Hand Therapy Program
The Occupational Therapy department of Cooley Dickinson Health Care’s Rehabilitation Services offers a Hand Therapy Program led by certified hand therapists (CHTs). Certified hand therapists are licensed therapists who have met nationally recognized standards and passed a qualifying examination. They have the highest level of training in their profession for treating the hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder.
Our CHTs are available to treat outpatients with various diagnoses resulting from any injury, surgery or medical condition of the upper extremity, including:
- Nerve compressions
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Tendon and nerve injuries
CHTs also treat arthritis and related conditions. Cooley Dickinson has more certified hand therapists than any hand therapy provider in Western Massachusetts.
If you’ve suffered an injury or other trauma to your hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder that requires surgery, Cooley Dickinson also has skilled orthopedic surgeons who can be accessed through the Orthopedic & Sports Medicine practice.
Lisa Bostrom OTR/L, CHT is a certified hand therapist with over 20 years of experience. She got her undergraduate degree in Rehabilitation Services from Springfield College and her Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Hartford. Lisa worked and trained alongside a hand surgeon in Greenfield, MA for over 10 years, gaining valuable skills in orthopedics and customized splints. Common conditions she has worked with include arthritis, tendonitis, hand, forearm and elbow orthopedic conditions and tendon lacerations/repairs.
Idalina Chutkowski, OTR/L has experience in various clinical settings including inpatient, subacute, and outpatient care. She is most interested and specializes in treating patients in the outpatient setting with a focus on Hand Rehabilitation. Lina treats patients recovering from orthopedic injuries or surgeries, hand trauma, sports injuries, repetitive stress injuries, degenerative diagnoses such as arthritis as well as injuries requiring wound care and splint fabrication. Lina is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.
Gail Hegeman, MS, OTR/L, CHT, CEES, has been a Certified Hand Therapist since 1999 and has worked at Cooley Dickinson since 2000. Prior to that, she practiced at return-to-work centers, hospitals and private practices. In addition, Gail is a Certified Ergonomic Specialist and provides lectures in various settings regarding both hand and ergonomic topics. She specializes in managing work-injury-prevention programs.
Karen Kelley, MS, OTR/L, CLT has been doing hand therapy for her entire career and continues her studies in this area. She has worked as a hand therapist in the acute, work-conditioning and work-hardening programs for BarnesCare in St. Louis and taught at Washington University, and worked at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in the early 1980s. She specializes in hand therapy, occupational therapy and treatment of lymphedema, and has also worked in a variety of settings treating the head-injured, neurologically impaired, mentally ill, and people with burns and orthopedic injuries.
Nikki Losty, MOT, OTR/L, CHT, is a Certified Hand Therapist with 15 years of outpatient hand therapy experience. She earned her graduate degree in Occupational Therapy at Nova Southeastern University. She moved to western Massachusetts to be mentored in hand therapy under a well-known hand therapist and former ASHT president. She specializes in custom orthosis fabrication and treating multiple hand, wrist and elbow injuries. Nikki provides care for both non-operative and post-surgical injuries.
Angela Menard, OTR/L CHT, is a Certified Hand Therapist with 15 years of outpatient hand therapy experience. She specializes in orthosis fabrication and in the treatment of hand, wrist and elbow injuries, ranging from diagnoses of tendon injuries, trauma, complex fractures/dislocations, sports injuries, repetitive stress injuries, and arthritis. She also works with patients with amputations, including prosthetic training.
Jennifer Sayles, MS, OTR/L CHT, is a Certified Hand Therapist and has 20 years of occupational therapy experiences. Jennifer trained at the Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston and recently treated Upper Extremity injuries in a private practice setting. Jennifer specializes in splinting and the treatment of various arthritic conditions.