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ACU occupational therapy program partners with Hendrick


Lillie Thomas teaches Adult Populations in Occupational Therapy in a newly-renovated space.

A partnership between Abilene Christian University and Hendrick Health is providing new equipment and facilities to ACU’s occupational therapy program and offering education and resources to Hendrick clinicians.

ACU’s Department of Occupational Therapy and Hendrick Health signed an agreement last year in which Hendrick will donate $75,000 to ACU across three years. That gift has provided for renovation of the space at 1654 Campus Court as well as classroom and lab equipment, such as an adapted kitchen and home living area where students can practice interventions that simulate a client’s home.

“This partnership provides benefits for both ACU and Hendrick as we work together to grow the capacity for much-needed occupational therapy services within our community,” said Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker, dean of the College of Education and Human Services at ACU. “Coming together to serve our community through this partnership is a perfect example of the ways ACU’s growing allied health programs provide long-term benefits to our neighbors.”

Through this arrangement, Hendrick clinicians will gain access to continuing education credits, textbooks, webinars and simulations for professional development, and current ACU Occupational Therapy students will have better access to connect with local clinicians.


The street view of new space for ACU's occupational therapy program.

“We are proud to partner with our local universities in preparing young women and men for futures in health professions,” said Brian Bessent, vice president for Hendrick Health System. “ACU has a stellar occupational therapy program, and their students complete clinical rotations at Hendrick in a variety of healthcare settings: acute hospital services, outpatient rehabilitation, pediatric therapy services and inpatient rehabilitation at Hendrick Center for Rehabilitation. This partnership provides unique opportunities for students to receive real-world experience, and we love when they decide to remain in Abilene for their careers, as occupational therapists can be difficult positions to recruit.”

ACU is in the accreditation process for a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree along with the established Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program, which has about 90 students. Learn more or apply for admission.

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