent serious injury, occupational therapists help people of all ages.

The American Occupational Therapy Association recognizes April as National Occupational Therapy Month.


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JACKSON, Miss.—Over the past year more than 12,000 Mississippi school children have heard Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s injury prevention message.

That number grew when Think First, the Jackson hospital’s statewide safety and injury prevention program, was presented for the 50th time in the hospital’s two-story Atrium Mall on April 2. Fifty students from Spann Elementary School in Jackson were joined by firefighters, paramedics, police officers, physicians and Mississippi educators as the Think First team presented a program focusing on bike helmet and seat belt use.


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JACKSON, Miss.—In the midst of a nationwide nursing shortage, Methodist Rehabilitation Center is using an innovative approach to recruit nurses—they’re bringing them in by the bus load for a comprehensive, day-long tour of the facility and giving them an opportunity to experience a day in the life of the hospital.


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JACKSON, Miss.—Shirlene Allen, the nurse manager in the stroke program at Methodist Rehabilitation Center was named clinical employee of the year at the Jackson hospital’s recent recognition banquet.

Cynthia Kelly, who handles accounts payable, was named support services employee of the year.

Allen, of Jackson, attended the banquet as one of four finalists. Hearing her name called was an exciting moment, she said. “It is a great honor. There are a lot of deserving people who have won this award in the past and I feel that I’m in very good company,” Allen added.


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JACKSON, Miss.—Your whole world can change in the blink of an eye.

Last December Sarah Gannon was dancing the night away at her college formal in Memphis. Moments later, she was being rushed to an emergency room.

The Mississippi College senior doesn’t remember much about the wreck that left her with a traumatic brain injury. Authorities say part of a tree broke through the windshield of her date’s car and struck her head.


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JACKSON, Miss.—When Josh Sharpe watches the Paralympic Winter Games on TV, he knows how the athletes feel.

Paralyzed in a car accident in 1994, the 26-year-old Jackson paraplegic just returned from snow skiing in Lake Tahoe. Whether it’s blazing down a slope on specialized skis or racing against other competitors with disabilities on his handcycle, Sharpe has never let his injury disable his spirit.

For Sharpe, competition is about more than winning, it’s about overcoming great odds and achieving personal goals.


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JACKSON, Miss.—Think First, Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s safety and injury prevention program will be featured in a Safe Families broadcast airing on WJTV Newschannel 12 from 7-8 p.m. on Sunday, March 17.

WJTV anchor Melanie Christopher will talk to Think First director Lauren Fairburn about the injury prevention programs Methodist Rehab sponsors in Mississippi schools.


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JACKSON, Miss.—Methodist Rehabilitation Center urges students and families to think first about safety and injury prevention during the spring break holiday.

Dr. Rahul Vohra, Methodist Rehab’s medical director, recommends taking certain precautions when traveling, especially when traveling out of the country.

“People need to be extra cautious about improperly cooked food, contaminated drinking water and they need to make sure to carry prescription medications with them,” said Dr. Vohra. “They should also have plenty of bottled water and high protein snacks.”


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JACKSON, Miss.—Jackson’s own quad rugby team wrapped up another successful season finishing sixth in the Atlantic South Regional tournament held in Valdosta, Ga.

The Jackson Jags, consisting of athletes from all over Mississippi and Louisiana, are sponsored by Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.

For the first time, a Jags member was awarded all-tournament honors. Wiley Clark of Moss Point earned the distinction in his fifth appearance in the regional tournament.


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JACKSON, Miss.—Noel Guthrie Jr., a volunteer at Methodist Rehabilitation Center, has been named a 2002 recipient of the Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) award. The Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Services sponsors the award.

For the past 10 years, extraordinary Mississippians have been honored in categories of volunteerism by the GIVE awards. Guthrie, who will receive the award for service to Mississippi’s disabled, will be recognized along with the other category recipients at a March 27 luncheon.


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